Does Being a Paid Soccer Referee Affect NCAA Amateur Status?

The NCAA is pretty strict on amateurism, so does being paid as a referee affect your status? Almost certainly not.

The NCAA amateur rules mainly talk about getting paid to play.

One rule is that you can’t have ever received more than your expenses to participate on a team. Once you’re in college, there are additional restrictions on being on a professional team with other players who get paid more than their expenses.

The NCAA also says you can’t accept prize money from a competition above your expenses to attend.

There are no rules that broadly say you can’t get paid for anything to do with soccer.

It’s generally perfectly fine to get paid to be a soccer referee. You can also take other paid soccer jobs like being a coach.

One thing you might need to watch out for is who pays you. For example, if your college coach runs an outside soccer league and pays you to referee, that might be construed as an indirect way of paying you to play for that coach.

If there’s any sort of potential for a conflict of interest or a job is connected with your school or college soccer team in some way, ask your school’s eligibility contact before you take that job.

Is being a soccer referee a good job for a student-athlete?

Being a soccer referee offers flexibility and can pay comparatively well to other part-time jobs depending on where you live. However, the big problem is whether it conflicts with the college soccer season.

In most places, the overwhelming majority of youth soccer games play during the college season. If your college schedule blocks you from doing games then, being a referee might not be worth it.

Other places don’t have the same overlap of seasons. It’s also common for high school soccer to play in the winter or spring so it doesn’t conflict with high school football’s fall season.

Finally, there are often adult rec leagues that operate year-round that may need referees.

Another place you can look for jobs is as a coach with organizations like Super Soccer Stars. They often specifically look for college players because you’re young and can relate to the kids and have the soccer skills to impress them and their parents.

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