Hated, but Undeniably Essential: Referees in Sports

Hated, but Undeniably Essential: Referees in Sports

I remember in the 1990s, I was playing in a men's tackle football league. It was on Sunday mornings in Toronto. We had no equipment, and it was extremely violent. I loved it! However, the 1st season, we had no referees. Arguments were usually solved by intimidation, and other teams had bigger guys, so we lost most of those disagreements of opinion! Then, we added referees, and although we then argued with THEM instead of each other, they brought necessary elements to the game: rule enforcement and impartiality. In sports, we tend to only notice the ref when they make a controversial (or simply bad) call. It takes a unique personality to be a ref. We should all go out of our way to thank them, because without them, most (or all) sports wouldn't even exist. Let's now see how much you know about the number of referees that officiate different sports. Here we go:

How many referees are there in Ultimate Frisbee?

In total, how many referees and judges are there in a sumo match?

In a boxing match, how many officials are there?

In MLB playoff games, how many umpires are there in a typical game?

In what year did the NHL introduce the 2 referee system?

In tennis, how many officials are there?

In the NBA, how many officials work a game?

In gaelic football, how many officials work a match?

In rugby, how many officials are there?

How many umpires work a baseball game?

How many referees are there in a handball game?

How many referees are there in water polo?

In Olympic Figure Skating, how many referees & judges are there in total?

In bowling, how many referees are there?

In what year did the NFL first use instant replay to help aid the officials?

In cricket matches, how many officials are there?

How many officials work a hockey game?

How many referees are there in field hockey?

In NCAA football, how many officials work a game?

In the NFL, how many officials work a game?

In soccer, how many officials are there?

In volleyball, how many officials are there?

In professional Australian Football League games, how many officials work a match?

In MMA matches, how many referees are there?

How many referees are there in lacrosse?

Hated, but Undeniably Essential: Referees in Sports

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Dave Morrissey

Dave is an accomplished economics instructor with over two decades of experience in the prestigious International Baccalaureate program. His students have consistently ranked in the top 10% annually, and one year they achieved the highest overall class average in the world. This outstanding achievement led a UK publisher to request that he write a textbook, an offer he declined in favor of creating sports quizzes, which he found more engaging.

In addition to his teaching career, Dave is also a former high school football coach, having won a couple of local championships. While he wishes he had won more, he continues to be deeply involved in football as a scout, recruiter, and social media creator for a university football team.

Dave's passions extend beyond the classroom and football field. He is an avid fan of live music and international travel, often combining these interests. He has traveled to Spain, England, Iceland, and Chile to see bands perform. His greatest pride and joy is his daughter, who has recently excelled in powerlifting. In just a few years, she has become the Canadian record holder for the bench press in her weight class and finished second overall in the combined national event (bench, deadlift, and squat) in Moose Jaw in March 2024. She will be representing Canada at the World Bench Competition in Austin, Texas, in May 2024.

A die-hard fan of the Las Vegas Raiders, Dave has experienced his share of sports heartache, having seen them play in seven NFL cities with six losses. His all-time favorite athlete is Don Mattingly, reflecting his deep love for sports that spans many arenas.