How much do WNBA and NBA referees make per game? Here’s everything you need to know about NBA referees’ salary.
From the perspective of sports research bodies, basketball is one of the most strenuous sports activities for the referees—for one, its game speed. In a flash, the basketball can traverse from either end of the court, go through swaps among players, and next dance-bounce through the basketball ball net, giving less room for the referee to possibly spot ills between plays.
The referees are responsible for keeping up with the game speed and monitoring well-trained sports superstars at a speed one could only find on a racetrack.
Secondly, the complexity of the rules, then interpretation varying on different cases, and the ability to make simultaneous just decisions quickly, and finally, the emotional, physical, and mental strength and comportment to withstand pressure.
It is common knowledge; basketball players are top on the NBA payments plan. However, is the WNBA and NBA referees earnings per game something worthwhile to compensate for the strenuous job that tends to put one against nerve-breaking fans?
This article looks at the referees earnings on a per-game basis progressively from the entry-level referees to WNBA referees, and the big cake—NBA referees salary.
Table of Contents
What is the Average Salary of an NBA Referee?
A range of $150,000 to $550,000 annually is the average salary of an NBA referee. Beginners who will be scheduled to low profile games like high school and college games definitely fall into this category.
Compared to a regular profession in other fields, this is a high salary. So far, the figures have been climbing higher the chart and will likely increase in years to come with glamorous increasing sponsorship and deals whipping into the sport.
Far back in 1983, referees used to make between $18,000 and $46,000 annually. Compared to the twentieth century, earnings have skyrocketed. It is clear the referees don’t make as much money as players and coaches; however, they are well paid.
Besides, a moral referee isn’t attracted to the job based on monetary incentives; the burning need to maintain a just and orderly fashion game of basketball should be the sole primary purpose.
How Much Do Entry-Level NBA Referees Make Per Game?
Referees in this category who are making their NBA break, of which a few might be debuting their appearance in the NBA, earn $600 each game. Quite an impressive sum to the pocket in comparing the number of hours one has to fill in to make the equivalent amount in other work professions. There is room for extra earnings in the playoffs as well.
How Much Do WNBA Referees Make Per Game?
Now referees in the WNBA earn the lowest because women’s basketball isn’t as popular and dominating as the men’s. It doesn’t attract the much buzz and attention as the men’s, thus reducing cashflow of sponsorship, deals, and broadcasting profits.
WNBA referees salaries are the lowest compared to their other contemporaries. However, of significant note is their low earning is a high check pay in different fields of profession. WNBA referees make about $425 per-game.
How Much Do Senior NBA Referees Make Per Game?
The professionals are much responsible for the most important and watched games in the sports of basketball. They manage and control big names and famous stars on the court. They are involved in a massive piece of events that determines the overall results of games that bring smiles or sadness to thousands of beings worldwide.
A whopping $3,500 is the standard earning on a per-game basis for a senior NBA referee. On average, NBA referees earn anywhere from $1,829 to $6,707 per game.
Furthermore, only the best of the best referees are picked to officiate the NBA playoff games, including the NBA finals, and it reflects in their pay. Aside from their huge salaries, depending on rank, they can earn an extra $800 to $5,000 per game in the postseason.
NBA Referees Salary Compared to NFL, MLB & NHL
Including various bonuses and incentives, NBA referees can make a total of $550,000 annually. Compared to other sports, referee’s earnings in the NBA and WNBA are among the best.
The NFL pays referees an average of $205,000 per annum. MLB umpires rake in an impressive $300,000 annually, and the referees in the NHL receives around $275,000 annually.
Financially, the officials in zebras linings are more than encouraged to keep at excellence in their jobs.
Referees in the NBA do not receive the five-star recognition and names as star players and coaches do, but still, their importance to the overall wellness of the sports can’t be ignored. Their role in ensuring games are being played orderly and moderately is priceless despite the challenge posed by hostile fans environment, the physical stress of the job, and the brutal scrutiny they come under from hundreds of sports pundits.
Please appreciate our dear hard-working referees. Without them, a game of basketball might turn out to be another platform for punches and kicks.
Duties of a Referee
Referees are responsible for players to coach to spectators management of a game. They see to the overall order and regulation of games, ensuring it is played according to the rules. Before the commencement of a game, they also go the extra length ensuring the court is safe, hazard-free, and in usable healthy condition.
The task continues even after game events as referees are required to watch game film to review their performance and decisions and take notes where they might have erred to avoid repetition of such errors.
First and foremost, an NBA/WNBA referee must be thoroughly acquainted with the game’s rules. They must be scholars of the rulebooks. They must possess a profound understanding of the game, combined with a great sense of judgments developed the traits of making decisions without hesitation on the court. This skill gives the referees bodies a more professional outlook.
Next, it is of core importance for a referee to be physically fit. It takes more than average strength to race around the courts every game evening with some of the best world athletes. It may look effortless on a TV screen, referees pacing to and fro the court; however, looks can be deceiving in this case. It is no stroll in the park.
Referees must be eloquent communicators. Situations may arise in the courts that would warrant tactical communication, with players, coaches, or sometimes even fans who may step out of line.
Becoming a professional referee requires one following a specific career route, just like NBA players. They go through various basketball organization that offers referee training programs. Upon completing required referee programs, one has to apply for certification to local officiating authority and work his way progressively from the minor league to becoming top officials in the G-League, and next, heed NBA calls.