Is becoming a sports referee right for me?
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How to become a Sports Referee
Each sport has its own requirements for referees; some require these officials to pass a test of their knowledge of the sport. Referees often begin their careers with a high school diploma and gain needed experience by volunteering to officiate at community and recreational league competitions.
To officiate at high school athletic events, umpires, referees, and other officials must register with the agency that oversees local high school athletics and must pass an exam on the rules of the particular game. For college refereeing, candidates must be certified by an officiating school and be evaluated during a probationary period. Some larger college sports conferences require officials to have certification and other qualifications, such as maintaining a residence in or near the conference boundaries, along with several years of experience officiating at high school, community college, or other college conference games.
For most referees, reaching professional ranks is the biggest advancement. In some sports, such as baseball, umpires may begin their professional career officiating in the minor leagues before moving up to the major leagues.
Standards for umpires and other officials become more stringent as the level of competition advances. Attendance at a local or regional academy may be a requirement for refereeing a school baseball game. Those seeking to officiate at minor or major league games must attend a professional umpire training school. To advance to umpiring in Major League Baseball, umpires usually need 7 to 10 years of experience in various minor leagues before being considered for major league jobs.