Officials are vital to a thriving sport community

We help connect officials to their provincial sport organizations for training, provide grants and scholarships for financial assistance, and advocate for the positive treatment of officials across Manitoba.

Becoming an Official

How to Become an Official

Officiating is different in every sport, so the process and qualifications to become an official varies. Know which sport you want to officiate? The best way to get started is by connecting with your Provincial Sport Organization (PSO). Find your PSO by visiting our partners page.

For example, want to ref basketball? Contact Basketball Manitoba. Want to become a commissaire for cycling? Contact Cycling Manitoba. Want to become a rowing umpire? Contact Manitoba Rowing Association.

Most courses for officials have a small fee. If you need financial assistance to take your courses, apply for our Coach or Official Assistance Grant.

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Officials training, certification, and mentorship proudly supported by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries

Personal Benefits of Being an Official

Money – Many refereeing and officiating roles are paid positions through your PSO, so it’s a great way to earn extra income on a flexible and casual schedule

Giving back – Once your playing days are behind you, officiating helps you stay connected to sport and give back to the sport community

Life experience – High-level officials are always in demand, so experienced officials can unlock incredible opportunities to travel the world officiating at national and international sporting events

Officials and the Sport Community

Think of where you see officials – at league games, tournaments, provincial and national competitions. At a national swim meet, for example, dozens of officials are needed to fulfill roles as timekeepers, inspectors of turns, and judges of stroke. Sport needs officials – and lots of them.

Officials ensure the event unfolds with fairness and integrity, which are fundamental to a positive sport experience.

No Ref, No Game

Over the years, a culture of maltreatment toward officials became the norm. We see it in movies and in real life on a regular basis. However, maltreatment toward officials for simply doing their job is harmful to sport as a whole.

In June of 2022, The Athletic released an article about a referee ‘crisis’ for Canadian soccer, as just under 60% of officials returned to the pitch post-pandemic, and the same article noted Hockey Canada is seeing similar numbers.

No Ref, No Game focuses on two key messages for the sport community:

Respect your referees and officials

Get trained to become an official

You can help support a thriving sport system by being respectful toward existing officials or getting trained to be an official yourself.