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Name of Occupation: Sports Official


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One of your
main duties as a sports official is to make sure that rules are followed fairly
in amateur and professional sports both by teams and players. If rules are
being violated, it is your responsibility to enforce the necessary punishment.
The other main duty of a sports official is to ensure that safety is practiced
and promoted in amateur and professional sports by making sure players are
healthy enough to participate and regulating and inspecting equipment.

Nature of the Work:

The job of
a sports official at its core is to make sure rules are being followed in a
variety of sports at either the amateur or professional level. They need to
promote a safe environment and keep track of time and score. They may need to
judge the performance of players and enforce penalties when necessary. They
need to make final decisions around winners when there is confusion and watch
closely during the games to ensure fair and safe play, but try to interfere as
little as possible.

Working Conditions:

officials can expect to work both indoor and outdoor in all types of weather.
Common employers include sporting commissions, leagues and organizations, athletic
clubs, amateur teams, educational institutions. They need to spend a lot of
time on their feet because they travel across fields and rinks. They may need
to lift heavy sports equipment and depending on the sport, they have a small
chance of getting injured by incoming equipment such as pucks and balls.
Finally, some sports result in officials having to break up fights between

Training and Education Requirements:

There are
no set requirements to become a sports official; however, you need to have a
detailed technical knowledge of the sport you wish to be an official of. For
many sports, you need to take part in a training program. You may also have to
pass exams set by the sport’s governing body. You usually need to get certified
as well by registering with a sport’s governing agency. It is also recommended
to gain valuable experience through amateur refereeing at sports clubs and

Job Outlook:

The number
of jobs available for sports officials is projected to grow seven percent from over
the next decade. This projected growth is a result of population growth and an
increasing public interest in amateur and professional sports due to better
marketing campaigns by leagues.

Earning Potential:

depend if sports officials choose to work part time or full time. Those who
work full time can make between $20,000 and $50,000 a year. The exact amount
depends on a couple of factors: sport, level of experience and the level of the
sport (amateur or professional). Part-time officials usually work in minor
leagues for $10-$50 a game. Part-time officials in more competitive leagues can
earn anywhere from $40-$165 a game. Officials who work in professional sports
leagues have the highest salaries. For example, experienced NHL referees can
make upwards of $200,000 a year.

Related Occupations:

occupation that is similar to a sports official is a judge. Judges are in
charge of courts of law and make sure that justice is served. They ensure their
legal rights are respected. This is similar to the job of a sports official as
they have to make sure rules, in this case, laws are followed by people and if
they are violated, they need to enforce the necessary punishment. Another
occupation that is similar to a sports official is a sports instructor. Sports
instructors teach recreational athletes how to play sports. More experienced
sports instructors work with competitive athletes to improve their skills. This
is similar to the job of a sports official because to teach someone about a
sport, they also need to have a detailed understanding of the sport.

Related University Program: Health and Physical Education

Description of Program:

Types of
classes: Some
courses you can expect to take in this program include human systems anatomy,
physiology, musculoskeletal anatomy, and nutrition.

The requirements to enter this program include, grade 12
university-level biology, grade 12 university-level English, grade 12
university-level mathematics, and three additional grade 12 mixed or
university-level courses.

Needed: The skills
needed to join this program include good communication skills because they need
to be able to inform athletes and teams on rules and settle disputes, even if
individuals are heated. Also, they need to have decision-making skills because
many times, the final call is up to the official to make when a ruling cannot
be made.  They also need good vision to
make sure fair play is going on all across huge fields or rinks. Finally, you need
to have a detailed and strong technical knowledge of the sport you wish to
pursue and work in.

of Study: The
length of the program is typically five years long.


Name of
School: Brock University

1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1

Information: (905) 688-5550


Name of
School: Queen’s University

99 University Ave, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

Information: (613) 533-2000

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