Pickleball Referee Compensation: What to Expect

Pickleball referees can earn anything from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per event, depending on the level of competition, the type of tournament being officiated, the location of the event, and the referee's degree of expertise. Referees in the sport of pickleball might be compensated on an hourly basis, a per-game basis, or a set rate. Some broad principles are outlined below.

Amateur and Community Play

Referees in informal or local pickleball games may be volunteers or paid a small amount, usually by the game or by the hour. This may involve receiving no payment at all or a nominal sum, say $10 to $20 per hour.


Referees are usually paid more in more intense situations like competitions. The prize money can change depending on the size, level, and location of the tournament. In larger and more famous competitions, referees may earn as much as $50 each game.

Authorized Umpires

Referees who have completed formal training and certification may be paid more than their less-qualified counterparts. Their knowledge and experience are important for officiating the game correctly and fairly.

Expenses and Traveling Time

Referees may receive reimbursement for their time and gas for large events that require them to travel a considerable distance.

Differences by Region

Pickleball officials' earnings might fluctuate from one jurisdiction to the next. More pickleball players and tournaments mean more chances for referees, and potentially higher pay, in places with a higher population density.

Pay for pickleball officials is not set in stone and is subject to change. It's possible that referees who work more important games and prominent tournaments will receive more money. Furthermore, some referees may opt to officiate pickleball matches as a side gig or pleasure, while others may choose to take the job seriously.

For the most up-to-date and accurate information on referee compensation, it is best to get in touch with the tournament organizers or the pickleball association in your area if you are interested in becoming a pickleball referee.

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