Definition: Arbitrator Job Description

What are the missions of the Arbitrator? What training to follow to exercise this profession? What are his outlets and his salary? The answers are provided to you by this referee job description.

Referee profession

We meet him at any sporting meeting and without him, no match could take place. Discover the referee’s profession in detail in order to check if it corresponds to your aspirations and your retraining objectives.

What is an arbitrator?

Expert in the sport concerned, the referee (or judge depending on the sport) is the guarantor of respect for the rules, in complete neutrality. His role is essential for the smooth running of a match, a game or a game.

Missions of the referee

  • Observe the match and the gestures or movements of the players, moving on or near the field and without obstructing them;
  • Intervene in the event of fault or due inappropriate actions then sanction or give the advantage to the adversary if necessary;
  • Act with all the objectivity due to your role and without ever taking sides;
  • Evacuate injured players.

Where does the arbitrator work?

Field profession, the referee moves over a greater or lesser distance to get to the sporting or gaming meeting places.

If there is no link of subordination within the meaning of the Labor Code, the referee exercises under the authority of the Federation of the sport concerned, which therefore requires him to comply with Internal Regulations. She is also the one who makes the appointments of the referees for the various matches.

Usually, the referee is a volunteer for a sports association. Some salaried positions are offered in clubs.

Trends in the profession

Since 2006, the protection of arbitrators or judges has been strengthened since they are now considered to be in charge of a public service mission, which increases the penalties for aggressors. The professionalization of the players also reinforces their role.

Qualifications required to become a referee

To practice the profession of arbitrator, a large number of qualities are important, the most important of which are the following:

Excellent knowledge of the game

One of the essential qualities that a referee must possess is inevitably to have a perfect knowledge of the sport. Although some can exercise the profession without having practiced at the highest level, knowledge of the requirements of the game is mandatory for those who wish to be among the best referees.

Charisma and diplomacy

The professional must have a natural charisma to know how to impose himself while showing diplomacy and tact. He must also be endowed with a great strength of character to remain impassive and impartial in the face of protests from players or spectators.

Good physical condition

Excellent physical condition when it comes to moving around the pitch is necessary as the referee runs almost as much as the players themselves in this case.


Quickly spotting faults and misconduct requires a good sense of observation.

Training to become a referee

To become an official referee, you must be represented by a club and pass a theoretical and practical exam, but to be a voluntary referee with an association or a small sports club, no diploma is required. To access the rank of high level referee (in France), it is necessary to obtain a university diploma in “High level sport and refereeing”.

Possible evolutions of the referee

The most efficient referees and fair in their decisions can be brought to take care of matches of very high level, and even make a career in the international one.

Salary of an arbitrator

The beginner and/or volunteer referee is not remunerated but may receive compensation during competitions depending on their importance. These are between a few hundred and a few thousand dolars depending on the sport.

The few salaried referees receive a fixed salary and the best can considerably increase their salaries by participating in matches or competitions of a very high level.

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