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15 Characteristics Best Referees Should Have

September 7, 2021 1471 0
15 Characteristics Best Referees Should Have

Did you know referees are crucial in sports betting? That’s why they need to develop these characteristics.

Sports have been part of our history as early as 2000 BC. There is much evidence of competitions in the ancient past of China, as shown in their artifacts and other structures, while swimming, fishing, wrestling, high jump, and javelin throw for ancient Egypt. Ancient Greece had a significant sports development and became a prominent aspect of their culture, which created the Olympic Games. 

Since the emergence of the Olympics, many sports have become more organized and regulated. Sports made people attend, participate, and follow the athletic events up until today. It developed professionalism among others, and it increased massive following from people that are enthusiastic about sports. 

The progress of sports throughout history made a lot of professional athletes around the world. But all sports wouldn’t be successful without proper officiating of how to play a particular sport. Most games need a referee to officiate all the rules to have a peaceful and fun game. Athletes can be fierce with their play because of their determination to win, which sometimes makes the game intense. One of the referee’s duties is to keep a fair game and avoid misconduct among athletes. Referees need specific characteristics to be able to fulfill the duties of officiating a game. 

A Calm Attitude

Referees need to stay calm at all times to control the game properly. Remaining calm during the game influences other athletes and officials as well. Referees that keep their cool during the game can also have a good relationship with the coaches, which will help in resolving tense situations. Referees also gain respect from all the people involved in the sport if they know they can handle any situation with composure.

Referees must learn how to stay calm and listen to the players and coaches at all times but must maintain at least a language barrier for better communication. All sports need good communication with the officials to have a nice and fair game.

New referees must know when to stay silent and when to stay away from confrontations. They also need to learn how to handle a situation calmly. They have to develop these characteristics to become a better referee.


Another characteristic a referee should have is approachability. Part of having a calm attitude in officiating is being approachable. This is an important characteristic to support a harmonious game among competitors. Referees that are accessible and approachable create a comfort zone between them, the players, and the coaches. This kind of characteristic allows participants to pattern the same behavior, specifically between coaches and players, that developed a better camaraderie. 

Referees that are approachable attract people because of their personalities and how they officiate the game. It also promotes a good reputation for the referee’s whale personality.

A Presentable Appearance

Most people would agree that a person’s appearance matters with their overall personality. A referee should also practice dressing up appropriately for every event of sports they will officiate. Part of having a presentable appearance is always showing up on time, which shows how passionate a referee is with the tasks they need to do for the sport. Referees that possess positive qualities reflect a perception that their officiating of the game will go smoothly, which players and coaches will appreciate more.


Referees must have confidence in themselves in how they will officiate a game. They must be comfortable with their knowledge and skills in handling the entire duration of the game. Part of good officiating is their confidence in making decisions in making solutions for difficult situations. Confidence takes a lot of work and experience with the fundamentals of the sport.


A good referee will hold their honesty in all the games that they are officiating. They must practice a complete absence of bias and must not engage in illegal activities. Referees are rarely accused of misconduct against any sport. They should not involve themselves in any conflict of working the game.

A Reputable Background

Another good characteristic of a good referee is having a reputable background, which helps dictate the success of a particular game. They must have a strong character in dealing with higher levels of intensity in any sport. Officiating a game also takes good practice and experience, and must hold a good record of making good calls and controlling the entire game. 


Officiating a game needs good movements inside the area where a referee should see many angles and positions. A referee needs to be in the right place at the right time to witness the entire play and be able to decide on making the correct call.

Game Management

Referees should be able to handle big situations and make the right calls. Players and coaches will respect and honor any referee’s decisions, making them in good control of the game. Good game management is an important factor in maintaining a fair game. A good referee should be open-minded and be able to communicate with everyone involved in the game. These characteristics help referees avoid making mistakes in their officiating.

Referees should also learn from their past mistakes and experiences to deconstruct games in a good way.

Good Judgment

One of the most important characteristics of a referee is having good judgment during the game, especially in the most intense situations where players and coaches depend on the referee’s call. It is a byproduct of experience and hard work through the knowledge of the sport itself. The good judgment applies through the critical principles of the advantages and disadvantages of the rules of the sport. It simply means no harm, no foul.


Consistency is every athlete and officials struggle to maintain in any type of sport. Younger referees need to double their efforts in developing this characteristic in building their careers in officiating a particular sport. A good referee maintains their good decisions with their judgment, especially when the game is going into a crucial ending. Being consistent in making good calls will earn them good criticisms and reviews from the athletes, coaches, and other game officials. 


The world of sports is full of people with high morale and enthusiasm in winning the game and beating their opponents. Referees should expect different personalities, pressure from spectators, repercussions, and seasoned officials that they will have to deal with during a game. A referee should stay courageous at all times and should not let anybody dictate their judgments in officiating the game.

Common Sense

One of the most important characteristics that a referee should have is common sense. This helps a referee keep a fair game between competitors by having a good understanding and interest in the sport. All people involved in the game will benefit from this characteristic of a referee, where the rules and spirit of the game will be present with good officiating.

There would be games that would have situations where it wouldn’t be covered by its mechanics or rules. A referee’s common sense should apply in making decisions about what should be done and maintain a fair game. Dealing with players and coaches requires good communication, which helps in handling difficult situations such as whether to call a violation or not.

Communication Skills

As mentioned above, communication plays a vital role in every sport. It is one of the best characteristics of everyone involved in the sport. The referees should establish good communication channels with the players and coaches to let them know that they are officiating for the game and not making themselves famous. Good communication skills also promote friendly competitions and not to make enemies among players and coaches. This characteristic is important in making players and coaches cooperate with the referees and respect every call. 

A referee should be cordial and polite during officiating and must keep a reasonable distance from either team to avoid the doubt that they are taking sides. They also have to be receptive to people’s complaints and questions to clear their side. Referees also should avoid getting discouraged from barrages of comments, and they should avoid having long discussions to get the game going.


Like the players and coaches, a referee should also be motivated in doing their task in officiating a game. They must have a positive mental attitude and feel lively during the game to help them make the right calls. A referee must also be dedicated and hard-working to increase their levels of motivation, which will also help them enjoy every moment of their task in a game. Feeling less motivated affects their officiating and will lead to complicated situations because of misunderstandings.

Psychological Skills

A good referee must also develop psychological skills no matter how well they know the rules of the game. This characteristic can help referees with the way they communicate with the players, coaches, and spectators to let them know that they are in control of the entire game. Referees need to establish their presence as an official who will manage a fair and good competition among the players and coaches. 


All these characteristics of a referee are important key elements in making a game successful. The rules and mechanics of the game are the referee’s responsibility to implement fairly to avoid difficult situations among everyone involved in the game.


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