How would you grade the basketball referees in Georgia?

Report card time for GHSA basketball officials

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What do you think of the quality of officiating in the state of Georgia for high school basketball?

We’re interested in your feedback. Share your stories and experiences with referees this year.

What did you see that you like? What didn’t you like? The more specific the examples from game situations, the better.

What could be improved upon? How would you make those improvements? (Remember, it’s a tough economy)

Note: Please don’t use this as a forum to randomly bash officiating. I know a lot of good officials, and they do the best they can to get it right. No one is perfect.

Let’s hear what you have to say … and again, the more specific the examples, the better. Please post below.

115 comments Add your comment

Lead Official

February 9th, 2011
1:51 am

Before you people start whining, please remember most of us do it (refereeing) for the kids … or the love of the game. It’s not about the money.

Paranoid Much?

February 9th, 2011
3:54 am

Funny, four hours after it’s posted and none of “you people” are whining.

What is it they say about how the guilty dog barks loudest?


February 9th, 2011
5:18 am

Enter your comments here


February 9th, 2011
5:27 am

Yeah Right Lead Official. High school refs in this state are a joke, joke. And yes most of them do it for the MONEY. Lead Official you are probably doing it for the money. I was a ref for 8 years, I was assisted by refs that didnt know basic rules of Bball. Got out because i was tired of working with JOKES. And yes, I’m talking about the Lead Officials. Most don’t even know what Back Court means. I was at game Saturday night(girls) not single foul called first quarter(refs must have had date, time flew.) But there was a fist fight, refs let them bang and throw each other arount until fight broke out. One girl got hit 5 times in face. Refs did not even get in the middle of it to break it up. stood around like 3 dumbasses. So please Lead Officail i would love to come see you ref, and see if you do it for the love of the game. You probably never even played the game. Except for Playstation lol. State needs to start monitoring these refs, if they knew they were being watched, they would step it up a bit and at least learn rules of the game.

some sense

February 9th, 2011
7:34 am

The first lesson I learned when I officiated ball was that how much of the game’s culture just embraces ref-bashing. The worst offenders are those…I call ‘em facial hair rednecks…who don’t have an association w/ the game. probably never played, haven’t been around the game much in their lives, just really enjoy gettin’ on people.

Sure, some refs stink, but a whole lot of ‘em don’t, and there’s more good ones than bad ones.


February 9th, 2011
7:49 am

The major problem I saw with Georgia refs was their unwillingness to call fouls, especially earlier in the games. This was most prevalent in the younger age groups. When I ask one of the refs why he allowed the rough play he told me if he called all the fouls the games would be longer. Unfortunately this leads to bad habits and one of the ref jobs at the lower levels is to teach the game.
At the higher levels I saw inconsistency in the ability of the refs. Georgia high school basketball has some of the best athlete in the country playing and some of the refs could not keep up with the speed of the game. I don’t know how Georgia’s rating system works for refs but some of the refs need to be sent down to the JV.


February 9th, 2011
7:53 am

I played 5 years in high school, back when high school was 8-12, and I think the referees should
go through mid-season brush-up courses! There will ALWAYS be GOOD, but there will also, be baaaaaaaaaaad ones , as well!


February 9th, 2011
8:07 am

There is one named Cecil….no clue what his last name is….who I have endured for YEARS and he only gets worse! The fans actually cheer when he gets a call right. (It doesn’t happen often, unfortunately.) He also does softball and we absolutely CRINGE when we see him walk onto the field. I really REALLY think there needs to be someone doing “spot observations/evaluations” of some of these officials. Yes, some are VERY good…but some are BLIND!


February 9th, 2011
8:36 am

I would rate the refs in Paulding County a B-
I would rate the refs in Cobb County D-
I would rate the refs in Fulton County C+

I attend mostly Cobb County games and we frequently play teams in the counties listed above. Cobb County refs tend to make calls to influence the game (keeping games close) if a stronger team is more physical than another, the refs will tend to make up calls against the stronger team and make sympathy calls for the weaker team. The refs in Cobb County tend to let the fans get in their heads and constantly make contact rather its communicating with verbal or non-verbal communitcation with fans and that should not be allowed. There also needs to be a system for HS coaches or AD’s to rate refs and they should be graded just like any other profession and not the buddy system.

ladybull dog

February 9th, 2011
8:37 am

F– Failure and an embarassment


February 9th, 2011
8:44 am



February 9th, 2011
8:47 am

Until you get out there and try it, you should’nt be complaining. It is alot easier from the bleachers. Remember we are not there to watch your child, we are there to do the best job we can. BTW, I do it for the $ because I would’nt listen to most of the idiots in the stands if I did’nt get paid!


February 9th, 2011
8:48 am

I officiated for many years.I was taught that you always call the game tight early so the players will adjust their play to that tightness.At that point you can slowly relax and let the players self police themselves.The games were much smoother that way.You can always loosen up but it’s very difficult to tighten up after you have been calling it
loose all night.
I agree with lead official.The better officials seemed to love the game more.You can’t ask someone to do it a lot for no compensation so the compensation is important but many times I was missing my real work to drive a couple of hours,call a couple of games and drive home for another two hours.It didn’t make complete sense if I put it strictly a dollars and cents basis.I also agree that it helps if you actually played the game.Typically there is inadequate training.I called many youth games and recreational league games before I even called a Jr Varsity game.I found a lot of today’s officials think they are above that kind of seasoning.A little humility goes a long way.

sports guy

February 9th, 2011
8:50 am

I don’t know what has happened to the Lanier or Mountain Area officiating. Doc Sisk usually doesn’t let too many guys who aren’t ready to take the floor for varsity games. I’m not sure if there’s a shortage in officials or what. It has just looked like there are officials who need more middle school or JV games. Have some of the requirements changed?


February 9th, 2011
9:35 am

I worked as a ref in florida for 5 years and to even be considered for a job at the high school level you had to have worked at least middle school games for a year. Once at the high school level you never new what game you were going to be rated at. You needed a certain rating to be promoted to varsity games. Now that was back in the 80’s so I don’t know if they are still doing that. From the comments it seems this is not the case in Georgia.

Basketball God

February 9th, 2011
9:36 am

The officials in this state have a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to the game of basketball and how it should be played. I am a high school coach and I have seen the best of the worst. One major problem is that Ref’s cant differentiate between incidental contact and a foul….not to mention they cant officiate big men. Most of these guys are doing it for the extra money and not for the love of the game….they are retired, old, and or completely out of shape….they cannot keep up with the pace of the game.

Another huge problem is that there is NO accountability when it comes to poor officials. They should be fined when they screw up or have the amount of games they can officiate reduced. If I screw up at my job I get reprimanded and so should Referees. If GHSA wants to improve officiating in this state those two measures would force the officials to take these games as serious as the coaches, players, and parents.


February 9th, 2011
9:46 am

C for the officials and F for AJC HSBB coverage


February 9th, 2011
10:03 am

I would hate to be a coach these days. I saw the referees at Pope on a Saturday and a Tuesday. They were god awful. The two worst officated games I have seen in years. Whoever is the head of the assocation should be watching those clowns.

AJC Blows

February 9th, 2011
10:07 am

Is this seriously a newspaper article?


February 9th, 2011
10:08 am

This article serves no purpose – to broadly say officicials are bad or good is irrelavant.
You need to identify specific plays and whether or not the official had poor judgement on those plays.


February 9th, 2011
10:23 am

inconsistent and afraid to make calls. player safety should be paramount importance. HS football has evaluations by state, do basketball officials not ? numerous players pused/slammed into walls behind basket not called. SWD home officials are the same 5 guys everytime(unbiased?).MillerGrove, Milton play hand check all night are they well coached or compliant officials ?


February 9th, 2011
10:43 am

@ Don…I agree I was there!


February 9th, 2011
10:58 am

Unfortunately a bad call or two by a sorry ref, can lead to harsh criticism of the other.


February 9th, 2011
11:13 am

I watch tons of girls middle and high school and aau basketball (my daughter plays) and I find that refs don’t take control of the game and allow too much banging and elbow throwing and rolling around on the floor before they blow the whistle. As Jacket31 says, this WILL lead to fights because they get emotional and feel like the refs wont take control. I agree it is a hard job, but no one made them take it.

johnny too good

February 9th, 2011
11:15 am

I personally wish that refs would stop being afraid of coaches and just let the kids play, we dont need a whistle every 6 seconds

ATL Metro Fan

February 9th, 2011
11:17 am

I am very distressed with the quality of officiating I have seen at Metro ATL High School Boys & Girls basketball games during the 2010-11 season. Specifically:

(1) Referees seem to be more interested in showing that they are “in control”, than in working to put themselves in the correct positions on the floor to make the proper calls. Officials near the play/action or that are in position to make the correct call should take precedence. Most of the incorrect calls I’ve witnessed are made by referees that are not in position or have bad angles on the play, and rarely have I seen calls overruled by referees that are in position to make the correct call.

(2) Another disturbing factor I consistently see, is that coaches are not being allowed to discuss calls or the way the games are being managed. Coaches are an integral part of the game and should be afforded the opportunity to discuss how a game is managed by the officials. The best officiating I’ve wtnessed this year involved referees that maintained a dialogue with both coaches/ players throughout the game on how/why calls were being made.

(3) Referees should call a consistent game; let the players play; and explain to coaches/players alike how the game is being managed. Fans pay to see their teams play, not to see officials become the focal part of the game.



February 9th, 2011
11:26 am

Lead Official you are full of it! For the kids yea right. I know alot of High School officials and you guy’s do it for the MONEY and the POWER. Other sports are just as bad. I had a High School Baseball Umpire tell they do their best to finish the game within 2 HOURS or they don’t really make money. ON THEIR TIME AS THEY SAY!!!


February 9th, 2011
11:44 am

I have been refereeing for 20 years and I have never seen so many ref’s out of position making bad calls. They allow hand checking when they’re not suppose to obviously watching the game instead of refereeing. In the GAME OF BASKETBALL “It is no longer decided by the kids who play, “It is now decided by the Ref’s ” My grades for all the REF’S is the grade”F” because too many times I have spoken with all the Ref’s while watching a game and they see its a bad call and no one choose to speak up, It’s a team sport on their side too, and we’re asking them to correct it when its a bad call. Or at least discuss it. The bad ones needs to be weeded out because there are films to show that they’re not doing their jobs. The coaches should send film on the games that had terrible calls and that’s one suggestion on how to weed out the bad officials

K from da Wood

February 9th, 2011
11:54 am

As a coach I just find that the refs are very inconsistent and that is a problem. There is no way to tell your team to adjust to the way the refs are calling it when an open hand smack is a foul one end and of overlooked on another. The biggest issue that arises is that the players today don’t handle being pounded on very well, eventually frustration sets in and you have another situation on your hands. I respect what Refs do, but that doesn’t mean that I can excuse ineptness and inconsistency.

Chris G.

February 9th, 2011
12:26 pm

I have major problems with the referees in this state. They are missing the simplest calls to make and I understand the are human but it is getting down right awful out there. Then there is the rule of the referee having the authority to throw people out of the game for being rowdy but the rule is being mishandled badly. You can not even say bad call or anything without getting thrown out. In this game you should be able to tell a ref in a respectful way if he has blown a call. They are using the rule to throw out anybody that says a word that might hurt their feelings. If they went to Cameron Indoor to do a game they wouldnt make past the national anthem. We have police officers at the games to take care of rowdy fans. We don’t need to give the refs this type of power. Criticism will only make them better. It’s about the kids deciding the game and not the refs. I witnessed a game where the refs took over a game and the kids were scared to touch the ball for fear of being called for something. These are young kids and some of these refs with big egos play with these kids emotions. Example being the kid in FL. who slammed the ref. I just think they need more training and for gods sake take the rule out about the refs having authority to kick people out.

Chris G.

February 9th, 2011
12:30 pm

If I sent video to state officials from the games I have been to then they would resign. It’s just sad. Fundamentals my dear refs straight fundamentals.

Atlanta Area Official

February 9th, 2011
12:32 pm

The training of officials could be better. If GHSA had a program for all new officials to follow it would probably help.

As for saying all officials deserve an “F” that is just not right. There are many good officials in GA and most reside in the Atlanta area. There are many college level or official trying to get into the college ranks.

If the evalution process was more random with accountablily being placed on the Associations officials would preform better. As it is now official are evaluated during the summer and during holiday and post season tournaments. During the regular season game may be officiate by subpar crews, and unless something major happens like a brawl nobody knows how poor the officiating was, and the assigner for that association will continue to put those officials on the floor.

As for jacket31 and the officials standing there during a fight. That is what they are supposed to do. They should stand back and observe and let coaches and security break it up

Atlanta Area Official

February 9th, 2011
12:38 pm

Are you saying it was the refs fault that kid threw him to the floor? I am sure it had a lot more to do with his upbringing.

wife of a ref

February 9th, 2011
12:38 pm

If every contact was called a foul, the game would last for several hours. If the players and coaches spent more time trying to understand the rules and how to play the game, they would not complain as much about the officiating. Officials almost never criticize a player for making a turnover, missing a shot, committing a foul, or coaching strategies. Why should players, coaches, and fans feel the need to criticize officials for doing their part of the game. The major problem at most games is the fans have very little knowledge of the rules of basketball. The majority of officials that officiate varsity basketball are required to attend an officiating training camp sponsored by the Georgia High School Association. If fans spent as much time cheering for their teams as they do bashing officials, they would enjoy the games much more. I personally have made a decision not to attend many high school games because of the conduct of the fans. It is much more enjoyable to attend college games where the fan and coaching intelligence is at a higher level.
When fans become qualified evaluators of officiating skills, they can then have the right to critique the officials.

Retired Coach

February 9th, 2011
12:44 pm

I coached women’s Bball in Cobb County for more than 30 years and I have seen some of the sorriest refs you can imagine. One problem that has become apparent in Cobb County is that alot of refs also coach AAU Bball after the regular season ends. They end up coaching many of the boys and girls who play on teams they officiate during the HS season. Don’t think there isn’t some bias that gets into the calls when they officiate their AAU players. You say it doesn’t happen, weel you can tell from the players actions on the court that they know the ref is partial to them in their calls. I had a ref tell me once after a game that a good ref never lets a game end in a tie. No overtime when he refs.


February 9th, 2011
12:45 pm

I give the refs in Georgia an F. They are awful and they do not know the game of basketball.

Newnan Football

February 9th, 2011
12:45 pm

Refs in Coweta County rate a B+ and the teams rate a D-. East Coweta, Newnan and Northgate are a combined 13-47. There is a pattern here. We deserve better coaches and more support for the sport.

dekalb fan

February 9th, 2011
12:56 pm

Refs in georgia are horrible overall, yea there are some good ones, but they are overshadowed by all the horrible ones. I agree with earlier post they can’t ref post play…inconsistent…I hate when they say the reason why they didnt make a call was because “that wasn’t my call” but wait until the last minute and make a call from the opposite end of the court. Be consistent please.

Brenda Sampdon

February 9th, 2011
1:20 pm

Cobb County refs….For some it is evident who they want to win. Some are rude and they are suppose to be unbiased but when you have 10 calls and ther other have 1 something is just not right. Refs, do your job the right way this is about the kids, if they lose don’t let it be because you make a call when you don’t see it and if the coach say something don’t hold it against the kids.

Atlanta Area Official

February 9th, 2011
1:43 pm

There are a lot of things that can make the foul count uneven during a game. It is not the officials job to keep them even. If your coach is doing something to hurt your team then speak with your coach. I had a coach tell me he would rather me call a touch foul against his player than to give the ball to the team that deserved it when the foul made the ball go out of bounds against the other team. Most coaches spend the whole game yelling at the officials and not much time coaching. I have never seen a ref miss a free throw or a layup, call time out at the wrong time or sub poorly, but yet your teams 1 or 2 point loss is still blamed on them. Teach your kids how to play, tell your coaches to coach, and read a rule book before you question the rules knowledge of the officials.


February 9th, 2011
1:47 pm

Try watching officiating on the collegiate level. It is not any better!! Been to three UGA games in the last three weeks and the officiating was HORRIBLE! Look at the last play of the UT-UGA game. Blatant over the back and it was not called. This was a blatant foul on the last play of the game. Where do these guys learn officiating? For a coach to complain means a fine or punishment of some kind. Why do we hold these guys to a different standard than others such as coaches? I understand that they are human and miss calls on occasion, however, in must games you have 3-4 officials. What is the problem? I played in high school and college and coached. I have made a comment to friends that you could take 3-4 people out of the stands, randomly, and they would do a better job calling the game than most officials. The one thing I really dislike is for officials to determine the outcomes of games, hence the UT-UGA game. This is just sorry!


February 9th, 2011
1:48 pm

I have been keeping tabs on the games in Fulton County for over 25 years, though I have worked in several states. In general the refs need to get it together. Standardization, knowing the rules and applying it to the game should be consistent in all of the games at all times – no matter what teams are playing and regardless of the score. Standards are usually emphasized in referee workshops…been there, done that. You need to really consider a leverage such as allowing coaches to “strike from 3 to 5 officials” from calling their games. I’m not sure if you have anything in place to help keep refs at their best.


February 9th, 2011
1:53 pm

No one is perfect, and just like no team can play a pefect game no group of officials will call a perfect game..Coaches jobs are to prepare their teams to deal with all situations including refs who are not makeing the calls that would give one team an advantage over the other. My problem with the officiating is that when officials try to even ball games out for teams that clearly aren’t going to win by not calling fouls or allowing the other teams to get away with hard fouls, or when I see them having a private moment with an opposing head coach. they should begin with the end in mind, start off being hard make the calls early but let the players determin the outcome. officials are biased these days, but hey we all are to some degree.

Atlanta Area Official

February 9th, 2011
1:56 pm

Thinking you can pull 3 people out of the stands and they would do better than the officials on the floor is not an intelligent statement. Anyone that thinks they can do better find an association and sign-up. You will see it is a whole lot easier to sit in the stands and criticize.

John C French Sr.

February 9th, 2011
2:55 pm

I saw the Milton-Wheeler game 9 days ago. I have never seen officials try so hard to turn a game around. Milton was leading by about 18 or 20 about 5 minutes into the second half. Almost every call for about 8 or 10 minutes went in favor of Wheeler and the lead gradually decreased to 6 points. At that point Milton put all of its starters back in the game and won by 18. Officials should call the game according to the rule book without regard for who is ahead or behind. Yes I have been a high school and in-service official. The man I learned the most about officiating from was a Coloinel in the army and a former Big 8 official. It is appalling to see the type of officiating I saw in the above mentioned game. JCF.

The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh

February 9th, 2011
2:55 pm

It’s rough to be an official. That being said………the officiating has gotten worse in the last 20 years. Last night I saw a kid slide 3ft on the floor w the ball in his hands. No traveling call. Later in the same game, a kid rolled over on the floor to protect the ball. Again, no traveling.

Learn the rules, PLEASE, especially the Metro refs

AJC Blows

February 9th, 2011
3:11 pm

@ John C French…
you dont think Milton not having in their starters had something to do with them losing the lead??


February 9th, 2011
3:35 pm


Marietta Blue Devil Fan

February 9th, 2011
4:14 pm

Just ask anybody who was at the Marietta – Mceachern game on Jan. 22. They were awful when the overtime started.

Hit A Single

February 9th, 2011
8:31 pm

In our area alot of officials are close to retiring. When they do I don’t know what they will do about replacing them. Maybe all these bashers can take there place.