Those interested in becoming sports referees might consider a pre-certification course or clinic. Some colleges and universities offer exam preparation programs, and most state-regulated referee associations' offer training clinics. Many states require sports officials to pass background checks and become certified.
Here are a few common concepts taught in referee training courses:
- On-the-field practice
- Rules and procedures
- Proper positioning
List of Referee Training Courses
Recreational Baseball Umpiring Course
This class provides a thorough overview of baseball rules and regulations. In particular, it teaches aspiring umpires where stand on the field and how those locations improve their ability to supervise the game. Topics include game reports, baseball terminology and effective communication skills. By the end of the class, participants are eligible to take the state's umpire examination.
Professional Baseball Umpiring Course
Prospective umpires train six days a week for one month. During their training, they spend mornings discussing baseball guidelines. The afternoons are used for officiating clinics, where players take turns playing baseball and serving as umpires for the games. Students also serve as officials for youth games in order to further improve their skills. Those who complete the program are eligible for the MLB umpire candidate list.
Soccer Officiating Course
Students learn soccer rules, including standard procedures required by the U.S. Soccer Federation. They develop game management skills, including the ability to recognize misconduct and award appropriate penalties. Training is presented through a series of digital videos, class discussions and role-playing. The class prepares participants for the USSF referee certification examination.
Flag Football Officiating Course
Applicants for flag football officiating positions attend a training clinic. They learn the rules of the game, its procedures and officiating mechanics. At the end of the training, individuals are eligible for employment as intramural flag football officials.
Sports Officiating Course
Sports officials must ensure the game starts on time and that players are using proper equipment. They are charged with overseeing participants' and spectators' safety. In this course, students visit real sporting events; they are taught through practical sessions under the supervision of trained referees. Participants learn the rules of several popular sports and the administrative duties of the game's respective official (such as referee or umpire). They develop the ability to recognize rules violations and award the correct penalties. They also learn how to position themselves on the court or field for most effective supervision and signaling. The course also covers appropriate uniforms per each sport and how to prepare reports at the end of play.