Being a referee in any sport requires certain mental skill sets such as self-discipline, leadership qualities, good self esteem and technical knowledge and know-how about the sport, along with a keen sense of 'fair play'.

Most referees are themselves ex-athletes in the particular sport (or they are a masters in the sport). However, in many cases the sports have become increasingly athletic and in those cases where the referee must be alongside the players to observe the rules, the modern referee needs to be essentially at the same fitness level as the actual players.

Finally, there is usually some financial renumeration for refereeing a sport. Particularly for unemployed youth, the idea that they could earn a salary for working at the weekends, is an attractive one for communities where there is little opportunity for gainful activities or employment.

Refereeing is a Life Skill (copyright Society in Transition)