referee or simply ref is the person of authority in a variety of sports who is responsible for presiding over the game from a neutral point of view and making on-the-fly decisions that enforces the rules of the sports, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection. The official tasked with this job may be known, in addition to referee, by a variety of different titles as well including umpire, judge, arbiter, arbitrator, linesman, commissaire, timekeeper, touch job or Technical Official.



Australian rules Football


Baseball and Softball



In boxing, the referee normally wear a white or blue Oxford shirt along with black slacks, black leather shoes and a black bow tie. Sometimes, latex gloves are worn for sanitary reasons and for professional matches a patch is usually worn on the left breast bearing the insignia of the organization sanctioning the fight and may also have a patch on their left sleeve bearing the flag of their home country. The referee have the following roles:

  • Gives instructions to both boxers before the fight.
  • Determines when to start or stop a count when a fighter is down.
  • Determines when a foul is so egregious that a warning should be given or points taken away.
  • Signals when the round is over.
  • Determines when one fighter's health will be endangered by more blows, then stopping the fight.

In the past, referees were involved in judging the fight however the role has been aggressively replaced by a panel of judges, except for domestic fights in some countries.


Cue Sports



Field Hockey

Figure Skating


American Football

Association Football

In association football, the referee is the final decision-making authority on all factors connected with play, and is the only official on the pitch with the authority to start and stop play and impose disciplinary action against players during a match. At most levels of play, the referee is assisted by two assistant referees formely known as linesmen, who are empowered to advise the referee in certain situations such as ball leaving play or infrigements of the Laws of the Game occuring out of the view of the referee; however, the assistant referees' decisions are not binding and the referee have authority to overrule an assistant referee. At higher levels of play the referee may also be assisted by a fourth official who supervises the teams' technical areas and assists the referees with administrative tasks.

Referees are licensed and trained by the same national organizations that are members of FIFA. Each national organization recommends it's top officials to FIFA to have the additional honor of being included on the FIFA International Referees List. Referees' remuneration for their services varies between leagues and many are wholly amateur, some may be paid a small fee and/or expenses and in some countries a limited number of referees-mainly whose officiate in their country's top league and are employed full-time by their national associations and receive a retainer at the start of every season plus match fees.


  • Stopping, suspending or terminating the match at their discretion, for any infrigements of the Laws.
  • Stopping, suspending or terminating the match because of outside interference of any kind.
  • Stopping the match if, in their opinion, a player is seriously injured and ensuring that they are removed from the field of play. An injured player may only return to the field of play after the match has been restarted.
  • Allowing play to continue until the ball is out of play if a player is, in their opinion, only slightly injured.
  • Allowing play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalizing the original offense if the anticipated advantage does not ensue.
  • Taking disciplinary action against players guilty of cautionable and sending-off offenses. They are not obliged to take this action immediately but most do so when the ball next goes out of play.
  • Taking action against team officials who fail to conduct themselves in a responsible manner and may, at their discretion, expel them from the field of play and it's immediate surrounds.


  • Enforcing the Laws of the Game.
  • Controlling the match in co-operation with the assistant referees and, when applicable, a fourth official.
  • Ensuring that any ball used meets the requirements of Law 2.

Gaelic Football




Ice Hockey



Lawn Bowls

Mixed Martial Arts




Roller Derby


Rugby League

Rugby Union




Underwater Hockey