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Umpires and Referees


Employment for umpires, referees, and other sports officials is expected to grow by 8 percent, faster than the average for all careers, through 2029, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The coronavirus pandemic, however, has impacted all sports, with many team sports cancelled earlier in 2020. Baseball, basketball, hockey, and other sports have since resumed but with new, strict protocols to protect the health of athletes, sports officials, and the general public. This has slowed employment growth for umpires and referees but post pandemic, job growth is expected to pick up. In general, the growth outlook for the field of sports officiating depends on the sport and the league worked. Umpires and referees are almost always needed at the youth, high school, and amateur levels, and people who are interested in supplementing their incomes this way or simply learning about the field of officiating should find plenty of opportunities for work, especially part-time work. Participation in college sports is also projected to increase in the coming years, especially at smaller colleges and in women’s sports.

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