If you love football, officiating is the greatest way to stay involved in the game. Many adults may choose to stay involved in football as coaches, administrators, trainers, or just as a fan. The great thing about being an official is that you actually get to be on the field and not on the sidelines. Each official is actively involved in every play of the game and has a direct influence on the outcome of the game. It is an exciting opportunity and an enormous responsibility. Many officials see their participation as an opportunity to give back something to a game that may have provided them with meaningful experiences as a player.
Officiating provides a meaningful reason to stay in shape. As we get older, many adults find it more difficult to find the time to exercise. Officiating gives you the opportunity to get out of the house two or three times a week and participate in an enjoyable and rewarding physical activity. Additionally, the successful official is motivated to exercise year-round so that he can maintain the level of physical fitness needed to maintain the physical stamina and mental clarity required to perform at the highest level.
Officiating appeals strongly to the competitive spirit that all of us possess. The successful official is a fierce competitor who enjoys the opportunity to work with teammates toward a common goal of officiating a good game. The officiating crew assigned to work a game is very much like the two teams that are participating in every game. Successful football officials work as a team in the sense that they spend time together preparing for the game, strap on their game equipment and uniforms, work on the field as a true team to meet the challenge of calling the perfect game. Of course, successful officials have no interest in which of the teams actually wins the game. They are only concerned with making sure that each team abides by the rules, that neither team gains an unfair advantage, ensure that player safety is maintained, and do their best to insure that good sportsmanship is followed
Football officiating is not an extremely lucrative hobby, but then again you will see a positive cash flow. Unlike other avocations like golf or hunting, the time spent at officiating will put some money in your pockets. KFOA members currently earn between $25 - $75 per game, depending on the level of play. If you're fortunate to work your way into the college ranks, you can currently earn anywhere from $150+ per game for NAIA and NCAA Division III games, to $500 - $1200 or more for Division I, based on the conference. The higher you go, the better the income and perks.
Football officiating requires you to make instantaneous decisions, resolve conflicts, and deal with stress and pressure. It demands good communications skills. Many football officials credit their experience as a football official with helping them advance their professional careers and improve their ability to build better personal relationships. The skills developed as an official will pay off in many other ways.
Football officiating is like a fraternity, and your fellow officials can become your friends for life. A tremendous bond is developed between officials as they work together for the common good and compete along side each other on the field. It's a special bond that is created and it can only be fully explained after you've experienced it. You will meet some of your best friends here.