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Home / Academics / Careers / Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Career

Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Career

Career Description

Officiate at competitive athletic or sporting events. Detect infractions of rules and decide penalties according to established regulations. Includes all sporting officials, referees, and competition judges.

What Job Titles Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Might Have

  • Horse Show Judge
  • Major League Baseball Umpire
  • Referee
  • Sports Official

What Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Do

  • Officiate at sporting events, games, or competitions, to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules are observed.
  • Signal participants or other officials to make them aware of infractions or to otherwise regulate play or competition.
  • Inspect sporting equipment and/or examine participants in order to ensure compliance with event and safety regulations.
  • Keep track of event times, including race times and elapsed time during game segments, starting or stopping play when necessary.
  • Judge performances in sporting competitions in order to award points, impose scoring penalties, and determine results.
  • Start races and competitions.
  • Resolve claims of rule infractions or complaints by participants and assess any necessary penalties, according to regulations.
  • Confer with other sporting officials, coaches, players, and facility managers in order to provide information, coordinate activities, and discuss problems.
  • Direct participants to assigned areas such as starting blocks or penalty areas.
  • Verify scoring calculations before competition winners are announced.
  • Report to regulating organizations regarding sporting activities, complaints made, and actions taken or needed such as fines or other disciplinary actions.
  • Teach and explain the rules and regulations governing a specific sport.
  • Compile scores and other athletic records.
  • Verify credentials of participants in sporting events, and make other qualifying determinations such as starting order or handicap number.

What Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Should Be Good At

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials Need to Learn

  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Median Salary: $25,660

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.