Inspired by his father, who had also served as a referee, Nijhuis began refereeing at the age of 15 years. In March 2005 he made his debut in a SC Heerenveen match against RKC Waalwijk in the highest Dutch league, the Eredivisie. He has served as an official in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup in 2007 after being appointed as a FIFA referee. In 2009, Nijhuis was one of six referees at the FIFA U-19 Football Championship.
On 21 December 2011 Bas Nijhuis gained worldwide attention and public criticism for sending off AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado in a KNVB Cup second round match against Ajax after an Ajax supporter ran onto the pitch of the Amsterdam Arena and attacked him, prompting Alvarado to retaliate in self-defence by kicking the attacker several times. Alvarado's sending off caused his manager, Gertjan Verbeek, to order the team to walk off and abandon the match in protest.
International matches refereed
|Date||Match||Results||Type||Yellow card||Red and yellow card||Red card|
|26-03-2008||Belgium – Morocco||1 – 4||Friendly||2||0||0|
|10-06-2009||England – Andorra||6 – 0||UEFA qualifier||3||0||0|
|18-11-2009||Malta – Bulgaria||1 – 4||Friendly||4||0||0|
|27-05-2010||Denmark – Senegal||2 – 0||Friendly||0||0||0|
|17-11-2010||Hungary – Lithuania||2 – 0||Friendly||3||0||0|
|29-03-2011||Estonia – Serbia||1 – 1||UEFA qualifier||6||0||0|
- FIFA. "Netherlands: Referees". Retrieved on 23 May 2013.
- "Perfekte Mischung in der Ukraine". UEFA.com. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- FIFA. "Match Report - USA - New Zealand 0:0". 25 June 2011. Retrieved on 23 May 2013.
- FIFA. "Match Report - England - Andorra 6:0 (3:0)". 10 June 2009. Retrieved on 23 May 2013.
- FIFA. "Match Report - FYR Macedonia - Serbia 1:0 (0:0)". 16 October 2012. Retrieved on 23 May 2013.
- "Ajax vs AZ abandoned after goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado gets sent off for kicking pitch invader". Goal.com. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
- The Associated Press (21 December 2011). "Ajax Dutch cup match against AZ Alkmaar halted after fan runs onto field". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
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