Referee Nov. 14 2020| 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 rule infractions, "call them", and participate in deliberations regarding contested calls. Work under the direction of the Head Referee. They 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 role positioned on the perimeter of the playing field.

*Must sign a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement prior to start of service.


  • 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 to discuss rule infractions
  • Observe matches, "call" rule infractions
  • Must participate in pre-event conference call setup by the Head Referee

Experience and Skills Needed

  • Must be post-high school or equivalent (minimum age of 19 at time of service)
    • Exceptions may be granted by event Volunteer Coordinators after review and approval by FIRST HQ
  • 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, diplomacy skills and an eye for detail
  • 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 start of competition season. Head Referee conducts training during a teleconference approximately one week in advance of the event and provides guidance during the competition.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

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


* Must read and comply with the FIRST Volunteer Rights and Responsibilities