5253 Sports officials and referees

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Lead statement

Sports officials and referees observe and enforce rules and regulations governing sporting events, athletic games and sports competitions. They are employed by national, provincial and local sporting commissions, organizations and leagues.

Example Titles

  • athletics judge
  • clerk of the course – racetrack
  • figure skating judge
  • goal judge
  • harness racing starter
  • racetrack timer
  • referee
  • sports linesman/woman
  • sports official
  • umpire

Main duties

Sports officials and referees perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Officiate at sporting events or athletic competitions to maintain standards of play and to ensure that game rules and safety regulations are observed
  • Record lapsed time and keep scores during events or competitions
  • Judge the performance of competitors, award points, impose penalties for infractions and determine results
  • Compile scores and other athletic records
  • Establish and maintain rapport with coaches, players and organizing committees
  • Verify credentials of athletes or animals engaged in sports or related special events, and respond to written protests.

Employment requirements

  • Sports officials require certification by and registration with a sport governing body or commission.
  • Sports referees require completion of an officiating program offered by a sport governing body.