How to become a Referee



How to become a Referee



Football refereeing is a fantastic way to get involved in the game. Whether you wish to referee at your local club or at the international level, there are opportunities for everyone. It allows you to stay engaged in the game after an injury or retirement, develop new and lasting relationships, and play an important role in ensuring that the players enjoy their match day experience. 

What is the role of a referee? 

Basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and football referees keep track of and enforce the regulations of the game. They are usually in charge of starting and halting the game as needed, as well as handling breaches of the rules. 

They may inspect equipment before beginning the game to ensure that it meets safety and game laws. Some referees operate alone throughout a game, while others collaborate with line judges and other sports officials. 

A referee’s other responsibilities include: 

In sports contests, judging performances in order to inflict scoring penalties, award points, and determine results. 

Alerting participants or other sports officials to transgressions or otherwise regulating competition or play. 

Keeping track of event times, such as race times and game segments’ elapsed time 

Resolving participant complaints or accusations of rule violations, as well as imposing any appropriate penalties, in accordance with the game’s rules. 

Coordinating events, providing information, and resolving concerns with other sports officials, players, coaches, and facility managers 

Investigating and studying teams and players in order to foresee potential issues in future battles. 

Verifying the qualifications of athletes and other participants in athletic events, as well as making other qualifying decisions

How to Become a Professional Referee: A Step-by-Step Guide 

Let’s have a look at the steps required to become a professional referee. 

Choose the sport you want to referee. 

While many referees have participated in the sport they oversee at some point in their lives, it is not a prerequisite for the job. Each sport has its own set of rules, which can differ from one level to the next. 

Get specialized training 

Sports or officiating groups, colleges, or approved third-party training institutes may all offer training programs. Students learn how to read a sport’s rules, promote good sportsmanship, deal with coaches, and maintain ethical standards and procedures in these programs. Aspiring referees learn about game rules and play, refereeing skills, and a league’s organizational structure through training clinics sponsored by sports organizations. Classroom and field learning are both possible program components. Attendees who complete a sports association’s training program may be eligible for formal certification. 

Enroll in a professional training program. Specific training possibilities for their league may be offered or approved by professional sports organizations. The Professional Baseball Umpire Corp of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, for example, has approved three professional umpire training programs. Before umpiring rookie and Class-A league games, an aspiring professional baseball umpire must complete one of these programs. 

Get in shape, both emotionally and physically. To execute their tasks successfully, referees must have a prudent approach. Referees in sports like basketball and soccer must be physically fit since they must sprint the length of the court or field to keep up with the fast-paced action. 

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Complete the state registration process. 

State registration is usually required to referee high school. When it comes to the registration process, each state and sport has its own set of rules. Most, however, need that you pass a written exam, and some even require that you take formal training classes before taking the exam. A field test may also be required. Referees for high school games must register with the state body that governs high school athletics in some states. 

To advance in the field, you’ll need to gain experience. 

Referees often advance in their careers after several years of experience. Specific training, evaluation, or experience criteria may be imposed by sports leagues or conferences in some situations. Referees can stay informed about the necessary measures for promotion by working closely with a local office or chapter of a sports organization. There are various amateur leagues in which referees can earn the abilities and prestige necessary to qualify for professional sports refereeing in some sports. 

Obtain a certification to help you advance in your career. 

Referees can become recognized officials by completing training workshops, which vary by state and sport. Umpires can acquire certification through the Southern California chapter of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America’s mechanics clinic program or through a participating provider.

Average Salary

Professional referees in the United States paid $23,780 per year in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-11 Occupational Outlook Handbook. The highest-paid employees earned more than $48,000 per year, while the lowest-paid employees earned less than $20,000 per year. 

Referees can earn six-figure wages in professional sports leagues such as the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League. Despite the fact that NFL referees only work part-time, they are paid an average of $25,000 to $70,000 a season as of 2011. Referees with 20 years of experience might earn up to $120,000 per year. NFL referees work in a variety of fields, including law enforcement and the legal system. NBA referees make between $100,000 and $300,000 a year on average. Major League Baseball officials, often known as umpires, make around $120,000 per year, while National Hockey League referees make between $110,000 and $255,000 per year. 

Referees are usually paid by bout promoters in professional boxing. As a result, boxing referees can earn anywhere from $150 to $25,000 per match. The top referees are paid at the top of the pay scale. Referees in mixed martial arts, or MMA, are paid between $200 and $1,200 per fight by the sport’s athletic commissioner.

Why should you become a referee? 

Passion for the game. 

For many, it all starts here. You must genuinely enjoy the sport and understand what it takes for an athlete to excel at it. To succeed in each sport, you need a particular set of skills and abilities. Size and strength may be rewarded in one sport, speed and quickness in another, and unusual coordination and technique in yet another. Anyone who remembers Michael Jordan’s failed attempt at becoming a major league baseball player will understand exactly what we’re talking about. In any case, the first criterion is to enjoy watching the athletes perform. 

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Giving back to your community is a great way to feel good about yourself. 

There are numerous options for a referee to offer his or her skills in almost every sport. You don’t have to look far to find opportunities to officiate for a good cause, whether it’s a local fundraiser, a junior sports group, or the Special Olympics. It’s one of the most selfless things a referee can do, and it’s always appreciated. Not to mention the sense of personal fulfillment they have. 

Conditioning of the body 

In several sports, the referee must run at nearly the same speed as the players, continuously shifting to get the greatest view of the action. And the pace can be fast at times. To be a top-tier referee, you must first become in shape and maintain it throughout the season. It’s the cost, but in the end, it’s the only way to have the work done well. What better way to remain in shape while enjoying a fantastic view of the game? 

Conditioning of the mind 

Refereeing is a great way to keep your mind sharp. Acute mental attention is required whether you are a basketball referee who moves with the players or a volleyball umpire who watches from a fixed place. The mind is exercised by the capacity to filter out distractions and focus on the athletes. The mental demands of officiating are frequently greater than the physical responsibilities. 


Refereeing is a difficult job. From passing an exam to progressing to higher levels, receiving the best assignments, and doing well under pressure in a big game, there’s a lot to learn. Every referee faces these difficulties. And when these objectives are attained, there is a terrific sense of accomplishment.

How to Become an English Referee 

If you are at least 14 years old and a resident of England, you can become a referee with The FA. 

A basic referees course with your local County FA is required to become an FA-qualified referee. You can also get in touch with your County FA directly. 

How can I become England’s next great referee? 

It takes talent, effort, experience, and fitness to become a top referee in the Premier League and at the international level. 

The Select Group of referees (those who officiate in the Premier League) all went through a basic refereeing course. They have progressed effectively through the ranks from grassroots to semi-professional to the Football League and beyond. 

There is no reason why you couldn’t achieve the highest level of refereeing if you have adequate desire, determination, fitness, and talent. 

In the Premier League, how much does a referee earn? 

Referees in the English Premier League are paid a regular income plus match costs. Officials in the English Premier League can earn up to £70,000 per year. According to Goal, they are paid a standard yearly retainer of between £38,500 and £42,000 dependent on their officiating experience, and then they are paid £1,150 every match on top of that. 

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The same basic yearly retainer is paid to English Championship referees, but they are paid £600 per game. 

How much do referees make in other countries? 

The rest of Europe’s top leagues pay officials on a game-by-game basis. LaLiga referees have the highest match rate. Referees earn €6,000 per game officiating games at stadiums such as Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu and Barcelona’s Camp Nou. Referees in Germany’s Bundesliga and France’s Ligue 1 are paid little more than half as much. 

Officials from the Champions League 

Referees in the Champions League are separated into tiers based on their level of experience. 

In the Elite tier, senior officials get paid more than £5,500 per game. Elite Development referees are paid £3,800 every game, while lower-tier officials are paid £700. 

Courses for Referees are listed below. 

Baseball Umpiring for Fun is a course that teaches you how to be a baseball umpire

This course will provide you a comprehensive introduction of baseball rules and regulations. It educates aspiring umpires where to stand on the field and how to improve their abilities to monitor the game in particular. Game reports, baseball terminology, and excellent communication skills are among the topics covered. Participants will be entitled to take the state’s umpire examination at the end of the course. 

Baseball Umpiring School for Professionals 

For one month, prospective umpires train six days a week. They spend the mornings of their training discussing baseball rules. Officiating clinics are held in the afternoons, during which players take turns playing baseball and serving as umpires for the games. In order to develop their talents, students also serve as officials for young games. Those who successfully finish the program will be considered for a position on the MLB umpire candidate list. 

Soccer Officials Training 

Students study soccer rules, including the U.S. Soccer Federation’s standard processes. They learn game management skills, such as recognizing wrongdoing and imposing appropriate sanctions. A sequence of digital movies, class discussions, and role-playing are used to deliver the training. Participants will be prepared for the USSF referee certification exam. 

Officiating Course for Flag Football 

A training clinic is held for candidates interested in working as flag football officiators. They study the game’s rules, regulations, and officiating mechanics. Individuals who complete the course are qualified to work as intramural flag football officials. 

Course on Sports Officiating 

Officials in charge of sports must ensure that the game begins on schedule and that the players are using the right equipment. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of both players and spectators. Students attend real athletic events and are taught through practical sessions under the supervision of qualified referees in this programme. Participants learn the rules of a variety of popular sports as well as the administrative responsibilities of the game’s official (such as referee or umpire). They improve their capacity to spot rule infractions and assign the appropriate sanctions. They also learn how to position themselves on the court or field in order to provide the most effective monitoring and signaling. The training also covers how to select acceptable uniforms for each sport and how to compile post-game reports.


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