How Many Hours Do Soccer Refs Work? – Average Number

They say the best referees are the ones you hardly notice on the field, seamlessly blending into the game while ensuring fair play and enforcing the rules.

As a soccer enthusiast, you may have admired the dedication, fitness, and decision-making skills of these unsung heroes.

If you’ve ever considered becoming a soccer referee or are just curious about what it takes to be one, understanding the working hours of these professionals can give you a glimpse into their demanding lives and help you appreciate their commitment to the beautiful game.

Refereeing is more than just showing up on game day and blowing a whistle. The hours put in by soccer referees involve not only the actual match time but also the preparation, training, and travel that come with the role.

In this article, we’ll explore the typical working hours of a soccer referee, factors influencing these hours, and how it affects their personal life.

Whether you’re an aspiring referee or just a fan seeking a sense of belonging in the soccer community, gaining insight into the life of a soccer referee will open your eyes to a whole new dimension of the sport you love.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick & short answer that’ll definitely help you out!

A soccer referee typically works for about 90 minutes during the match, in line with the game’s duration. However, adding time for pre-game preparations, halftime, and post-game responsibilities, the total commitment is often around 2 to 3 hours per match, but can vary based on league rules and game specifics.

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Role of a Soccer Referee

In the thrilling world of soccer, you might be curious about a referee’s role and how much time they dedicate to their job.

As the game’s enforcer and overseer, a referee’s primary responsibility is to ensure fair play and adherence to the rules.

They must possess a deep understanding of the game’s laws, be physically fit to keep up with the fast-paced action, and have the ability to make split-second decisions.

Additionally, they must manage the players, coaches, and other officials, ultimately maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment for all involved.

Being a soccer referee can be a challenging and rewarding experience, as you become an integral part of the game’s fabric.

You’ll develop strong leadership skills, enhance your decision-making abilities, and build relationships within the soccer community.

As a referee, your commitment to the sport and your fellow enthusiasts will contribute to the growth and enjoyment of soccer for everyone.

So, if you’re passionate about the beautiful game and want to make a difference on the field, becoming a referee might just be the perfect role for you!

Typical Working Hours of a Soccer Referee


You’ll never believe the crazy schedule a soccer referee has to juggle! As a soccer ref, your working hours can vary greatly depending on the level of competition, your experience, and the demand for referees in your area.

While it’s impossible to pin down the exact number of hours a soccer referee works, there are some general guidelines to consider.

At the youth and recreational levels, you may find yourself working:

  • Weekends, mostly Saturdays and Sundays, as that’s when most games are scheduled.
  • Early mornings and late afternoons, as games can start as early as 8 am and go on until the evening.
  • Weeknights, when there may be additional games or training sessions.
  • Various hours during tournaments, which could last anywhere from a single day to a whole week.

For referees involved in higher-level competitions like college or professional soccer, the workload can increase significantly. This may involve extensive travel, longer hours, and more games per week.

Regardless of the level you’re officiating at, being a soccer referee is a demanding job that requires dedication, time management, and a passion for the sport.

Embrace the challenge and enjoy the unique sense of belonging that comes with being part of the soccer community!

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Factors Influencing Referee Hours

To begin with, there’s no single solution when it comes to a referee’s schedule, so let’s explore the various elements that can determine those lengthy hours on the field!

The amount of time a soccer referee spends working can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the level of competition, location, and their experience.

Some referees may only work a few hours per week, while others may put in long hours officiating at multiple games, training sessions, and traveling to different venues.

To help you better understand the factors that can impact a soccer referee’s working hours, here’s a handy table outlining some of the key aspects to consider:

FactorDescriptionImpact on Hours
Level of CompetitionHigher level games (e.g., professional, international) require more commitment and preparation.More hours for higher levels
LocationReferees in urban areas may have more opportunities to officiate games.Many hours in urban areas
ExperienceExperienced referees may be in higher demand and work more games.A Lot hours for experienced
Time of YearSoccer seasons and tournaments can affect the number of games available.More hours during peak season
Additional ResponsibilitiesSome referees may hold other roles, such as coaching or administration.More hours with added roles

Ultimately, the number of hours a soccer referee works will depend on their unique circumstances and opportunities. As a referee, you may find that your hours fluctuate throughout the year, but the experience and sense of belonging to the soccer community can make it all worth it.

How Training Influences Referee Working Hours

As a referee, your training is crucial in shaping your working hours. More advanced training often leads to increased time spent on the field and mastering new skills.

Investing time in continuous learning and development enhances your understanding of the game and increases your chances of officiating at higher levels, boosting your working hours.

Training can influence your working hours in several ways:

  • Skill development: Higher skill levels can lead to more opportunities and longer hours spent officiating games and attending training sessions and workshops.
  • Certification levels: Higher certification levels generally require more training and commitment, which leads to more working hours.
  • Officiating higher-level games: As your skills and experience grow, you may be assigned to officiate higher-level matches, which may require more preparation and involvement, increasing your working hours.
  • Networking and community involvement: Participating in referee associations and local soccer communities can lead to more assignments and networking opportunities, contributing to additional working hours.

By dedicating time to training and personal development. You’ll improve as a referee and find yourself more deeply ingrained in the soccer community. This creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie with fellow officials and soccer enthusiasts.

Impact of Travel on Soccer Referee’s Schedule


Travel can significantly impact a soccer referee’s schedule. With some referees covering thousands of miles each season to officiate games across various locations.

This means that, as a soccer referee, you’ll likely spend considerable time traveling to and from matches. Which can be both physically and mentally exhausting.

In addition to the actual hours spent on the field, travel time can add several more hours to your workweek. Making it essential to plan your schedule efficiently and ensure you’re well-rested for each game.

The camaraderie among soccer referees during these travels can be a significant source of support and friendship. As you’ll often find yourself traveling with the same group of officials throughout the season.

Sharing experiences, stories, and advice can help you feel more connected to your fellow referees . The broader soccer community, making those long journeys more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Ultimately, while the travel aspect of being a soccer referee can be challenging. It also offers unique opportunities to bond with like-minded individuals and expand your horizons in soccer.

How Referee Hours Affect their Personal Life

Now that we’ve discussed the impact of travel on a soccer referee’s schedule. Let’s focus on how the long hours and hectic schedules can affect their personal lives.

As a referee, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance, especially considering the demanding nature of the job. Being a soccer referee often requires working during weekends. Evenings, and sometimes even holidays, which can take a toll on your personal life.

Finding ways to manage your time effectively and prioritize self-care to maintain relationships and mental well-being is essential.

With the support of friends and family, you can work together to create a balance. That allows you to thrive in your career while keeping your personal life fulfilling.

Remember, achieving a healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term success, both on and off the field.

Related: What Does A Soccer Coach Do In A Day

Ways to Become a Soccer Referee


So, you’re eager to join the ranks of soccer referees, huh? Let’s dive into the steps you’ll need to take to make that dream a reality!

Becoming a soccer referee can be an exciting and fulfilling journey. Allowing you to join a community that shares your passion for the beautiful game.

Whether you’re looking to officiate your local youth matches or work up to professional leagues. There’s a place for you to belong in this rewarding career.

  1. Education and Certification: Start by researching the requirements and certifications needed in your region. In the United States, for example, aspiring referees must complete a course through the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and pass a written test to become certified. There are multiple levels of certification, so make sure to aim for the appropriate level based on your experience and goals.
  2. Gain Experience: Once certified, you must gain experience by refereeing games at various levels. Start with youth games and gradually progress to adult leagues as you become more comfortable and confident in your abilities. Building a network within the local referee community can also help you find opportunities and receive valuable advice from more experienced officials.
  3. Continuing Education and Advancement: As you gain experience, consider furthering your education and increasing your certification level. Attend workshops, seminars, and training sessions to stay up-to-date with the latest rules and best practices. This helps you become a better referee and opens up more opportunities for higher-level games and potentially moving into a professional refereeing career.

By following these steps and dedicating yourself to continual improvement. You’ll be well on your way to becoming a respected soccer referee.

Embrace the journey, and enjoy the camaraderie and sense of belonging . That comes with being a part of this unique community.


In conclusion, as a soccer referee, you’ll find that your working hours can vary significantly based on factors such as level of competition, training, and travel.

Furthermore, balancing your personal life with these commitments can be challenging; yet, the passion for the sport makes it worthwhile for many.

Did you know that FIFA referees can run up to 12 kilometers during a single match? This fascinating statistic highlights the dedication and hard work required to excel in this critical role within the beautiful game.

Manuel Esposito

Hello everyone! My name is Manuel and I've recently got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science at the University of Portsmouth. I'm raised and born in New York, and I've been a big fan of soccer my whole life. Soccer is the reason why I got my PhD in Sport and Excercise Science, and my goal with this blog is to help you improve your soccer techniques, strategies, and knowledge!

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