All sports events need officials to keep the game under control and keep track of scoring. You can umpire or referee anything from little league to the major leagues. The role varies somewhat, depending on the sport, but umpires and referees watch for fouls and other issues as well as scoring in the sport. They’re responsible for enforcing the rules of the specific sport with the goal of making sure the competition is fair. This might involve inspecting equipment the teams use and checking the roster to make sure only the approved team members play.
Like coaching, refereeing is much easier to break into at the youth sports level and working up into high school athletics. Getting a job as a referee or umpire for college athletic events is likely easier than working in the pro leagues. Umpires and referees may work odd schedules since the games aren’t typically played during regular business hours. You may end up working lots of nights and weekends. Reffing is often a part-time gig because there aren’t games going on all the time.
Most officiating positions don’t require a degree. You do need a thorough knowledge of the rules so you can make accurate calls. You’ll likely need to attend a referee training, and you may need a certification to work at some levels. The other main requirement is being physically able to keep up with the action. Officials typically move with the athletes to get the best view of what’s happening for accurate calls. That means you need to have the stamina to keep up with the play and the agility to move out of the way quickly so you don’t interrupt game play.
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