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Umpires and Referees

History

The history of sport goes back to the time of the ancient Olympic games, ritualistic ball games of Central and South America, and gladiator battles of Rome. Since gladiator battles were fights to the death, there were no rules to be observed and no need for umpires or referees to ensure fairness.

As athletics became more organized, if not less violent, rules were established, and umpires and referees were needed to enforce these rules and regulations. Boxing, soccer, and rugby were the first sports to have trained officials. With the advent of professional sports such as baseball and basketball, officiating became a career option.