Become a Game Official

Game Officials Licensing 2019-2021

The concept of Game Officials' Licensing 2017+ (OL2017+) was first presented to the FIBA Technical Commission in 2013. A range of workshops were held by the FIBA Referee Department, FIBA Technical Commission, the Licensing Advisory Group and other stakeholders in the following years to develop the most effective system for the new Game Officials' Licensing.

The FIBA Game Officials' Licensing has been aimed at:
• Encouraging long-term planning and referee development programs;
• Engaging more National Federations in the planning, management and training of game officials;
• Enhancing the participation and training of female referees;
• Promoting potential and hard-working referees;
• Offering top quality services and operations for games.

The system was implemented for the first period 2017-2019 and has yielded almost 800 international referees and 300 commissioners.

For the first time ever basketball referees have been granted different License Categories (Black, Green and White) which entitle them to officiate international games for women, men and juniors on global, continental, regional and sub-regional levels.

According to the FIBA Regulations, FIBA Game Officials Licenses are granted every two years.

As such, FIBA is looking ahead to the second edition of the Game Officials Licensing for the period 2019-2021. The principles of the OL2017+ remain the same for the new period and this will certainly facilitate the procedures for the National Federations and FIBA Regional Offices.

The registration period will be open from end of January to March 31, 2019. Following the processing of the submitted data, FIBA will publish the list of licensed Game Officials by June 15, 2019. The new Licensed Period 2019-2021 will commence on September 1, 2019.

For further information, please consult the tabs below. Should you have any questions subsequent to doing so, please contact ol2019@fiba.basketball.

Q&A
  • Questions & Answers for Game Officials Licensing 2019-2021

    1. What are the key principles of the FIBA Game Officials Licensing?
    The key principles of the FIBA Game Officials Licensing are the following:
    • FIBA allocates License spots for each National Federation;
    • National Federations select and submit their best candidates;
    • Candidates must successfully pass the FIBA Written Test (Referees & Commissioners), a Fitness test, a medical examination (Referees only) and any other tests determined by FIBA;
    • FIBA processes data in consultation with the National Federations and the FIBA Regional Offices;
    • 3 categories of Referee Licenses are issued: Black, Green and White;
    • Upon the completion of registration, the FIBA Technical Commission either approves or rejects a candidate;
    • Once granted, the FIBA License is valid for a 2-year period.

    2. What do the FIBA Referee License categories (Black, Green & White) mean?
    There are three (3) categories of FIBA Referee Licenses:
    • Holders of a Black License (male and female) are eligible to officiate international games of all senior and junior levels;
    • Holders of a Green License (female referees only) are eligible to officiate international games for: all senior men games at sub-regional level, all senior women games, all junior games (men and women), all senior and junior level games of international preparation/friendly games;
    • Holders of a White License (male and female) are entitled to officiate: all junior level games at regional level; all senior and junior level games at sub-regional level, all senior and junior level games of international preparation/friendly games.
    There is only one category of FIBA License for Commissioners.

    3. What are the principles of the License allocation spots criteria?
    The number of FIBA Referee License allocation spots is based primarily, but not solely, on the following criteria:
    • the position of the National Federation in the FIBA World Combined Ranking;
    • the classification of the National Federation in the FIBA List of National Federations per category/group;
    • nominations of FIBA Referees for FIBA Competitions in the seasons 2016-2017 and 2017-2018;
    • the presence of FIBA Active Female Referees in National Federations and nominations of FIBA Female Referees in FIBA Competitions in the preceding two (2) seasons (2016-2017 and 2017-2018).

    4. What is the FIBA World Combined Ranking?
    The FIBA World Combined Ranking is a cumulative ranking of Men, Women, Boys and Girls based on sportive results of each National Federation within FIBA competitions and games. Please note that the ranking for Men (FIBA World Ranking Men) is calculated on a game-based system, whereas the ranking for Women, Boys and Girls is calculated on a competition-based system (the latter is calculated within the scope of a two-Olympic-Games cycle and considers the points of these categories in the given cycle).

    5. What is the FIBA List of National Federations per category/group?
    The FIBA List of National Federations per category/group is based on the status of basketball in a given country, the assessment of National Federations and the potential for growth. National Federations are assessed by FIBA experts and the List is then approved by the FIBA Governance Commission.


    6. Who decides on the number of FIBA License spots for each National Federation?
    As per the FIBA Internal Regulations, FIBA decides on the number of FIBA Referee License spots for each National Federation. The FIBA Regional Offices, the FIBA Referee department and the FIBA Technical Commission are the bodies involved in the evaluation process of candidates for FIBA Licenses.


    7. What is the duration of the Licensed Period?
    FIBA Game Officials Licenses are valid for a two-year period (Licensed Period), starting on 1 September 2019 and expiring on 31 August 2021. (Same for the next periods for 2021-2023, 2023-2025, etc.)


    8. Can a National Federation submit more candidates than the number of spots allocated?
    In principle, a National Federation must submit candidates within the allocated number of spots. A National Federation may apply for additional license spots (a maximum of 4). However, the following conditions apply:
    • The respective National Federation must submit strong professional arguments to support a request for additional license spots;
    • 50% of additional candidates must be 30 years of age or younger;
    • FIBA may approve or reject the candidates, based on professional arguments;
    • If approved, the candidates are issued a White License only.

    9. Can independent individuals apply for FIBA License?
    Independent individuals cannot apply for the FIBA Game Officials License. Only individuals who are actively involved in officiating and basketball activities within National Federations and who are proposed by them to FIBA will be considered as candidates for the FIBA Game Officials License.


    10. What are the key dates for the OL2019-21 registration?
    • By 31 January 2019, FIBA will open the candidates’ registration period;
    • From 31 January to 31 March 2019, National Federations submit their candidates and supporting documents; tests are conducted;
         Important!
            - Fitness tests must be conducted by National Federations between 1 January to 31 March, 2019;
            - The written rules test will be organized by FIBA and conducted online;
    • From 1 April to 1 June 2019, FIBA analyses the submitted data;
    • By 15 June 2019, the FIBA Technical Commission publishes the approved list;
    • On 1 September 2019, the Licensed Period 2019-2021 starts.

    • FIBA Game Officials Licensing Brochure

    FIBA Game Officials Licensing Brochure (English)
    FIBA Game Officials Licensing Brochure (Arabic)
    FIBA Game Officials Licensing Brochure (Spanish)
    FIBA Game Officials Licensing Brochure (French)
    FIBA Game Officials Licensing Brochure (Chinese)

  • More detailed information will be provided once the registration period is opened.

  • More detailed information will be provided once the registration period is opened.

  • Each National Member Federation of FIBA has the right to choose candidates for the title of "FIBA Honorary Referee" from amongst former FIBA Referees and persons who have served basketball in the development of referees.

    A National Member Federation may have an unlimited number of FIBA Honorary Referees.

    The proposal of the National Member Federation must be accompanied by the following documents for each candidate:

    1. Honorary Referee Information Form;
    2. One (1) recent colour passport-sized photo or jpg-file;
    3. Copy of the passport showing family and first name(s), date of birth and legal nationality

    If the proposal is accepted by the Secretary General, the FIBA Secretariat will issue the FIBA Honorary Referee license, valid for life, for a nominal fee to be paid only once (Refer to article 3-305).

    Download procedure and form: