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How to Become a Teenage Youth Sports Referee?

Did you know that one of the most important roles in youth sports competition is being a referee?

Basically, you can not have local competitive sports leagues if you don’t have a reliable, unbiased, trustworthy, and knowledgeable referee at the helm. But there is so much more to being a referee than simply officiating a game. But, if you are trying to become a teenage youth sports official, how do you even get started?

Becoming a teenage sports referee is not for everyone. It takes a special sort of person who is objective and cannot be swayed by others. You need to be sure of yourself, know the rules like the back of your hand, be honest, and never be afraid to make a tough decision.

So, if you’re wondering how to Become a teenage youth sports referee? And is it worth your time and effort?

Then let’s find out as we take an in-depth look at the subject…

how to become a teenage youth sports referee

Can I Get Paid To Be A Teenage Sports Referee?

Let’s start with the most important questions from the get-go. Yes, you can get paid for being a teen sports referee. But you will be an independent contractor in an employment sense. However, I wouldn’t suggest that you start your officiating career simply for money.

Love and passion for your chosen sport should always be your initial factor for becoming a ref. Every pro-NFL or NBA official started at the bottom and worked their way to the pinnacle of the sport.

Making a career out of it…

If you are in it long-term and looking to make a career out of officiating sports, it doesn’t hurt to understand the pay scales. This will largely depend on your experience or the level you have reached, and the sport you are involved with.

For instance, some youth leagues pay referees between $25 and $50 per game. You can find jobs officiating high-school sports for approximately $50 to $100 per game, or even over $200 per game for college sports.

how to become teenage youth sports referee

Are There Age Restrictions On Teen Sports Refs?

You have to be at least 16 years old to become a teenage youth sports referee. If you are younger than 16, then just follow your favorite sport and learn as much as you can about it. This will ensure that you’ll know as much as possible for when you are old enough to start at age 16.

The Steps

Most people who want to be a sports referee start off having an affinity with a certain sport. And it’s not a job done by lazy people who were not talented at a particular sport, so they could only become a ref, as is sometimes cruelly said.

It’s usually more driven by love for the sport more than monetary gain. If you want to become a teenage sports referee, I advise you follow these steps to success!

1 Get Officially Certified

It’s important to get certified as a sports referee or to get approved by official organizations. Every teen sports referee needs to get accredited in some way, shape, or form. You’ll have to pass a referees course that will test your knowledge of rules and how you would implement them in-game.

Each sport has its specific training courses, so you need to ensure you choose the correct one. We would recommend that you visit the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) website, where you can find the pre-requisite course for your sport and other important info on being a referee.

Visit your local sports team…

If you are still unsure of the correct training courses you need, you could visit your local sports team and ask the coaches or other people that already work in the sport.

how to become teenage youth sport referee

2 Referee Evaluations

Once you have completed your referee training course, you will be eligible to referee under the supervision of an older and more experienced official. You will now be considered as a trainee ref or apprentice ref. You will then continue to ref under the supervision of the veteran until you are properly evaluated.

The last phase of this evaluation will be a final examination that is a critical part of your referee training course. Once you have passed this exam, you will be certified as an official youth referee, but you’ll still need to obtain your full license.

3 Obtaining a Ref’s License

Now you’ve gone through those steps; you’ll now need to obtain an official referee’s license. Most sporting organizations and associations that host referee training courses charge a fee to get your referee license for youth sports. The fees differ between sports and associations, so there is no set price as such.

4 Buying Referee Equipment

Once you’ve got all your licenses and are ready to become a fully-fledged referee, you’ll need to equip yourself. Buy an official referee’s uniform that meets the regulations of your sport and its governing body.

You might also need flags, an approved stopwatch, cards, and a whistle. It’s always best to be fully prepared for any eventuality, which will mean equipping yourself properly. Prepare, or be prepared to fail.

5 You Are Now a Teen Sports Referee

You are finally there and have achieved your goal to become a teenage sports referee. You’ve got all your licenses, all the requisite equipment, and you are ready to officiate a game.

To be fully accredited, you might have to officiate a certain number of games. Pass additional advanced courses or even attend refresher courses at some point. These requirements will massively differ depending on the sport you referee.

You’ll Still Need An Amazing Resume!

It takes a great resume to get an interview. So, check out my advice on how to list Job Titles On Resume, the Achievements To List On Your Resume, How To Address A Cover Letter, the Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume, and even my Hobbies Interests To Put On Resume, Motivation Letter Writing Guide, and finally How To List Education On A Resume, and How To List References On A Resume.

If you’re still not feeling confident enough, we found these outstanding online guides on CVs, Resumes, and LinkedIn: Guide to Professional English, or Marketing Yourself in the Age of Digital: CVs, Applications, Interviews, Social Media, LinkedIn, as well as the English for Academic CVs, Resumes, and Online Profiles, and Land Your Dream Job: Join the 2% Who Make it Past Resumé Screening.

We also recommend reading how to Optimize Your Resume: DOs and DON’Ts the SamNova Way, the Resume Format Guide, and Resume Formats book, or perhaps Resume Writing: 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips, or How to Write an Amazing IT Resume, available online in 2022.

Of course, you have to keep up with the times, and online profiles are a must-have these days. So, take a look at the LinkedIn Profile Optimization For Dummies, How to Write a KILLER LinkedIn Profile… And 18 Mistakes to Avoid, the LinkedIn For Dummies, how to Ignite Your LinkedIn Profile, and even LinkedIn Riches: How To Use LinkedIn For Business, Sales and Marketing! books also available online today.

And for the more professional job applications is the Expert Resumes and Linkedin Profiles for Managers & Executives.

Can You Make It As A Big League Referee?

The vast majority of pro-NFL, NHL, or NBA officials started as youth sports referees and worked their way to the top of their sport. This is possible if you are good at the job, reliable, and determined.

You need to put in the hard work refereeing at different levels gaining lots of experience. In 2019, it was reported that the average yearly salary of a standard NFL referee was over $200,000 per annum. The report also stated that the highest salary paid per game for an NFL referee is $1,500.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the best way to be a teenage youth sports referee; you need to get the ball rolling, excuse the pun! Find out which training courses you need to complete, and make a proactive effort to get in the game.

Even if you are doing this for fun or as a career path, it is fantastic to get paid for doing something you love. Remember, it takes hard work and determination but is definitely worth it in the long run.

All the very best Becoming A Teen Youth Sports Referee!

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About Calvin Miller

Calvin has over 20 years of experience in a leading employment agency in Tucson, Arizona, and is passionate about finding the perfect position for everyone who uses the company’s services.

He lives with his wife, Annette, and their two sons Jake and Joseph.

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