How much do pickleball referees make?

Referees play a vital role in conducting any professional match of any sport in a fair manner. This case is the same for pickleball as well. Whenever we play any professional tournament or game of pickleball, we get to see that referees have a significant role in maintaining fair play and resolving disputes if they arise. But do you know how much do pickleball referees make? in a match. If not, then we will be answering in detail here.

I am an experienced pickleball player and have played hundreds of professional games in various tournaments at various levels. That’s why I got many opportunities to talk with pickleball referees of different levels. So, I came to know about their match salaries as well.

How much do pickleball referees make?

The match fees or salaries of referees used to be different at different levels, type of event or tournament, it also depends on their experience and knowledge. They also get several perks. Let’s start the discussion on all these aspects in detail.

How much do pickleball referees make?

In general, the pickleball referees can make $15 to $20 in each match but it depends on their experience level and also on the level of the tournament. It can even go upto $150 per match on the basis of the experience and if the referee is certified by USA Pickleball Association.

Apart from this match fees, they also get compensation and allowances like travel allowance, uniform allowance, etc

Factors Influencing the match fees & compensation of Pickleball Referee:

There are several factors that determine the match fees or compensation received by a pickleball match referee.


Experience is the major factor in deciding the match fees as well as the compensation of the match referee. It’s important to have an experience of playing pickleball professionally at least 4 to 5 years to become a match referee.

If you have just joined the field as a match referee then you can’t expect more, but if you have spent 4-5 years in the field then you got higher match fees with a good compensation and allowances. The amount totally depends on the organisation under which you are referring.

Certification level:

A certificate shows your expertise in the field, and if you have any certificate from any recognised organisation or governing body, then it will help you to get more match fees as compared to the referees who don’t have such certificates.

There used to be different levels of referees in the game of pickleball like:

Newcomer level:

Under this category, all those referees are considered who have just started the role recently, and don’t have any prior experience of progressing any type of match as a referee.

If you want to become a referee at this level, then you need to read the rules and regulations decided by USAPA regarding the game and then join USAPA and register yourself for the training session of a referee.

Level 1 Referee:

You should keep learning the sport and you can do refereeing in unofficial events. You need to work on your skills of making decisions, taking real time decisions with utmost accuracy. You should play different roles in unofficial tournaments like as a referee, a line judge, etc to learn more.

Level 2 Referee:

At this level, you can referee official events and tournaments of local level. You can work under the guidance of a certified referee which will help you to learn more.

Certified Referee:

If you get a certificate of refereeing by USAPA, then you can officiate any level of matches from local level to state level, or state level to international level. To become certified level referee, you must have a good experience of refereeing in hundreds of official events. You need to pass some tests like line judge with an accuracy of more than 90% to get certified.

If you achieve this level, then your match fees will be very high and you will be getting a lot of perks and compensations.

Level of tournament:

The match fees for a referee also depends on the level of the event. If the event is a local level event, then you can expect $10 to $15 for every match. It also depends on the locality where the matches are conducted. The budget of such a small event used to be less, so you will be paid less.

How much do pickleball referees make?

But if you are referring to a national or international level tournament, then you can expect around $150 per match with a lot of perks and other benefits. The budget of these big tournaments used to be very high, so you can expect more here.

Also Read: How to add texture to pickleball paddles?

How can you become a Pickleball referee?

Becoming a referee in pickleball is not a one day game, you have to try hard for years and learn the game rules and expertise yourself. You need to be aware of all rules and regulations by the USA Pickleball Association.

After learning all the rules, you have to be a referee in local events to get experience and then you should work under the guidance of some certified referees which will help you to learn real life decision making experience.

Then you have to do advanced training and complete all required tests with an accuracy of more than 90%. Now, you are eligible to apply for the positions of a referee.


The salary and compensation of a pickleball referee vary vastly and depend on several factors. So, I hope that you now know “How much do pickleball referees make?”. But still if you have any question blowing in your mind, then the comment section below is waiting for you. I will try to resolve your query.

If you believe in sharing knowledge and information with your friends and colleagues, then what are you waiting for? Share this article with all the pickleball lovers so that if anyone has the quench of becoming a referee in pickleball, then it will be helpful for him. Have a nice day!

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