Position Summary - This is a certified position

Referees observe team matches, identify rule violations, and "call" them. They participate in deliberations regarding contested calls. Work under the direction of the Head Referee. 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 a physically active role positioned on the perimeter of the playing field.

*Must sign a Volunteer Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Form 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
  • Monitor/promote safe practices on and around the playing field; wear safety glasses during the matches
  • Observe matches, "call" rule infractions; determine penalties
  • Participate in deliberations regarding contested calls as needed
  • Participate in discussions with Head Referee and other referees to determine official penalty or scoring rulings
  • Participate in deliberations with the Head Referee regarding robot-related issues

Experience and Skills Needed

  • Ability to "take charge"; be assertive, but tactful
  • Thorough knowledge of the competition game and rules of play (must pass certification test)
  • Work and interact with volunteers, team members and students, contracted and FIRST staff
  • Approachable personality; high energy
  • Strong communication, diplomacy skills
  • Ability to collaborate with others, work as a member of a team
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to move about the field
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Strong assessment skills

Time Commitment

  • Commitment: Pre-event training and certification + Minimum three days at event
  • Approximate times:

Day                                                                             Times

Practice Day (the day before the competition)             8am – End of Day

Day One of the Competition                                       8am – End of Day

Day Two of the Competition                                       8am – End of Day

Note 1: Event schedules vary. Please check the event schedule and talk to your Volunteer Coordinator,  for detailed information on when you are expected to arrive.

NOTE: Volunteers should arrive on site 15-20 minutes prior to start of every shift in order to allow time to check in at the Volunteer Registration desk. 


Pre-event certification provided by FIRST Head Quarters prior to start of competition season. Head Referee conducts training during a teleconference approximately one week in advance of the event and at the Volunteer Orientation and Training on Wednesday* or Thursday evening and provides guidance during the competition.

Reporting Relationships and Supervision

Direct supervision: Head Referee                              

On-site guidance: Volunteer Coordinator

*Please Note: some events will conduct a pre-event evening Volunteer Orientation and Training.