What is the IAABO?

The International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) is a non-profit and professional organization managed by and for basketball officials whose primary purpose is to promote, maintain, and ensure the welfare of the game of basketball. Through strict development of standards, curricula, a continuous instruction, IAABO trains and educates new and experienced officials who are duly charged with representing the spirit of fair play, integrity, and sportsmanship. By promoting the principle of teachable moments, IAABO is dedicated to assisting schools and organizations in achieving their educational goals and furthering the ideals of basketball.

Want to Become an IAABO Official?

IAABO (International Association of Approved Basketball Officials) Greater Lowell Board 95 conducts candidate classes each fall in Lowell beginning in mid- September. Class is held two nights per week from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, for 11 nights. The cost of the class (which includes the first year’s dues and banquet) are approximately $175.00 and includes all materials. Sign up must be completed in person, with the full fee deposited (cash or check) on the first night. Classes will be held at Lowell High School, 40 Fr. Morrissette Blvd. in Lowell in the Head of School’s Conference Room (accessible from the main entrance near the flag pole near the gym.)

The classes are designed as a rules review, to prepare candidates for a nationally administered, closed book, 50 question exam, which is given the first Monday in November at 7:00 PM sharp. Candidates must achieve a score of 86 or better in order to pass. 95% of the candidates who attend all the classes pass, while 99% of people who take the test, “Off the street,” with little formal preparation, fail.

Students will be required to purchase their own refereeing gear and IAABO/ MSBOA shirt upon successful completion of the test. Gear may be purchased at Smitty’s Officials Gear at Smittys Apparel.

After the test is completed, candidates are given a floor instruction night to review signals, mechanics and positioning based on self-study of the book. Floor testing is conducted at high school and junior high scrimmages in November, and early December. Students will take multiple floor tests with hands on instruction until the Board 95 Executive Board has determined they meet the minimum requirements to referee. Students typically take between 3 and 6 floor exams depending on natural ability and aptitude. You will continue to take the floor test until you pass.

Upon completion of the floor testing, candidates are then voted in by the membership (which is almost always academic barring a felony record., etc.) Additionally, candidates are required to volunteer to work two games as a scorer, timer, or ticket taker at the annual IAABO 95 Holiday High School Boys Basketball Tournament held between Christmas and New Year’s at Lowell Catholic HS. We also ask first year officials to participate in the Special Olympics as referees in early to mid-March.

Successful candidates will have their names and reviews submitted to local area assigners for sub varsity consideration. IAABO is not an assigning organization. Assignments are obtained by the members themselves, not by the Board. Passing the exam process does not guarantee assignments, though an effort is made to disseminate new candidate information. Beginning in 2015, the state required a background check for all officials in any sport and any level of school sanctioned athletics.

The basketball season concludes with a board banquet in early April. Dues for the following season are to be paid at that time. In successive seasons, members MUST attend one of 13 statewide interpretation meetings prior to each season, must attend 3 of 6 regular Board business meetings, and must submit a take home refresher exam. An open book refresher exam review is provided to the membership at one of the regularly scheduled business meetings along with pizza and refreshments. For the most current information please visit www.iaabo.org, and www.iaabo95.org.

For more information, please see the candidate syllabus or send an email to our Board Interpreter.