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Love Football? Need a Side Gig? SD County Football Officials Association Needs You

Football officials referees
The county is in need of new officials at youth and high school football games. Photo credit: @SanDiegoCountyFootballOfficialsAssociation via Facebook

The San Diego County Football Officials Association is seeking new referees who can work youth and high school football games in the fall.

Anyone interested in starting a career in football officiating or looking for a gig to
boost their income is encouraged to sign up online. The association’s members act as referees at flag football, Pop Warner, American Youth Football and high school games.

“We’re seeking adults of all ages who have a passion for football to become referees and help us continue the long tradition of top-notch high school football in San Diego,” Terry Bernard, the association board’s president. “It’s an opportunity to give back to your community and
offers a flexible schedule for those looking for a side job to earn extra cash.”

The officiating assignments are open to adults of all ages and includes a thorough instructional program. New officials earn between $66 and $80 per tackle football game; over a three-month season, that may reach $2,500 depending on the official’s availability and the level of games assigned.

The National Federation of State High School Associations conducted a survey that showed the field has lost more than 50,000 sports officials across the country since 2018-2019 – the last full school year unaffected by the pandemic.

One of the biggest contributing factors for the decline is older officials retiring, and as more retire, there are fewer new recruits joining to replace them.

“Having lost so many sports officials during the pandemic, there is a tremendous
opportunity for new officials to step in, work a ton of games and potentially earn a
varsity assignment in the first year,” said Gary Gittelson, chair of the association’s
recruitment committee.

The association’s members include teachers, real estate agents, lawyers, chefs, police
officers, architects, engineers, restaurant owners and former NFL players.

In addition, the association partners with Battlefields2Ballfields.org to help veterans get integrated back into the community through officiating by offering scholarships to help veterans pay for dues and officiating equipment.

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