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10 Steps (with Illustrations) to Become an NFL Referee

Do you love the game of football and want to officiate it one day? If so, you’ll want to learn everything you can about becoming an NFL referee.

Becoming an NFL referee is a challenging but rewarding career. The best way to achieve this goal is by investing in yourself and attending workshops and/or courses.

This will give you the knowledge and skills needed to referee games and practices, as well as training in officiating techniques.

Keep up with the latest refereeing materials to stay up to date and prepared for any game or practice. Becoming a referee is a dream come true for many, and the rewards are well worth the effort!

In this blog post, we provide you 25 tips to help guide you. You’ll learn everything you need to know to start preparing for the job and reach your officiating goals.

From the basics of who referee is and the standards they must meet to salary and benefits information, this guide has it all. So if you’re serious about becoming an NFL referee, start reading now!

Who Is an NFL Referee?

If you’re interested in becoming an NFL referee, the first step is to pass the Referee Candidate Evaluation Program. This program is designed to screen and assess potential referees in order to select the best candidates for the position.

After successfully completing the RCEP, you will need to undergo additional training, including officiating clinics and supervised field experience.

Finally, you will take the National Football League Referees Association’s qualifying test for officials. If you are successful, you will join the ranks of NFL referees and begin your career!

How to become an NFL referee

Becoming an NFL referee is a challenging but rewarding journey. It takes dedication, hard work, and a lot of practice.

To get started, start by getting a degree in physical education or athletic training. This will give you the foundation you need to become a referee.

  • Next, take the Referee Exam which tests your comprehension of football rules and regulations.
  • If you pass, you’re ready to referee clinics throughout the year to improve your skills and knowledge.
  • Finally, be prepared to work long days during regular season games as well as playoff games if you’re chosen for officiating duty.

If you’re up for the challenge and are ready to make the leap, the sky is the limit! Good luck!

What Makes a Good NFL Referee?

NFL refereeing is a high-pressure position that requires excellent judgment and quick decision-making.

Referees must be able to handle difficult pressure situations while possessing strong communication and teamwork skills. They also need to have a good understanding of the rules of football and the league’s officiating code.

Standard of an NFL Ref

Becoming an NFL referee is a high-pressure job that requires a lot of dedication and skill.

The standard of officiating is high, so in order to make the cut, you need to be at the top of your game.

Start by being prepared to work long hours – weekends included – and be able to handle difficult situations on a regular basis. Additionally, have strong communication skills and be able to handle pressure well.

You’ll also need proper training and credentials. Make sure to research various refereeing programs and select the one that best suits your skills and experience.

The process of becoming an NFL referee is long, but the rewards are great. So mark the date in your calendar and get ready to make an impact on the game of football.

Keep up to date with changes in NFL rules and regulations

Becoming an NFL referee is a challenging but rewarding career. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to be a referee, and it’s important to stay up to date with changes in league rules and regulations.

One of the best ways to do this is to attend NFL training camps, where officials are evaluated on their adherence to the rules.

Additionally, it’s important to be familiar with all the rule variations so that you can officiate games accurately and fairly.

Finally, one of the most important responsibilities of an NFL referee is staying up to date with changes in league rules and regulations.

By following these 10 steps, you can put in the necessary work and aspiring referee can achieve their dream of officiating NFL games.

Tips To Become an NFL Referee

Becoming a referee in the NFL is not an easy task – it takes years of experience and plenty of hard work. However, with the right tips and strategies, you can achieve your goal.

Here are some essential steps to help you on your way:

1. Always be prepared to answer any questions from players or coaches – this will build good relationships and ensure that both groups have trust in you as an official.

2. Keep up to date with changes in rules and regulations

By doing so, you will be able to make informed decisions while officiating games.

3. Complete an officiating course

this will certify you as a referee and give you the best chance of being successful when applying for future positions or assignments within the league system.

4. Learn position-specific drills

These should help improve your skills at each individual position (including refereeing). In addition, they provide valuable training for situations where mistakes might need to be made during gameplay.

5. Good Health

Being a referee is physically demanding and requires good health. If you’re not in great shape, your game experience will be far from optimal. Make sure to get plenty of exercise and eat the right foods to keep your energy up during games. Referee Mind is a great resource for refs who want to stay healthy and energized on the field!

6. Education

Becoming a referee in the NFL is not easy – it takes years of hard work and training to reach the top level. There are different levels of refereeing, with officials (lower level) being at the bottom.

In order to become an official referee, you need to pass an entrance exam and complete additional courses on football rules and regulations. refereeing is a highly regulated profession, so make sure you keep up-to-date with all changes in the NFL rulebook by reading online blogs or attending local conferences/workshops. Doing this will help you be better prepared for any situation that might come your way during games or ref meetings.

7. Experience

Having experience as a referee is essential if you want to successful apply for positions in the NFL. This league has high standards and requires referees to have outstanding skills both on and off the field.

To gain experience, it’s a good idea to participate in officiating trials organised by the NFL – these are an excellent way to hone your skills. Once you’ve completed all of the requirements, applying for a position as an NFL Referee can be very lucrative.

Additionally, referee clinics provide top-notch training that will help you improve your abilities quickly. Keeping up with changes in rules and regulations isn’t easy but by regularly reading referee-specific websites, you’ll stay informed about all important developments affecting this career field.

8. Earn a bachelor’s degree

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to earn a referee certification depends on your individual experience and background.

However, if you are relatively new to refereeing or haven’t refrained from making mistakes in the past, it would be wise to take a referee training course every two years. This will help keep you sharp and up-to-date with the latest techniques and rules of the NFL game.

Make sure that you also continue learning – there’s always something new out there about football (or any other sport).

For instance, read books or watch online videos on officiating for more insights into how games should be refereed.

In addition, stay connected with league officials by following their social media accounts so that you can get timely updates on rule changes or important announcements related to refereeing.

9. Obtain training

Becoming a referee in the NFL is an arduous and challenging task. It takes years of training, experience, and hard work to reach the top level of refereeing.

Therefore, it is essential that you start off by taking the necessary steps to qualify for the job – this includes undergoing training courses at various levels!

Make sure to keep up to date with all changes in NFL rules and regulations as they can change on a daily basis.

Referees must undergo rigorous and intensive training before being allowed officiate games. This ensures high standards are maintained across the board – from referees who are performing their duties competently to those meeting stringent requirements set by NFL management.

10. Pursue state registration

To officiate NFL games safely and effectively, it is vital to have state registration. This process involves taking refereeing training courses that are accredited by the NFLA (National Football League Association).

In addition to this, staying up-to-date with NFL rules and regulations is essential. Use the resources available on the league’s website to learn more about how to officiate a game in the best way possible. Finally, pursue state registration so that your certification remains current and valid.

11. Gain experience

There is no doubt that refereeing is a demanding and challenging career. However, with the right dedication and hard work, you can achieve success in this field.

To become a referee, you need to complete an accredited course and pass an exam. This isn’t easy – it takes years of dedicated training and practice to perfect your skills.

Additionally, there are regular changes in NFL rules and regulations that require constant updating if you want to stay ahead of the game. So be persistent! Refereeing will only get better over time as your officiating skills improve!

12. Earn certification

There are a number of ways to earn certification as a referee. Online resources, Seminars and even the NFL itself offer variety in terms of training and certification.

After years of hard work, the real challenge begins – the NFL referees selection process.

With rigorous testing and strict guidelines, making it to this level is no easy task.

Once you have finally made it through all these challenges, make sure that you uphold high standards by always enforcing fair play and professionalism on the field of play!

Referees need to stay up to date with NFL rules so that games run smoothly for both players and spectators alike.

13. Get noticed

When refereeing a game, it is important to maintain a calm and level-headed attitude at all times. This will help you make the best decisions for the game and the players involved. It is also essential to dress appropriately, bearing in mind that officiating attire should be smart,

professional, and reflect your authority as an official. Confident on the field of play, referees need not worry about making any misjudgments or assumptions; they should focus purely on evaluating plays fairly and impartially.

In order to stay current with NFL rule changes and developments – both big and small – referees must be constantly vigilant. And finally: always keep an open mind!

14. Good Health

Refereeing is a physically demanding job and it requires good health to do well. If you want to referee in the NFL, you need to be in excellent physical condition and have a high level of stamina.

In order to improve your skillset even further, take part in preseason referee competitions. This will help you fine-tune your skills and give you an edge over other referees who might not have had as much experience officiating games at the professional level.

Make sure that you are up-to-date with changes in NFL rules and regulations by reading refereeing literature and attending referee training sessions. Being knowledgeable about football laws will definitely come handy on game days!

Finally, maintain good health by avoiding heavy drinking habits, smoking cigarettes, eating junk food, etc., which can damage your body over time.

15. Education

Becoming a referee in the NFL can be quite demanding and physically challenging. By keeping up to date with changes in the rule book, you will be able to serve the game as effectively as possible.

The following are some of the most important rules that referees need to know:

– Rule 11 – No defensive player should jump or bat an offensive player’s football with his hand or forearm while it is in possession of (the quarterback).

– Rule 12 – A foul for unnecessary roughness shall consist of grabbing, pulling, tripping or pushing an opponent violently and unnecessarily below the waistline whether he has possession of the ball or not.

– Rule 13 – When two players are about to become entangled after one has recovered his own football, any eligible official may call “touchback” from such position without requiring either side to put its football into play again at that point.

16. Experience

Becoming well-informed of the latest NFL rule changes is a great way to improve your officiating skills. Referee training courses can also help you keep up to date with the ever-changing game, as well as identify any potential bias in refereeing.

Similarly, using video replays as an instructional tool is a great way to enhance your knowledge and hone your officiating skills.

As referees continue to experience growing pains and make mistakes from time to time, this technology helps us learn from our past mistakes so that we don’t repeat them in the future.

17. Go through the training process.

Refereeing is a physically demanding job that entails running around a lot and making quick decisions. To be a referee in the NFL, you need to go through an intensive training process that involves both physical fitness and mental toughness.

Make sure you are fully prepared before starting the training by reading up on changes in NFL rules and regulations.

Referees who don’t keep themselves abreast of these changes can easily find themselves penalized or even terminated from their positions.

The challenge of this career lies not just in mastering the game but also maintaining high levels of concentration under pressure!

18. Get registration of state

Becoming a referee in the NFL is one of the most sought-after positions and it doesn’t come easy.

You first need to be fully prepared, both mentally and physically. This means undergoing extensive training sessions, passing an licensing exam, and making sure you are registered with the state you will be officiating in.

The high stakes involved make it imperative that referees get registered as soon as possible – there’s no room for mistakes on game day!

19. Accumulate experience.

Refereeing is a challenging and rewarding career – one that requires years of experience to be successful. Just like any other job, there will be tough calls during games, and it’s important to know how to deal with them emotionally.

You need to have the discipline not to get rattled and maintain composure under pressure.

Although refereeing can be very rewarding, it’s also unpredictable in some ways. This means you need to stay up-to-date with changes made by the NFL (the National Football League).

Rules change frequently so being well-versed in all its rulebooks is essential for keeping things fair for both sides of the game.

Last but not least – make sure you are competent at everything! There might come a time when you’re called upon do something you’ve never done before; if so, having practiced will help mitigate any mistakes or delays on your part.

20. Continue to improve your skills

Becoming a referee is a long and arduous process, but it’s one that is well worth it. The 10 steps outlined in this blog will help you on your journey to becoming a referee.

First and foremost, start by attending referee school and training regularly with seasoned officials. This will help you hone your skills and build up experience.

Take part in officiating clinics and competitions – the more experience you have, the better you’ll be able to handle difficult calls.

Remain disciplined both on and off the field – if mistakes are made, learn from them and move forward!

Finally, keep improving your skills by taking part in referee training programs and refereeing school courses. By following these simple steps, you can be on your way to becoming a referee in the NFL!

21. Learn to officiate in a variety of positions

Becoming an NFL referee is a rewarding and challenging experience. It takes years of experience and training to be able to officiate games to the highest level.

To start off on the right foot, it’s important to stay calm under pressure and communicate effectively with players and coaches. Additionally, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the game rules and refereeing positions.

To improve your skills, take some practice reps in each position before officiating live games. One of the best ways to do this is through online training courses.

These courses provide the necessary knowledge and skills to become an NFL referee, so don’t hesitate to check them out!

22. Practise regularly

Becoming a NFL referee is a dream many aspire to, but few are able to achieve. The road to becoming a referee is long and challenging, but the rewards (and fame) are well worth the effort.

To become certified, you need to take the Referee Certification Course offered by the NFL.

This course is intense and requires a high level of physical fitness as well as the ability to handle pressure situations calmly and efficiently. The best way to prepare for the course is to practise regularly.

The more you can get into the referee mindset, the better your chances of becoming certified.

Do not hesitate to reach out to the NFL for more information and advice – they are more than happy to help you get started on your referee career!

23. Learn the rules of the game

Becoming an NFL referee isn’t as hard as it may seem. All you need is the dedication to learn the rules of the game and the willingness to face any situation that arises.

Take the first step by learning the basics – from the down and distance rules to the various fouls and penalties. Be prepared for any situation that comes your way, by being well-versed in the referee’s guide to football.

Next, focus on calling penalties correctly – these can take the game away from the other team and decide the victor. Finally, practice often and stay up to date with the latest officiating trends to ensure that you’re always prepared to take your career to the next level.

24. Appear for testing

Becoming a referee in the NFL is a difficult but rewarding journey. First and foremost, you must be licensed and certified by the NFL.

After you have completed the test and met all the other requirements, you will need to pass a fitness evaluation and psychological exam.

Be prepared to work long hours – referees officiate around 16 games per season! If you want to become an NFL referee, start by taking the Referee Appraisal Test. Good luck!

25. Pass the Referee Examination

Becoming a referee is a long and arduous process, but it’s definitely worth it. There are 10 steps to becoming a referee, and each one is essential for ensuring a high-quality officiating experience.

The first step is to take the Referee Examination, which is a rigorous test that tests your knowledge of NFL rules and regulations.

After passing the exam, you will attend an officiating school and complete additional training requirements.

Finally, you must be certified by the NFL before officiating in a game or practice session. If you’re determined to become a referee, take the first step and give it your all!


In conclusion, it is essential to have patience and stay focused under pressure. Familiarizing yourself with the latest rules and regulations will help you play better NFL football. Make use of resources such as books, video tutorials etcetera to keep up-to-date on the game. Finally, remember – failure is not an option!

How Much Do NFL Refs Make? NFL Referee Salary 2022

Becoming an NFL referee is a dream many people have, and for good reason – the salary and benefits are excellent.

To get started, you first need to know the basics – starting salary at $41,000 per year, but potential earnings can reach up to $111,000 based on experience and performance reviews from team owners or general managers. After that, focus on refereeing clinics to raise your skills even further.

If you’re interested in the job and meet the qualifications, the next step is to study the rules of the game and master them. In order to qualify for the NFL referees’ league, you’ll need to pass rigorous tests and interviews.

Becoming an NFL ref is a demanding and difficult job that requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Sooner or later, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of your hard work – a high-paying career and lots of satisfaction from making the game as fair and accurate as possible!

What Is the Average Salary of an NFL Referee?

Becoming an NFL referee is a challenging and rewarding career choice. It takes years of training and experience to become a referee, so it’s important to start early in your career.

There are many entry-level positions available, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get hired the first time around! As long as you have the passion and determination to pursue this career, the sky is the limit.

The average salary for referees is $173,000 per year, so it’s definitely worth putting in the work.

Keep in mind that refereeing is a physically demanding job, and it’s important to stay healthy and fit to avoid any injuries. With the right attitude, the sky is the limit!

Why Do NFL Referees Get Such High Salary?

Becoming a referee in the NFL is a high-pressure job. There is a lot of scrutiny on their performance, and they must be qualified to referee games professionally. This is why NFL referees receive a high salary, and are considered to be experts in their field.

They undergo intense training that is second to none, and this makes them the best choice for officiating games. It is also important to note that referees are protected by the league, and are able to handle high levels of stress and pressure without breaking down.

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  • Post last modified:December 11, 2022
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