Summary Report for:
27-2023.00 - 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.
Sample of reported job titles: Basketball Referee, Commissioner of Officials, Director of Officiating, Diving Judge, Horse Show Judge, Major League Baseball Umpire, Referee, Softball Umpire, Sports Official
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Officiate at sporting events, games, or competitions, to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules are observed.
- Signal participants or other officials to make them aware of infractions or to otherwise regulate play or competition.
- Inspect sporting equipment or examine participants 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 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 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.
- Compile scores and other athletic records.
- Verify credentials of participants in sporting events, and make other qualifying determinations, such as starting order or handicap number.
- Data base user interface and query software — Database software
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Video creation and editing software — Video editing software
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Ball pump — Ball inflators
- Bench scales — Equipment scales
- Cross trainers — Elliptical trainers
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players
- Exercise balls — Stability balls
- Fitness weights — Weight training equipment
- Flags or accessories — Penalty flags
- Game accessories — Sports flip coins
- Ice skates — Hockey skates
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Phone headsets — Communications headsets
- Pressure indicators — Air gauges
- Public address systems — Announcement systems
- Sport safety equipment other than headgear — Elbow pads; Hockey girdles; Shin guards; Umpire chest protectors (see all 6 examples)
- Sport safety headgear — Protective sports helmets; Umpire masks
- Sport scoreboards — Electronic display boards
- Sports timer — Countdown timers
- Stationary bicycles — Exercise bicycles
- Tablet computers
- Tape measures — Measuring tapes
- Treadmills — Fitness treadmills
- Whistle — Referee whistles
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- 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.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Speed of Closure — The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Detailed Work Activities
- Coordinate athletic or sporting events or activities.
- Evaluate skills of athletes or performers.
- Verify accuracy of data.
- Compile technical information or documentation.
- Coach others.
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 76% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 45% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Spend Time Standing — 73% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Electronic Mail — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Level of Competition — 45% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Work Schedules — 63% responded “Seasonal (only during certain times of the year).”
- Physical Proximity — 55% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 36% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Very important results.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 45% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 52% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Time Pressure — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 31% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 36% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 30% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 30% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 36% responded “Very important.”
- Deal With External Customers — 27% responded “Very important.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 27% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
Interest code: REC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$28,940 annual|
|Employment (2019)||22,800 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Much faster than average (8% or higher)|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||3,400|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Amateur Baseball Umpires' Association
- Arabian Horse Association
- College Basketball Officials Association
- Eastern Association of Intercollegiate Football Officials
- National Association of Sports Officials
- National Federation of State High School Associations
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Umpires, referees, and other sports officials
- The International Association of Approved Basketball Officials
- U.S. Figure Skating
- United States Dressage Federation
- United States Equestrian Federation
- United States Hunter Jumper Association
- US Lacrosse
- USA Diving
- USA Gymnastics