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How to Become an NFL Referee

By Contributor

Every profession has its elite levels. For football refereeing, that is becoming an NFL referee. NFL referees are entrusted with overseeing a game where the most elite athletes on earth are paid tens of millions of dollars to compete at the top of their sport. Being an NFL ref is less a profession and more of a calling.

Begin refereeing at the junior high school, junior varsity and varsity high school, and college football levels.

Referee as many games as possible. The more work a referee gets the better their skills become. In addition, there will be more chances to meet other referees, which will lead to higher level refereeing opportunities.

Maintain a steady emotional countenance. The NFL referee is required to control the fast-paced emotional game while maintaining his or her own level head. The NFL game is played by millionaires with billions of dollars of revenue at stake. This can lead to players losing control. It is imperative that the NFL referee not lose their composure.

Be in good physical condition. NFL football referees are required to be in almost constant motion in order the referee the action. If a physically unfit person tries to referee that person will not be hired or if hired not last very long in the profession.

Become a member of the state or local football referees association. Not only do these associations offer tools to improve the craft of refereeing they also offer great networking opportunities.

Sign up for as many football refereeing camps as possible. These camps are excellent opportunities to improve the skills necessary to be an NFL referee. The camps also offer the chance to network with other officials and get a foot in the door to better refereeing job openings. If funds and time are limited it is best to attend camps run by current or former NFL referees, as these camps offer the best networking opportunities.

Get promoted to NFL Europe or the Arena league. After officiating at the lower level, the next step is the move to the subsidiary leagues of the NFL. The NFL operates both leagues and they make great stepping-stones to becoming an NFL referee. A person must be committed because NFL Europe is based overseas and requires extensive travel.

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