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Union Principles

How are we different than other referee organizations?   What do we expect from you?  What can you expect from your partners across all Ref Union agencies?  The following list will let you know.  For specific info on administrative matters — payment processes, annual dues, how we assign games, etc. — please refer to our Membership Handbook on the next page.

We Switch

We Hustle


From the 28' mark to the endline on every possession. 

Ok, well, 95%.  Percentages aside, we are not the kind officials that hang out at half court (or even further back) or waddle to the baseline at our leisure.  We are engaged on each play and try our best to get to the right spots in order to maximize call accuracy.

We Switch


On the vast majority of shooting fouls (90%) or whenever it feels necessary to ward off any insinuation of impropriety.  We cater to leagues and tournaments that run under a running clock format.  Therefore, the clock keeps ticking, and there is no reason why we shouldn't do things the right way, switch on shooting fouls, in order to make a clear report to the table, and be available in case the coach wants to ask about a call.

We Cover


We have each other's back in case of one of us is running late.

We never let a game start with only one referee (if we can help it).

We don't poach each other's games but we fill in when needed.

We work together as a crew and as a union to serve the game to the best of our abilities.

We Rest


We are not game whores.  Ref Union has a STRICT policy of not assigning more than four consecutive games to most officials; or five to the most in shape of our staff, and NEVER more than that.  The only exceptions are those dire circumstances wherein referees are missing or injured and someone has to step up and cover.  In those cases, we will try to rework the schedule so that you will be able to take your break, have your lunch, unwind emotionally, and relax physically during a later part of your shift.

We Get Better


There are only three officials that we can stipulate as having no real room for improvement: those working Game 7 of the NBA Finals.  Despite being at the top of their craft, those same three officials still maintain the humility that they can never be perfect and there are always things you can do better the next time. 


Ref Union embraces NBA philosophy and their teaching methodology.  We encourage strong crisp NBA-style mechanics.  Games rules are determined by our clients (usually NFHS) but game management is up to us.  And who best to emulate than the top officials from the best league in the world.  Please do not come in with a stringent high school mindset and dismiss what we're trying to promote.  You won't fit in and you won't have a good time.  Please be receptive to criticism from our veteran staff regardless of your "status" in the other organizations.  Always be willing to get better!


Follow these principles, get your calls correct, and you'll be primed for the tens of thousands of work opportunities we have to offer yearround.  Note that Ref Union started with one hiring policy in mind:  to bring aboard refs already at the top or those that are on their way there.  If you work hard, do the right thing, communicate, be good to your partners, and lay down the law with the coaches, there will always be games for you.

Welcome to Ref Union!
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