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Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials Career Video

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.

Video Transcript

These are the people sports fans love to hate. Professional and amateur sporting events require impartial officiating to make sure all the rules are followed. Umpires, referees and other sporting officials keep a close eye on the game to keep all play fair. The responsibilities vary depending on the sport. Before game-time, these officials may inspect the grounds and equipment and even examine players. They check that safety and event regulations are observed and that eligibility requirements have been met. Once the action starts, they may keep track of time, scores and stats. They often serve as judges. You need a sharp eye and the ability to focus intently on the action while tuning out the distractions all around. Be prepared to be out in all sorts of weather, often at night, weekends and holidays. Umpires and referees detect infractions of the rules, often stopping the action to call the problem and assess appropriate penalties on the spot. This can cause some heated arguments. Umpires, referees and other sports officials may serve groups ranging from community leagues to school or college athletics departments to professional teams. This can be a high-stress job. You must be able to make quick decisions. 20/20 vision and quick reflexes are important. A cool head and a strong command of the rulebook are essential. Getting a job in sports is rarely a slam-dunk. The field is so popular that competition is fierce. Most jobs in this field are part-time, and entry-level salaries tend to be low. While there is no education requirement to enter the field, pursuing more training and professional certifications can help you get ahead of the pack. And when you do, you’ll have the best seat in the house!