Writers Guidelines

Writers Guidelines


Thank you for your interest in contributing to Referee magazine. Referee publishes three main types of articles: features, sport-specific articles and columns. The best way to get familiar with our articles is to read some previously published examples.


We want our feature articles to speak to our readership — sports officials. The content must focus on officiating. We are interested in articles that help our readers improve an aspect of their officiating, articles about unique or very successful officials, articles dissecting the major issues that officials face and articles that delve into certain officiating philosophies.

Sport-Specific Articles:

Sports-specific articles may pertain to rules, mechanics or officiating philosophy. Rules articles must include parenthetical rulebook, casebook or approved ruling references to the pertinent rules. The required references for each sport are: Basketball — NFHS, NCAA men’s and NCAA women’s; Baseball — NFHS, NCAA, pro; Football — NFHS, NCAA; Soccer — NFHS, NCAA, FIFA; Softball — NFHS, NCAA, USA Softball, USSSA; Volleyball — NFHS, NCAA, USAV.


Law, Getting It Right, Profiles and Last Call are the columns appearing regularly in the magazine. Contributions to the Law column require an expertise in that field. The Getting it Right and Profiles columns generally highlight unique officials or associations and their interests or community contributions. Last Call is a first-person piece about a specific event or experience by an official.


You will receive a contract soon after your article is received, accepted and edited. Payment will be sent approximately 30 days after the date we receive the signed contract or the completed writing effort. Rates are generally three cents per published word, but they may increase depending on how we use the text.


The due dates have been carefully selected, so we need your help in staying on the schedule provided. We work well ahead of the publication date. Early due dates allow us ample time to edit your article and work with you on any potential changes. We welcome early submissions. We may decide to hold your submission on file until space opens up or we will pick a month to run it.


All sport-specific articles should be around 500-1,000 words; features vary from 1,500-3,500 words.


We accept submissions on speculation, but we also appreciate direct queries. The best way to submit your work or query is via e-mail. Our e-mail address is submissions@referee.com.


Having many different freelance writers spices things up for our readers. That’s good! We recommend you write like you talk. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not. Keep in mind you’re a referee/umpire writing to a bunch of sports officials. Keep it simple. We appreciate concise writing; get your 10-word sentence down to five. It will improve your message.