A referee is a sports official who is responsible for officiating games, sports events, or competitions. They must ensure that game rules are being followed by all players and make calls when these rules are broken. They indicate the start and end of a game and keep track of the time to determine whether a match is needed more time to complete. They settle claims of infractions or complaints by sports participants when needed. Referees also inspect sports equipment to make sure that all the organization's specifications are met.

Referee Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real referee resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage conflicts and resolutions between other umpires and coaches/parents.
  • Certify in CPR if need and remain calm in stressful situations.
  • Age groups ranging from coach pitch to NCAA.
  • Court referee- run up and down the court watching for fouls, travels, double dribbles, etc.
  • Pool and championship competitive league umpire.
  • Implement a CPR class for incoming referees.
  • Explain and demonstrate rules of t-ball and softball.
  • Umpire at all levels of baseball through AAU level of competition.
  • Umpire and officiate baseball and softball for all ages including t-ball.
  • Show up on time and prepare to ref various levels of play.
  • Select as a top performer, umpire the semi-final and championship games.
  • Officiate adult slow pitch softball; in compliance with ASA official standards.
  • Attend all training requirements and follow all FIFA policies while license to officiate.
  • Maintain ref staff and make certain referees are up to field code and safety.
  • Provide direction for the safety and regulation of all players according to FIFA rules.

Referee Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 47% of Referees are proficient in Safety Regulations, CPR, and Game Rules. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Decisionmaking skills, and Good vision.

We break down the percentage of Referees that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Safety Regulations, 47%

    Enforced safety regulations and ensured player safety and cooperation.

  • CPR, 8%

    Certified in CPR training and AED operation by the American Heart Association.

  • Game Rules, 7%

    Officiated games to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules are observed* Helped coordinate events within the intramural program

  • Hockey Games, 4%

    Officiated youth hockey games at local hockey arena Effectively and efficiently handled fan complaints Trained and helped develop younger referees

  • Safety Rules, 4%

    Stocked product, made sure the courses were game ready, instructed players different game instructions, safety rules & regulations.

  • Intramural Sports, 3%

    Refereed a variety of co-ed intramural sports, primarily Yale's competitive A-Level intramural basketball league.

Some of the skills we found on referee resumes included "safety regulations," "cpr," and "game rules." We have detailed the most important referee responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a referee to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "umpires, referees, and other sports officials must have good communication skills because they inform athletes on the rules of the game, discuss infractions, and settle disputes." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that referees can use communication skills to "trained on multiple sports rules and regulations interacted with peers while developing communication, leadership and management skills"
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform referee duties is the following: decisionmaking skills. According to a referee resume, "umpires, referees, and other sports officials must observe play, assess various situations, and often make split-second decisions." Check out this example of how referees use decisionmaking skills: "used observational skills, split-second decisionmaking, and conflict resolution. "
  • Referees are also known for good vision, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a referee resume: "umpires, referees, and other sports officials must have good vision to view infractions and identify any violations during play" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "demonstrated strong verbal and nonverbal skills through enforcing league rules clearly and effectively ensured games ran smoothly and players demonstrated good sportsmanship"
  • A referee responsibilities sometimes require "physical stamina." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "many umpires, referees, and other sports officials are required to stand, walk, run, or squat for long periods during games and events." This resume example shows how this skill is used by referees: "involved in organizing volunteers and umpires for youth with physical and mental disabilities on the miracle league ball field. "
  • As part of the referee description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "teamwork." A referee resume included this snippet: "because many umpires, referees, and other sports officials work in groups to officiate a game, the ability to cooperate and come to a mutual decision is essential." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "developed leadership and teamwork skills with staff members by being in charge of the hockey game. "
  • See the full list of referee skills.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious referees are:

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    What Intramural Officials Do

    We looked at the average referee annual salary and compared it with the average of an intramural official. Generally speaking, intramural officials receive $2,999 higher pay than referees per year.

    Even though referees and intramural officials have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require safety regulations, cpr, and game rules in the day-to-day roles.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A referee responsibility is more likely to require skills like "hockey games," "safety rules," "youth sports," and "ref." Whereas a intramural official requires skills like "training sessions," "basketball games," "field maintenance," and "semester." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    The education levels that intramural officials earn is a bit different than that of referees. In particular, intramural officials are 1.5% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a referee. Additionally, they're 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Sports Statistician?

    The next role we're going to look at is the sports statistician profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $19,435 lower salary than referees per year.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that referee responsibilities requires skills like "safety regulations," "cpr," "game rules," and "hockey games." But a sports statistician might use skills, such as, "sports statistics," "volleyball," "soccer," and "softball."

    On the topic of education, sports statisticians earn similar levels of education than referees. In general, they're 1.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.6% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Sports Official Compares

    The sports official profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of referees. The difference in salaries is sports officials making $19,886 lower than referees.

    Using referees and sports officials resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "safety regulations," "cpr," and "game rules," but the other skills required are very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a referee is likely to be skilled in "hockey games," "safety rules," "ref," and "leadership," while a typical sports official is skilled in "sports events," "training sessions," "basketball games," and "league play."

    Sports officials are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to referees. Additionally, they're 1.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.9% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Intramural Supervisor

    Now, we'll look at intramural supervisors, who generally average a lower pay when compared to referees annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $4,303 per year.

    While both referees and intramural supervisors complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like cpr, game rules, and conflict resolution, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "safety regulations," "hockey games," "safety rules," and "intramural sports" are skills that have shown up on referees resumes. Additionally, intramural supervisor uses skills like softball, volleyball, flag football, and im on their resumes.

    In general, intramural supervisors reach similar levels of education when compared to referees resumes. Intramural supervisors are 0.7% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.5% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.