Want Easy Money? Referee Sports

Want Easy Money? Referee Sports

If you want consistent supplemental income then you need to referee sports.

Refereeing sports is a very interesting side hustle. You are signing up for a job where you know you are going to get yelled at and you also know that you can't really yell back. Sounds fun, right?

While the actual task can be a bit difficult, the consistency refereeing provides is what makes earning this income easy. When sports are being played, refs are being paid.

I personally think that refereeing a sport is an easy way to make extra money. If you're struggling to pay the bills, or just need some extra money in order to hit the goals you have set then you may want to check out refereeing.

I referee soccer and will make close to $4,000 this fall season. Not bad for a few hours of work a day.

There are a bunch of side hustles out there that can help you score extra cash, but sometimes they aren't consistent. Sports run year-round and leagues are always looking for people to help officiate their games.

With the right knowledge and a few simple steps, you can begin officiating sports.

You can also referee more than one sport if you want to which will also let you maximize your earning potential.

Let's check out the pros and cons to see if this is for you.

Job Description

Referees are responsible for officiating games while on the playing field or inside the court. They observe and manage the game while enforcing the rules and penalties when necessary.

Depending on the sport, events are usually held in the evening which allows people to work a regular job along with refereeing. Games are usually held most weekdays and sometimes weekends. Everywhere is different.

Referees usually work in teams depending on the sport. For example, soccer has 2 to 3 referees per game and football typically has 4 to 6. Some sports only require one official.

Each official has specific responsibilities and is in charge of certain parts of the playing area.

Training and Certifications

Obviously you cant just show up to a field and say "Hey I want to referee this game."

Most leagues require you to have some type of training or certification.

Officials are required to be familiar with the rules, so most associations require the potential candidate to pass a written exam. With that being said, most of the time there are meetings that go over the answers before you take the test, so it is relatively easy to become an official.

If you want to become an official you're going to have to reach out to your local association, which you should be able to find on the internet. If you are still having trouble finding the information then you should contact the athletic director at the local school district and ask them for the information.

The Pay

When it comes to officiating, the pay is going to have a lot of variables.

There are 50 different states with different associations, which means that everywhere is going to be different.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, officials across the US earn approximately $40 to $70 per game for Junior Varsity games and about $70 to $100 on the varsity level.

Some states are obviously going to pay more than others based on geographic location and sport. I referee soccer in New York where JV pays $92 per game and Varsity pays $117 per game.

States like Texas pay more for football officials because of the popularity of the sport. Some officials make over $200 for a high school football game.

This is just the pay for official high school games. There are also opportunities outside of high school, such as Club Sports, Club tournaments, and camps.

These events usually pay officials straight cash and are held on the weekends. These will also vary by skill level and age level, but its a great way to make money on the weekends.

You can also referee men's leagues, or if you really get into officiating then you may want to consider working your way up to the college and pro levels.

Pros and Cons


  • You get to spend time outside and off of technology
  • You get paid to exercise. You'll be moving a lot during the games.
  • Refereeing is fun. Hilarious things happen during the games and really nice plays too.
  • If you played the game as a kid then you can appreciate helping out the next generation.
  • You make extra money at your own pace. You get to pick and choose availability.
  • There are plenty of opportunities to make money in a low-stress environment


  • You get yelled at a lot.
  • Some games are a breeze, but higher-level games can be stressful.
  • You have to be in shape. Higher-level games will require you to move a lot.
  • Weather. They will play soccer and football in pouring rain and low temps. Not Fun.
  • There are start up costs for classes and uniforms
  • You get yelled at a lot. Yes, I said that already.

Referee Sports: Get Started

No matter what the economy is looking like sports are being played which means officials are being paid.

Reliable officials are always in need and reffing is an easy way to make supplemental income. So why not take a chance?

Are some games stressful? Absolutely. But you will also have games that are a blowout and at that point, you are essentially stealing money. HA!

Walking away from a soccer game on a beautiful 80-degree day with an extra $100 in your pocket is a great feeling.

Get started making some extra money.

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