Football is one of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) most popular sports. College bowls are championship games, and officials are often paid above and beyond their college umpire salary for officiating them. Because the teams and their fans have so much invested in these games, there's a lot of pressure on the referees.
If this is something you are interested in pursuing, you may wish to first read about what college bowl referees do and how to get into this line of work. How much do college umpires make, and how does that compare to Super Bowl ref pay?
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When the NCAA hires referees for bowl games, it almost always chooses from its pool of officials. These referees work throughout the regular season, calling games between various teams. They undergo extensive training on all of the rules of the game. Many are side judges, line judges, or work in specific positions for most games.
A college bowl referee job description entails most of the same duties as a regular season college ref. However, sometimes there are special rules for bowl games. Additionally, because there is so much intensity around bowl games, they need additional time to prepare and recuperate. That's part of why they're paid a sum on top of their salary.
While most NCAA officials have college degrees, the league doesn't require it. Instead, an in-depth, demonstrated knowledge of the game is much more critical. They acquire this through years of study and experience.
Many professional referees begin officiating games at a young age. As their peers become athletes, they rise as referees for games at higher and higher levels. There are also training programs that help teach crucial skills. Many NCAA officials work at elite high school games before the collegiate level.
The NCAA is a large, powerful organization. College sports survived the COVID-19 pandemic; it's improbable anything else will take them down now.
The bowl games just went through a significant change. They transitioned from individual bowl games to a single championship. Most bowl games are part of this championship system, and each team is included.
These games alone are highly lucrative. The average payout for bowl games is very high. How much money does each bowl game pay out to the conference? It varies. For example, the Rose Bowl payout to the conference is approximately $4 million per team, while the payout for the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl Classic is $6 million per team, per FanBuzz.
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How much do college umpires make? Most bowl game officials work full time for the NCAA as referees. The annual salary for a college referee is around $57,000 per year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, umpires, referees, and other sports officials across all leagues and levels earned a median salary of around $38,000 in 2021. The top 10 percent of earners in this category made more than $80,000. Undoubtedly, several NCAA officials are in the top echelon, and most earn more than the national average.
In addition to annual salaries, college bowl refs earn a fee for working the bowl game itself. It may be several hundred or a few thousand dollars and may include travel and lodging expenses.
It's unlikely that the NCAA will eliminate bowl games. As long as there are bowl games, they will require referees and officials.
In addition, NCAA and bowl game officials can move up to work for the National Football League. The championship game in the NFL is the Super Bowl. How much do Super Bowl refs make? A Super Bowl ref pay is approximately $200,000.