How Much Do Pickleball Referees Make? The Money Story

How Much Do Pickleball Referees Make

Are you thinking about becoming a pickleball referee, or do you know someone considering it? Being a referee for pickleball tournaments can be an exciting and rewarding career – especially if you get to travel around the world while doing what you love. But before committing to a potential profession, one might wonder exactly how much referees make in the sport of pickleball. In this blog post, we will discuss everything there is to know about How Much Pickleball Referees Make? so that you can determine whether or not it’s right for your future!

The Role of Pickleball Referees

Before we delve into the earnings of pickleball referees, let’s first take a look at the role they play in the sport. Referees have one of the most important jobs on any pickleball court – they are responsible for making sure that all rules are followed and that games are played fairly and safely.
In addition to officiating games, referees also have to keep track of scores, ensure fairness between teams, and ensure that players’ safety is not compromised. Referees must be knowledgeable about the rules of pickleball and have excellent problem-solving skills in order to properly officiate games and make sure everyone is playing by the rules.

How Much Do Pickleball Referees Make?

The amount of money that pickleball referees make will depend on several factors, such as the tournaments they are officiating and how much experience they have.

On average, pickleball referees can earn anywhere from $20 to $50 per hour for local and regional games. For higher-level tournaments or professional matches, the hourly rate can range from $50 to $100 or more.

In addition to hourly wages, some tournament organizers may pay out bonuses or other incentives to referees based on the quality of their officiating. Referees may also have travel expenses covered by tournament organizers if they are required to travel for certain games or tournaments. All in all, those who choose to become professional pickleball referees can look forward to a rewarding and lucrative career!

Factors Influencing Pickleball Referee Salaries?

Several factors come into play when determining the salaries of pickleball referees. These factors include:

1: Experience and Certification:

The more experience and certification a referee has, the higher their salary is likely to be. Those who have completed certified pickleball referee courses and have years of experience officiating games are highly sought after by tournament organizers and can expect to make more than those without certifications or much less experienced referees.

2: Location:

The location also plays a major role in determining referee salaries. For example, officials living in areas with an active pickleball community may be offered higher wages than those located in areas where the sport is not as popular.

3: Type of Tournament:

The type of tournament can also influence referee salaries. Professional tournaments typically pay more than local or regional events, and tournaments with higher stakes typically offer higher wages as well.

4: Quality of Officiating:

Referees who consistently demonstrate excellent officiating skills may be rewarded with bonuses or other incentives from tournament organizers. Similarly, referees who receive complaints consistently or are known for making bad calls may have their salaries reduced or not be hired to referee anymore.

What is the referee level in pickleball?

What is the referee level in pickleball

In pickleball, the referee level is determined by how much experience and certification the referee has. Generally, referees are given a level 1-5 rating based on their experience and knowledge of the sport. Level 1 referees usually have little to no officiating experience and may need some guidance while on the court. Level 2 referees have an understanding of the rules and regulations in place for pickleball games but may still need some guidance. Level 3 referees have enough experience to officiate games on their own and correctly apply all the rules. Level 4 referees usually have years of experience and can be trusted to make judgements on difficult calls without question.

Finally, level 5 referees are the most experienced and knowledgeable in pickleball officiating and may even be called upon to referee professional tournaments.

How To Become A Pickleball Referee?

Contact your Certified Referee Coordinator (CRC): Contact your local CRC to become certified. You will need to provide a valid email address and/or phone number for verification.

  • Complete an online training course: Most pickleball associations require referees to complete an approved online training course before becoming certified.
  • Attend a live workshop: Once you have completed the online training, you can then attend a live workshop. This will allow you to practice the skills necessary for officiating games and learn about any rule changes or updates.
  • Complete an exam: Once the online training and live workshop are completed, you must then take the official pickleball referee exam.
  • Submit a referee application: The final step is to submit a referee application to your local CRC. This will include your contact information, referee experience, and other relevant information.
  • Receive certification: Once the application is approved, you will be given a certificate of completion which certifies you as an official pickleball referee.

Becoming a certified pickleball referee takes dedication and hard work but can be both rewarding and lucrative for those willing to put in the effort. While the process may seem intimidating, following these six steps will ensure that you have all the necessary information and qualifications to become a professional pickleball referee. Good luck!

Is Becoming a Pickleball Referee Right for You?

Now that you know how much pickleball referees make, the next question is: Is becoming a professional referee right for you? If you’re knowledgeable about the rules of pickleball and have excellent problem-solving skills, then being a referee might be the perfect career for you. Aside from the financial benefits, being a referee can also be very rewarding since you are ultimately responsible for ensuring fair play and enforcing rules.

Overall, pickleball referees make good money, but it is important to consider all aspects of the role before committing to becoming a professional referee. With that in mind, if you have what it takes to become a professional referee, then you might just have the most exciting and rewarding career ahead of you!

Challenges Faced by Pickleball Referees?

Pickleball referees often face challenges such as dealing with difficult or uncooperative players, making timely and accurate calls, and being impartial. Referees must also be prepared to make quick decisions in tense situations, as well as have the necessary knowledge of the rules and regulations of pickleball. Additionally, referees may come under pressure from tournament organizers or teams when making controversial calls or decisions. This can be difficult to manage, but referees should remain professional and unbiased at all times in order to ensure fair play.


Overall, becoming a certified pickleball referee takes hard work and dedication but can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Professional referees have the potential to make good money from tournaments and receive higher wages for their expertise. However, it is important to consider all aspects of the role before committing, as referees are often faced with difficult decisions and must remain impartial at all times. If you have the necessary knowledge and problem-solving skills, then being a referee may be the perfect career for you! Good luck!

How Much Do Pickleball Referees Make


  1. What is the average hourly wage for pickleball referees?

    The average hourly wage for pickleball referees is around $25 per hour. This amount may vary depending on the type of tournament, referee experience, and quality of officiating.

  2. What qualifications do I need to become a pickleball referee?

    To become a certified pickleball referee, you must complete an online training course, attend a live workshop, and pass the official pickleball referee exam. You will also need to submit an application to your local Certified Referee Coordinator (CRC).

  3. Is pickleball in the Olympics?

    No, pickleball is not currently included in the Olympic Games. However, it is an emerging sport, and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP) has applied for its inclusion in the 2024 Olympics. There are also several international tournaments that take place each year. We can only hope that this dynamic and exciting sport may soon be included in the Olympic Games.

  4. How do you become a 5.0 pickleball player?

    To become a 5.0 pickleball player, you must first complete the Pickleball 4.5 Player Assessment. This is an online exam that tests your knowledge of the game and assesses your playing skills. Once the assessment is completed, you will be rated on a scale from 0 to 5.0 and give feedback on how to improve your pickleball skills. You can then use this feedback to increase your rating and become a 5.0 player. Additionally, you should practice regularly to hone your skills and stay up-to-date with any rule changes or updates.

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