Photo by Keith Warren.

Athletic Director’s Best Practices For Managing Basketball Contests

Checklist to be addressed before the season begins:


Rule guidelines for equipment, lighting, safety measures, line markings and scoring

  • Review current requirements for game equipment and lining for game facilities

See NFHS Basketball Rulebook 2016-17 standards for competition

  • Requirements for supports for basketball hoops, height, netting, etc.
  • Ensuring all floor lines and boundaries meet current rules and regulation,
    including coaches box, free throw lane markings
  • Padding wall areas underneath each hoop, areas around boundaries that need additional padding for safety
  • Adequate scorer’s table with clock operating (check wall clock lights, etc)
  • Inspect all ceiling lights
  • Ensure adequate, clean dressing facilities for visitors and game officials
  • Reminder: No artificial noisemakers are allowed at indoor sports events


Have necessary personnel in place:

  • Qualified game manager available at all times (pregame meeting)
  • Greeter for game officials and visiting teams (before and after contests)
  • Qualified adult game timer
  • Scorebook keeper (report scores after contest)
  • Statisticians (report stats after contests)
  • Athletic training staff (Emergency action plan)
  • Public-address announcer (NFHS Tips for P.A. found at
  • Ticket sellers and takers (numbered tickets for auditing purposes)
  • Security, including police officers and parking attendants (parking plan)
  • Concessionaires


Provide Spectators with Amenities to Ensure a Positive Experience for All

  • Game rosters available
  • Maintain clean and properly stocked restrooms, public areas kept clean and free of litter
  • Screen pregame and halftime music
  • Assist booster group in providing a quality concession stand
  • Identify reserve spaces for parking and seating to accommodate the needs of disabled individuals
  • Address disruptive fans immediately


Emergency Protocols for Potential Problems (Emergency Action Plan) 

  • Annual inspection of emergency lights
  • Flashlights and a battery-powered megaphone in the vicinity if necessary
  • Announcer scripts identifying specific directions for spectators to follow in case of fire, tornado, lost lighting, fighting, cancelled game, etc.
  • Exit strategy for game officials, particularly in a close or heated game
  • Pregame meeting with game officials and coaches reiterating “no players are to come onto the court” during an altercation
  • Automatic Electric Defibrillator (AED) charged and easily accessible


Reference article published in Interscholastic Athletic Administration / FALL 2016

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