Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials

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.

Median Annual Wage: $24,090

Education: High school diploma or equivalent (55%); Less than high school diploma (19%); Some college, no degree (10%)

Projected Growth: Average (8% to 14%)

Related Job Titles: Horse Show Judge; Major League Baseball Umpire; Commissioner of Officials; Referee; Softball Umpire; Supervisor of Officials; Basketball Referee; Director of Officiating; Diving Judge; Sports Official

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials.

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  • 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.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials.

  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Umpires, Referees, and Other Sports Officials.

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