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How to Become a Licensed NCAA Official

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How to Become a Licensed NCAA Official. Becoming a sports official is not something that you can enter lightly or a quick career choice. Instead people who want to become a licensed NCAA official must work their way up from the basic little league levels to high school and then collegiate sports. While there are no set paths, there are a few steps you can take to ease your way into a career as an NCAA official.

Learn the basic rules of the sport that interests you. While you likely know many of these rules if you are a fan of the sport, take the time to familiarize yourself with the official rules. In contact sports, such as football, the rules are different from level to level, and you should know the basics of the youth leagues first.

Sign up to be an official in a youth league. In many instances, you must get started in these leagues as a volunteer. While the training and games may seem to take up a good deal of your time, it helps to remember that you are working to become a licensed NCAA official, and the volunteer time goes toward that effort.

Begin networking. As soon as you are working in the youth leagues, you'll have better access to people who hire referees and officials for high school sports in your area. Begin asking questions about how you would follow that path.

Study weekly. Familiarize yourself with different rules at the next level and to make sure that you are making the best calls each time you work at your current level. Armchair ref NCAA games to give yourself additional practice.

Find out about the official steps you should take. Training courses and licensing exams are required to move up at each level of officiating. While networking is valuable, you should use the information you learn to prepare you to move toward the next level until you have reached the NCAA.


Becoming a licensed official means that you need to have confidence in your calls. Regardless of the sport, you'll face angry fans and players, and it is imperative that you stand behind your decisions.


Few people work as officials. If you want to follow this path, you must make sure that you work hard at each level.