April 13, 2024

What It Takes To Be An NFL Referee

Being an NFL referee is not an easy job. Before a game starts, referees have to memorize the rulebook and dress in several layers of apparel to preserve their body heat. On top of that, they have to be able to perform on top of the physical strains they encounter while performing.

Some of the actions taken by NFL referees can impact your NFL picks against the spread so you must be keen to know the ref officiating your favorite team battle. In this article, we are going to explain some of the basic requirements for an NFL official:

You Need Experience as an Official

Most NFL officials start out officiating high school games or small college games before moving through college football and eventually into the pros. There are four divisions in college football — Division I, II, III, and NAIA — with different sets of rules depending on the level of play.

The NFL only hires officials who have worked several years at lower levels, gaining experience with each new level until they’re ready for the big time, which means they’ve seen a lot of different types of plays.

That can help when they’re making decisions on game day because they’ll have seen similar situations before and know how rulebook standards should handle them.

Mental Toughness

Football is played by some of the toughest athletes out there, so it takes a specific type of person to make it through training camp and earn a spot on an NFL roster. 

For example, if you play basketball with intensity, you know how much your body can ache after just one game — multiply that by six months and then imagine dealing with that pain every week during the season.

It takes mental toughness to endure physical pain and keep going back for more each week during training camp and beyond.

Being in Shape

The NFL referee is not a position for someone out of shape. These referees are always on their feet and running around the field. They need to be able to keep up with the players if they want to remain in good physical shape.

Good Eyesight

NFL officials need to see clearly from the moment they arrive at the stadium until the end of the game, which can last up to four hours. They must be able to see things far away or up close.

For example, an official may have to spot a player on the sidelines who is out of bounds and make a judgment call on whether his knee hit the ground before touching the sideline. Such judgments are critical for those who wager on sports books like BET US and others.

Good Hearing

Officials must listen carefully for necessary signals like timeouts and substitutions. They also hear coaches and players arguing during games and use their hearing skills to decide what sounds are important and what they can ignore.

Quick Decision-Making Skills

You have to be able to make good decisions in every situation. You might have only a few seconds to decide whether something is a penalty or not, so you need good judgment skills. You have to ensure that your decision is fair for both teams playing on the field.

Referees are responsible for making instantaneous decisions that could determine whether a player should be penalized, ejected, or placed back in the game after being injured. These split-second calls can happen during a game — even when it seems like there’s no time left on the clock!

You have to be able to make correct calls under pressure in front of millions of people worldwide who are watching your every move and judging your performance after every play.

Quick Reflexes

Referees need quick reflexes to make calls on the field quickly and accurately. They must also be able to move quickly around the field without losing track of what is happening on the field or getting in the way of players or other officials.


Referees also need confidence in their ability to make difficult decisions without doubts about whether they are right or wrong. Having confidence in yourself is vital for dealing with players, coaches, and fans regularly during the season.

Staying calm under pressure is essential, especially when making difficult decisions during live games.

Good Communication Skills

Communication is vital in any workplace environment; however, it’s essential when officiating at professional sporting events because it can help prevent mistakes during live action. The ability to speak clearly and intelligently will help ensure that everyone involved understands your instructions before they occur.

For a referee to maintain control over a game and make good calls, they must have good communication skills with players and coaches. This includes speaking enough for everyone involved in the game.


But while the NFL referees are the professionals of the profession, they, too, work a whole year and deal with their pressures. They are supposed to have your back during their time on the field.

They know the rules, so you don’t have to fear picking the right BET US picks. And even if things don’t always turn out as we’d like, they are never swayed by outside influences or emotions in big games. NFL referees are constant professionals in a sport where nothing is as it seems.