As many of you know, my son and I are soccer referees. Now that the season is over, I thought I'd detail our spring earnings as well as give a general update on our efforts. If you want to get up to speed completely, read my last post on this subject before reading this one.
We have been referees for 3 1/2 years (it seems a lot longer than this -- maybe all the cold, rainy and hot, blistering days make it seem longer.) Anyway, here are the number of games we've done as well as what we've earned (total) by season:
- Spring 2009: 28 games, $0 earned
- Fall 2009: 36 games, $465 earned
- Spring 2010: 27 games, $440 earned
- Fall 2010: 25 games, $545 earned
- Spring 2011: 34 games, $905 earned
- Fall 2011: 28 games, $1,321 earned
- Spring 2012: 51 games, $1,885 earned
In summary, we've refereed 229 games (148 paid) and earned $5,561 in 3 1/2 years.
A few notes to add perspective to the numbers above:
- While one of us is usually the center referee (higher paying position) we pool our funds and then split the money. So the $1,885 ended up yielding us $942.50 each. This works out better for my son since I'm in the center more often and yet he shares in the spoils. (FYI, most of our games are for 11- and 12-year olds, though we do referee higher and lower than those ages.)
- We did two tournaments this year. The benefit of tournaments are that you can get a ton of games in a short time period (we got 20 games in three days this way). The disadvantages are that they pay less per game than normal, league games (and the coaches are much more aggressive towards the referees, so it's more stressful.) That's why our total earnings are higher than ever but our earnings per game are lower than last fall.
- We had very few expenses since we have all of our gear from past years. We do track and deduct mileage and we had some food expenses, but that's about it.
- As is usual in Michigan, we had cold, rainy, 50-ish degree days and 90+ degree days this spring. Oh yeah, good times! :-)
- We plan to keep refereeing for some time -- probably at least until my son either gets a "real" job or heads to college in three years -- but those plans are subject to change. Our current certification is good until next year, so we will at least complete the fall season this September/October.
- As per an agreement with my wife, my earnings go to pay for our cable bill. What I've made in the spring season alone almost covers our annual cable costs. My son is saving his money for a car.
- In addition to being a money maker, refereeing has several other advantages: 1) my son and I get to spend a lot of time together around a sport we enjoy, 2) my son is developing leadership skills that will serve him well throughout his life, 3) I get a mental challenge out of the game, and 4) it's a great way to get exercise (I swim five times a week, but I enjoy mixing it up, and you can sure get a lot of running in while doing four games on a Saturday.)
That puts a wrap on the spring soccer season. Now we can take a couple months off and will be ready to hit tournaments at the end of August.