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How To Be a Football Ref

Whether you are a football fanatic or just an ordinary fan, you can become a football ref.


  • Step 1: Referee as many games as possible. The more people you know, the easier it is to get started and get work.
  • Step 2: Maintain an even temper. A referee is required to control a fast-paced and sometimes emotional game.
  • Step 3: Be in good physical condition. If you're not physically fit, you'll have a hard time keeping up as a referee.
  • FACT: Did you know? The National Football League is the only major professional sports league whose balls are manufactured in the United States.
  • Step 4: Apply for referee positions with local schools and school districts, and municipal leagues. School districts rarely have the budget to fill several positions, but may accept you as a volunteer.
  • TIP: You may be able to get some used items from veteran refs.
  • TIP: Look online for your local football association chapter.
  • Step 5: Buy black athletic shoes with cleats, striped socks, white pants, a black belt, a collared striped shirt, and a fitted black hat with white piping.
  • Step 6: Get the tools you'll need, such as flags, a beanbag, information cards, a pencil, a whistle, a lanyard, a chain clip, a sports watch with a timer, a signal card, and a ball-pressure tester.
  • Step 7: Register with your local football referee association. They offer courses, camps, and networking opportunities.

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