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Basketball Officiating Attire Tips


The art of officiating includes having the proper equipment and functioning properly at all times. It is highly recommended when officiating freshman, junior-varisty, and varsity basketball games, officials bring with them two sets of everything to ensure nothing goes wrong with their equipment while getting prepared to officiate or during a contest. If nothing else, prepares the official for the dreaded forgetfulness of packing after laundry day.  And for those workhorses who at times officiate multiple games in a single night, whether it be intentionally or unintentionally.  Here is a list of suggested basketball officiating attire to help you have a good game.

 Basketball Shirt Have at least two shirts available in your gym bag.  This prepares you for any unfortunate event that may occur during your contest which may require you to change; blood, shirt ripped, or other foreign substance.  You should also have available wide panel shirts in the event your partners are wearing them.  Wide panels are becoming increasing properly with officials.

Basketball UndershirtBlack undershirts are highly recommended.  Bright colored undershirts should be avoided as they tend to show through many of the basketball sytle officiating shirts.  Undershirts are designed to keep the sweat from seeping into the basketball shirt, keeping it as bright white as possible.  Compression undershirts are recommended as they are designed to keep the body heat, protecting against fatigue and muscle strain.

Black underpants is highly recommended for those officials who do not wear compression shorts or pants.  Almost every official who officiates long enough will experience an embarrassing moment or two with their slacks; seams come undone, pants rip down the middle, or forget to zip up.  Having black underpants conceals the moment while white or bright colored underpants will most assurdly bring unwanted attention.

Black compression shorts or pants is preferred and highly recommended to wearing underpants.  In addtion to concealing your most embarrassing moment, compression shorts/pants maintain body heat and protect against fatigue and muscle strain.

Basketball PantsBasketball pants and black socks are two of the most important items an official should have two of packed in their gym bag.  The pants shall be belt-less flat or pleated (preferred).  Traveling sewing kit is recommended for buttons and/or clips that tend to come off after a number of washing or dry cleaning.  Having two pairs of pants allow officials to quickly address unfortunate events occuring with their pants.

Having two pairs of black socks is strongly recommended to protect against forgetting to pack socks let alone not wearing black socks on the way to a contest.  Nothing more embarrassing is to be wearing white socks to the contest and find out you forgot to pack a pair of black socks.  If you don't think white socks won't show while running, think again.  

Basketball WhistlesOfficials should have no shortage of available whistles in their bag.  It is the MOST important piece of officiating equipment.  The game cannot be officiated without each official having a whistle to blow for stoppage of play.  The FOX-40 classic is the preferred choice amongst most basketball officials.  A whistle with or without a guard is a matter of personal preference.  The Dolphin and Mini whistles are not commonly used by basketball officials.

Most basketball officials use a lanyard to hold the whistle when it is not in their mouth.  There are varying types of lanyards available and is a matter of personal perference.  However, it is recommended to have a lanyard that loops around the neck available as opposed to the clip on to the shirt loop located at the v-neck.  The loop on the shirt can break when it becomes frayed and tugged too often.  Having a lanyard that loops around the neck can serve as a backup in the event the loop on the shirt breaks.  In any case, always have multiple lanyards, whatever style, available as they do tend to break after extended use.

Basketball needles is important to have in your pre-game jacket.  Often times the game ball will have too much air.

Athletic tape in your pre-game jacket is recommended in the event the coaches box are not marked properly.  Relying on the coach or trainer to provide you athletic tape for this very purpose is generally met with don't have any or not available.