How Much Do Pickleball Referees Make?

Pickleball is strongly competing with other interesting sports worldwide and increasing its popularity. Many people want to become referees, professional players, coaches, etc. Many wonder why Pickleball referees get paid. If they do, how much do they make? The following article gives you the details of the Referees and their earnings.

What is Pickleball?

Pickleball is an entertaining sport growing in popularity in the USA and winning against older sports like tennis, Badminton, and Ping Pong even as a new game.

People are showing interest in this sport as it is growing in popularity. Equal to the craze of becoming a Pickleball player, the referee position is also popular.

This sport can be played in singles and doubles, like tennis, Badminton, and Table tennis. You can pick a Pickleball game as a hobby or even become a professional with contact practice.

Who are Pickleball referees?

Every sport needs a person to judge and justify whether both sides are playing right by following all the rules. Pickleball referees are someone who plays a major role in Pickleball by making sure that players on either team are following the rules.

In this sport, there are different Referee levels, where it’s divided based on experience and skills. 

pickleball referees

They also track the score and do their job so that either team doesn’t get any advantage and plays fairly. Even after becoming a Certified referee, they must undergo advanced training to know the depth of the Pickleball game.

In the advanced program, they can learn more about the rules of Pickleball, techniques, faults, etc. 

Levels of Pickleball Referees:

There are four levels of Pickleball referees, according to the USAPA, and you can choose based on your experience and skills. Some of the levels of referring are,

Beginner or Newcomer level:

A newcomer referee is a beginner unfamiliar with becoming a referee. They may also need more basic skills in the sport.

level-1 Referee:

A Level-1 referee knows the fundamentals of Pickleball and can even judge whether players are playing right.

level-2 Referee:

These referees are more skillful than level-1 and are expected to judge for local tournaments. Level-2 referees should get a letter of experience from a Certified referee.

Certified Referee:

A certified referee has all the skills and experience in referring Pickleball matches. They get a chance to refer some advanced and international matches.

How to become a Pickleball referee?

Many people think that becoming a pickleball referee is easy, but it is not. They have to go through the following procedure.

  • The first and foremost thing to become a referee is to learn all the rules of Pickleball.
  • You can learn all the rules by taking an advanced training class or watching online video lessons from YouTube.
  • Try out referring some local matches to improve your experience and skills.
  • Next, go to certified pickleball referees for guidance on getting a certification and learn all the techniques to get advanced certifications.
  • Then, take an advanced training class and complete the interview with CRC. Get more than 90% in the test and interview. 
  • Meet new people and improve connections through the network by attending matches and meetings.
  • Pay attention to the skills and stay updated.
  • Once the applications are open, arrive on time and apply for the referee position.

Factors influence the compensation of the referees:

Some factors affect the Pickleball referee’s compensation, and they are,

Their level:

The amount they get from the four levels, newcomer, level-1, level-2, and certified, depends on their level. A beginner referee gets a minimum amount, and a certified referee gets more for every match. A referee can get more compensation based on their skills, knowledge, and experience level in the Pickleball community. 


Location plays a crucial role in compensation because some local organizations change their rate where the organization is located. If the location you stay has limited Pickleball events and competitive games, they get less chance to get the compensation. 


Every organization plays based on its rules and rates. So, the compensation of Pickleball referees depends on what organization you are under. 


As a beginner, you can expect a different compensation than a certified and experienced referee because an experienced referee’s skills and knowledge are wider than a beginner’s.

Responsibilities of a Pickleball referee:

Before becoming a Pickleball referee and earning money, they have to know about the responsibilities of participating in Pickleball programs as a referee. They are,

  • A referee’s first and foremost responsibility is to change the score in the score sheet after a player scores a point in a Pickleball game. 
  • In some matches, many players make some technical fouls, so you must pay attention to the gameplay and identify when there is any technical foul. You must immediately give technical warnings to the players after noticing the fault. Some common mistakes players make are service foot faults, non-volley zone violations, etc. 
  • A Pickleball referee must know all the rules in the official rulebook from the USAPA so you can check whether players are playing the game based on the official rules of Pickelabll. 
  • A referee must verbally warn the players whenever they notice behavioral violations.
  • Once there is a Pickleball time-out, you must announce it to the players so they can take a break in between the matches. 

Benefits of a Pickleball referee in a match:

Becoming a Pickleball referee comes with many benefits along with the money they earn. They can be part of the Pickleball community and contribute to the sport they love. The benefits of becoming a referee are,

More understanding about Pickleball:

After becoming a Pickleball referee, they understand the sport’s rules more deeply. This allows them to improve their skills but also can help other beginner players with their gameplay and strategies. They can even teach this sport to others and make a professional player. By understanding the rules, you can maintain the integrity of the game.

Not only by playing but pointing out mistakes as a referee can also help improve skills and understanding of the rules. As referees continuously engage with the rules, they become more familiar. This helps them to teach the people who need to become more familiar with the rules. As the level increases, they learn more about service foot faults, kitchen violations, behavioral violations, and other technical faults. 

Increases more connections:

As a part of the Pickleball community as a referee, the major advantage they can get is the improvement of the connections. This position in Pickleball is where I meet new people daily, improving networking. During the matches, they meet professional coaches, professional players, Pickleball enthusiasts, Organisers, and sponsors. This can help improve their network, allowing them to improve their professional position. 

Earning more money:

Most people become referees because of their enthusiasm for Pickleball. By becoming professional referees, they can earn more money while doing something they enjoy. A certified referee gets more financial benefits like free meals, accommodation, and travel allowances than others. 

They can also earn by referring to some non-sanctioned tournaments, but the income is less than the sanctioned tournaments. A certified referee can also earn additional money by participating in some training programs to teach others about the rules of a Pickleball game. 

Every person’s dream is to earn money while enjoying their work, and a Pickleball referee is the best example.


Pickleball is growing in popularity, which makes many interested in becoming professional players, referees, trainers, etc. Yes, Pickleball referees get paid for their job, and the average amount they can earn is $15-$20 per match.

Even though the compensation varies according to experience and level, $15-$20 is the standard compensation. A certified and experienced referee can get nearly $150 per match.


Who is a referee in Pickleball? 

A referee in Pickleball is responsible for making players follow the game’s rules and tracking the score.

How much do Pickleball referees earn?

Through the matches, the average they can earn is between $15-$20, which can rise based on the level of the Referee.

What are the levels of referees in Pickleball?

Here are four levels, and the compensation is based on their levels and experience. The compensation can also change according to the organization, location, etc.

Can any person become a referee of Pickleball?

Yes, anyone can become a referee, but they should meet all the requirements and also have the skills and knowledge in Pickleball.

Spread the love