Referee Aug. 29 2023| 0 KB

Content Type: FIRST Robotics Competition, Volunteer
Program: FIRST Robotics Competition
Tags: Events, Training, Volunteer

The Referee for FIRST Robotics Competition is a key volunteer position. Referees observe matches, identify and "call" rule infractions, and participate in deliberations with other referees and the Head Referee regarding contested calls. They work under the direction of the Head Referee, and play a critical role in ensuring a positive, fair environment with a smooth flow of match play, and maintaining the pace of the event. This role is physically active and positioned on the perimeter of the playing field.

*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to start of service. A conflict of interest does not necessarily preclude an individual from being assigned the Referee role.


  • Must participate in pre-event conference call and/or onsite meeting conducted by the Head Referee
  • Contribute to a positive and fair competition environment for all participants
  • Display Gracious Professionalism at all times, even in stressful situations
  • Participate in discussions with Head Referee and other Referees to determine official penalty or scoring rulings
  • Monitor/promote safe practices on and around the playing field - lead by example
  • Wear safety glasses and provided Referee shirt when in the arena
  • Obtain a radio from the Head Referee (used to discuss rule infractions)
  • Observe matches and "call" rule infractions

Experience and Skills Needed

  • Must be post-high school or equivalent
  • Minimum age: 18
    • Exceptions may be granted by event Volunteer Coordinators after review and approval by the local Program Delivery Partner
  • Thorough knowledge of the competition game and rules of play, including staying up-to-date with Team Updates (must pass certification test prior to first Referee shift each season based on the timeline established by the Chief Referees)
  • Work and interact with volunteers, team members and students, contracted and FIRST staff
  • Approachable personality; high energy
  • Ability to balance the nature of the position as one of ensuring fair play, while acting as a mentor and role model to students participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition
  • Strong communication skills and ability to "take charge"; be assertive, but tactful
  • Ability to collaborate with others, work as a member of a team
  • Ability to move about the field and stand for long periods of time

Volunteer Time Commitment

  • Must pass online Referee certification by deadline set by FIRST HQ
  • Minimum 2 full day commitment (Districts)
  • Minimum 3 full day commitment (Regionals)

Note: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer Coordinator for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive. Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to the start of every shift to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration table.


Pre-event certification provided by FIRST HQ prior to the competition season. Head Referee conducts additional training during a teleconference approximately one week in advance of the event and/or onsite meeting. The Head Referee provides guidance during the competition.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

  • Direct Supervision: Head Referee
  • On-Site Support: Volunteer Coordinator


* Must read and comply with the Volunteer Handbook