The Sports Archives – A Glimpse Into The Life Of Referees

By Jason Gulledge – originally posted to Flickr as IMG_0435, CC BY 2.0,

When you were a kid, you always hoped and wanted to be the centerpiece of the team and by that estimation, the match also. You wanted to play a pivotal role that could make or break your team’s hopes and dreams. Alas, most of us realized that we couldn’t play the quarterback in football, or the striker in soccer, or the pitcher in baseball. There were simply other guys out there more talented than us, that also understood the game better. So we tried to compromise and find a role that could hopefully one day allow us to get to that role. It was a mindset that we had to adopt, to beat the other guy. That’s what we need to think about more in sports, is the mindset of the different roles. Very rarely do we ever get to see what goes on in the life of the forgotten hero in all sports; the referee. They ultimately hold the most power in the game, but they don’t get the praise and fame of the top sporting athletes in sports. It’s because their mindset is to bring order to a game so that right and wrong can allow those athletes to play a fair game.

Serious business

Referees have to go to school, specifically for learning the rules of a sport they intend to referee in. This is serious business because as well know the sports industry is worth billions of dollars. Referee training is done in accordance with the rules and regulations set by a governing body of a large corporation. For example, the FA is an English soccer series, which is also a member of UEFA and FIFA. The require all referees to be knowledgeable about the FA’s own rules but keep in accordance with the larger entities of professional soccer. This often means that just because a referee has passed an accredited training course, doesn’t mean they automatically will be hired by a series or corporation. It takes years and years of hard work and due diligence of enforcing the law on the pitch to be recognized by a larger professional body.

Starting off

Referees have to apply for jobs just like the rest of us. They need to work a lot of different games all throughout the week. Everything from the minor and weekend local leagues, to the semi-professional and professional tables. It’s a demanding job as traveling around can take its toll. However, with referee scheduling software, one can organize their entire schedule, write down notes about the teams, game, and matches, as well as get a new level of access to further jobs. You can see the different jobs and their requirements all on your smartphone thanks to the software being on iOS and Android. There are no hidden fees and it’s available on both the App Store and Google Play.

Refereeing is not for everyone. Rather than play the game they are the individuals that allow the game to happen inside the rules. They don’t take the accolades of glory home with them, but they do make sure that fairness is implemented in sports. Their training is rigorous and their way to the top challenging. But with new software to help referees find jobs with the swipe of a finger, new opportunities are just seconds away.


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