Looking for Referee Gear Nearby? Try These 15 Tips to Find the Best Ref Shirts and Equipment
Check Local Sports Stores for Referee Shirts and Gear
As a sports referee, having the right gear is essential for looking sharp and professional on the field or court. But finding quality referee uniforms and equipment can be tricky, especially if you’re on a budget. Instead of resorting to online stores, check out sports retailers in your community first. Here are 15 tips to help you track down referee shirts, whistles, flags, and more at local stores near you:
- Ask at dedicated sporting goods stores – Stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s, and Big 5 often have referee gear sections. Check end caps and ask employees to point you in the right direction.
- Look for all-purpose sports stores – Even stores like Sports Authority or Olympia Sports that aren’t referee-specific may carry some basic officiating equipment.
- Search discount retailers – Check out the sporting goods sections at Walmart, Target, Kmart, and Fred Meyer. Their low prices make them ideal for starter referee kits.
- Comb through uniform outfitters – Stores like Uniform City and UniFirst supply uniforms for jobs like security guards, nurses, and yes, sports officials. See if they do custom embroidering.
- Ask local leagues – Youth sports leagues may work directly with outfitters or have equipment recommendations. They want referees representing their brand so may help you out.
- Try used gear vendors – Play It Again Sports is a national chain specializing in second-hand sports equipment that’s worth a look. Or find consignment stores nearby.
- Search referee associations – Local referee chapters may sell gear directly to members or have contacts at preferred suppliers.
- Check soccer pro shops – Soccer-specific stores are great for specialized gear like card wallets, flags, and bright jerseys.
- Look into print shops – For custom referee shirts, check sites like Printify that work with local screen printing shops to produce quality shirts.
- Visit uniform supply stores – Janitorial and industrial supply stores carry whistle lanyards, stopwatches, and safety gear referees need.
- Search restaurant suppliers – Oddly enough, restaurant supply companies sell affordable penalty flags, whistles, and stopwatches.
- Try promotional product vendors – For bulk orders of shirts or giveaway swag, check local promo product companies.
- Check out trophy shops – Trophy stores like Crown Awards stock referee gear like whistles, flags, and timers for events.
- Visit your local dollar store – Believe it or not, dollar stores have super cheap whistles, stopwatches, flags, and even shirts.
- Search online classifieds – Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace sometimes have gently used referee gear for sale nearby.
By exploring these options for sourcing referee equipment at local brick-and-mortar retailers, you can often save big on gear while supporting businesses in your community. You may be pleasantly surprised at the selection available without resorting immediately to online stores. Do some legwork searching stores in person, then supplement any remaining gear needs through online shops. With a resourceful approach, you can find everything required to take the field in professional ref attire without breaking the bank.
Search for Referee Outfitters and Specialty Stores
Looking for referee gear nearby? Whether you’re a seasoned ref or just starting out, finding the right equipment can be a challenge. Most major sporting goods stores carry only a limited selection of basic referee shirts and accessories. To find specialty referee apparel and gear, you’ll likely need to search beyond the big box stores. Here are 15 tips to help you track down referee uniforms, tools, and other must-haves in your area:
1. Check Local Sporting Goods Stores
While selection is limited, larger sporting goods stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods often carry some basic referee gear. Look for black and white striped referee shirts, flags, whistles, penalty cards, and equipment bags. Uniforms may only come in a few sizes and styles, but these stores can be handy for picking up refereeing basics.
2. Search for Specialty Referee Retailers
Beyond general sporting goods stores, there are retailers dedicated specifically to referee gear and apparel. Stores like Referee Enterprises, Honor the Game, and Soccer Referee USA specialize in an extensive selection of shirts, shoes, flags, whistles, cards, badges, bags and more. Search online for “referee store near me” to find specialized shops that ship to your area.
3. Check Local Soccer Stores
Stores specializing in soccer equipment and apparel often carry referee uniforms and accessories. Since soccer refs need specialized gear like patch kits and colored penalty cards, soccer retailers can be great resources. Check your local listings for soccer pro shops and sporting goods stores in your city or town.
4. Look for Youth League Outfitters
Youth sports leagues often work directly with specialty outfitters that supply referee gear. Stores like whistlesandstripes.com and eurosportref.com partner with leagues across the country to equip refs. See if your local youth soccer, football, or basketball organizations work with dedicated referee retailers.
5. Search for Uniform Rental Companies
Some referee gear suppliers offer rental programs for uniforms and equipment. Companies like CSI Sports, Athletic Shirts, and Parker Uniforms allow you to rent referee shirts, pants, jackets, and accessories. Renting can be cost-effective if you only ref occasionally or want to try out gear before buying.
6. Check Online Marketplaces
Websites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Amazon are go-to online spots to buy used or discounted referee gear. You can often find great deals on pre-owned shoes, flags, whistles, shirts, and more. Vintage referee pieces are popular among collectors.
7. Join Referee Forums and Groups
Connecting with other referees online can reveal insider tips on where to buy gear. Join forums like Referee Magazine and Facebook groups like Soccer Referees United to ask fellow refs where they get uniforms, shoes, bags, cards, and tools.
8. Check Local Consignment Shops
Don’t overlook used sporting goods stores and consignment shops when searching for referee items. Gently used shoes, tools, and apparel can often be found at discounted prices. It’s a budget-friendly way to pick up staple referee gear and accessories.
9. Attend Referee Conferences or Tournaments
Sporting events and conferences for referees like Referee youth tournaments often have vendors on site selling gear. It’s a convenient way to shop multiple referee outfitters in one place. Keep an eye out for big referee events happening near you.
10. Contact Referee Associations
State and local referee associations like the Central Florida Soccer Referees Association can point you to preferred vendors they recommend to members. Many will partner with retailers that offer special discounts for refs within the organization.
11. Look for Local Promotional Sales
Some specialty referee retailers run seasonal sales and promotions to attract local customers. For example, Soccer Referee USA offers a 15% discount on in-store pickup orders. Check retailer websites and social media for posted promotions.
12. Search Restaurant Supply Stores
Restaurant and bar supply shops often carry inexpensive referee gear like cards, whistles, and lanyards. It’s a surprising place to look when trying to save money on basic refereeing accessories and tools.
13. Check Local Team Uniform Suppliers
Custom team uniform companies may also carry referee apparel or can make customized referee shirts. Ask about adding stripes, patches, and lettering for a unique official look.
14. Search Warehouse Outlets
Warehouse club stores like Costco, referee uniform liquidators, and sporting goods outlets can yield discounted finds on shoes, apparel, accessories, and equipment. It takes some digging, but bargains can be unearthed.
15. Scour Clearance Sections
Check both in-store and online clearance sections when shopping major retailers like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. Discounted referee shoes and apparel may be available at the end of seasons.
While searching for referee gear takes some effort, following these tips will help uncover all the uniforms, tools, and accessories needed to look and feel confident out on the field. Don’t be afraid to get creative in sourcing referee shirts, shoes, flags, cards, whistles, and more. With the right gear from local specialty outfitters, you’ll be ready to officiate like a seasoned pro.
Buy Referee Shirts and Equipment Online
Searching for referee uniforms and gear locally can be hit or miss. For the widest selection of quality apparel, equipment, and accessories, shopping online is the way to go. Buying referee supplies from dedicated online stores offers convenience, competitive pricing, and shipping directly to your door. Here are 15 tips for finding the best referee shirts, tools, and must-haves available on the web:
1. Verify Sizing Charts
Since you can’t try gear on before ordering, be sure to consult sizing charts provided by online retailers. Measure yourself and follow size guidelines to ensure proper fit. Reviews can also give sizing feedback from customers.
2. Compare Prices
Don’t settle on the first website you see. Browse and compare prices across different online referee outfitters to find the best deals. Sign up for email lists to receive special discount offers.
3. Look for Free Shipping Offers
To maximize savings when buying referee supplies online, look for free economy shipping offers. Retailers like Referee Enterprises provide free ground shipping on orders over $50. Or pay a yearly fee for unlimited free shipping.
4. Join Loyalty or Rewards Programs
Many online stores offer loyalty programs that provide points, exclusive discounts, and free gifts for frequent buyers. Sign up to save big on referee gear orders.
5. Consider Used or Auction Sites
eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist can be great resources for deals on pre-owned referee gear. Auction sites let you bid on items until you win within your budget.
6. Read Lots of Customer Reviews
Don’t just look at product photos. Dive into customer reviews to get unbiased insight into the fit, quality, durability, and performance of referee apparel and equipment before purchasing.
7. Join Online Referee Forums
Ask fellow referees in forums like Referee.com and Facebook groups for recommendations on the best online shops for shirts, shoes, flags, cards, whistles, and accessories.
8. Look for Package Deals
Online retailers like Ref Gear offer referee starter packs that bundle uniforms, equipment, tools, and bags at discounted rates. It’s a budget way to get fully outfitted.
9. Search for Promo Codes
Before completing any online order, search for promo codes that can be applied at checkout to score discounts. RetailMeNot and Honey can help you find codes.
10. Buy in Bulk to Save
Need multiple black referee shirts for the season? Many websites offer bulk pricing on large orders, so you can stock up and save money in the process.
11. Look for Specialty Items
Online referee retailers carry hard-to-find specialty gear like colored penalty cards, referee pants, patch kits, and custom logo apparel you may not find locally.
12. Sign Up for Alerts on New Arrivals
Provide your email address so online stores can alert you to new referee products and upcoming sales. Be the first to know about new styles and seasonal deals.
13. Consider Rentals for Occasional Use
If you only referee sporadically, renting shirts and accessories as needed can be a cost-saver. Parker Uniforms and CSI Sports offer referee gear rental programs.
14. Request Free Fabric Swatches
Not sure about sizing or fabric quality? Many online retailers will mail free fabric swatches upon request so you can see and feel materials first.
15. Look for Easy and Free Returns
In case something doesn’t fit right or meet expectations, shop sites that offer free, easy return shipping. Make online shopping for referee supplies risk-free.
While local stores are convenient, shopping online opens up far more options for referee uniforms, equipment, and accessories. Following these tips will ensure you can conveniently and cost-effectively outfit yourself with high-quality referee gear delivered right to your door.
Consider Buying Directly from Referee Associations
Searching for high-quality referee uniforms and equipment? Don’t overlook your local and state referee associations as excellent one-stop shops. Referee associations often carry or facilitate special ordering of top-rated gear to equip their members. Here are 15 reasons why purchasing directly through your refs association can be a great option:
1. Gain Access to Vetted Gear
Referee associations recommend or provide gear that meets stringent quality and durability standards. You can trust you’re getting top-notch equipment that’s field tested.
2. Enjoy Member Discounts
Many referees associations offer exclusive discounts, promos, and coupon codes on gear for members only. Sign up to save 10-20% on your referee purchases.
3. Get Volume Pricing Perks
Because associations order bulk quantities, members can often take advantage of lowered bulk pricing that’s passed onto you.
4. Access Hard-to-Find Items
Associations can source and provide specialized items you may not easily find elsewhere, like obscure tools or customized patches.
5. Eliminate Shipping Fees
When ordering through your association, often no shipping charges apply since gear can be picked up locally. Save on shipping costs.
6. Support Your Ref Community
Proceeds from association gear sales often help fund programs and events. Purchase referee supplies and give back at the same time.
7. Get Sizing Recommendations
Talk to fellow local refs about sizing and fit recommendations for uniforms and accessories to ensure proper fit.
8. Try Before You Buy
Some associations let members test out products before purchasing, so you can see and feel the quality firsthand.
9. Avoid Hidden Online Fees
Shopping directly through your referees association lets you avoid tacked-on charges like shipping fees or surge pricing you see online.
10. Fundraise for Your Association
Buy gear through your association fundraiser event or online fundraiser link to help raise funds in a meaningful way.
11. Get Prompt Access to New Gear
Be the first to get newly released uniforms, equipment, and tools through your association’s offerings.
12. Enjoy One-Stop Shopping
Save time driving all over town by purchasing all the gear you need in one place: your association’s shop.
13. Ask Seasoned Refs for Advice
New to reffing? Get veteran refs’ input to make sure you buy ideal gear you’ll actually use on the job.
14. Attend Association Events to Shop
Many associations hold conferences or clinics with gear vendors on-site so you can shop the latest referee items.
15. Get Alerts on New Gear
Provide your info to get updates from your association on new uniforms, tools, and equipment as soon as they become available.
Purchasing referee supplies directly through your local or state referees association offers convenience, special savings, and access to quality gear. Support your fellow refs by shopping at your association store for all the uniforms, equipment, and accessories you need.
Look for Referee Gear at Discount Sporting Goods Stores
Searching for affordable referee uniforms and equipment? Don’t overlook discount sporting goods stores as a budget-friendly option. Stores like Ross, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and Burlington can yield discounted finds on referee apparel, shoes, and accessories. Here are 15 tips for scouting deals on referee gear at discount retailers:
1. Search End Caps and Display Tables
Scope out end cap displays and center aisles in stores where referee items are often prominently featured at marked-down prices.
2. Check Weekly for New Stock
Discount sporting goods stores get new inventory weekly, so keep checking back for referee shirts, shoes, whistles and more that get restocked.
3. Ask When Shipments Arrive
Find out which days referee gear shipments come in and time your shopping accordingly to get first pick of new items.
4. Feel for Sturdy Fabrics
Inspect referee shirt material closely and stretch fabric to make sure discounted uniforms are high-quality and durable.
5. Search Clearance Sections First
Hit up the clearance areas which often have referee gear marked down by 50% or more. But move fast for the best selection.
6. Sign Up for Loyalty Programs
Join rewards programs to earn points and qualify for special discounts when purchasing referee equipment.
7. Download Mobile Apps
Apps like Rack Room Shoes and Burlington often offer exclusive app promos and coupons for additional savings on referee shoes and apparel.
8. Shop Off-Peak Times
Aim to shop on weekdays or early morning weekends to avoid crowds competing for limited referee stock.
9. Check for Price Matching
Stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s will sometimes match a better published price you find for an identical referee item elsewhere.
10. Follow Stores on Social Media
Sign up for Facebook and Instagram alerts to receive notice of upcoming referee gear sales and special offers.
11. Inspect Packaging Carefully
Make sure referee equipment boxes aren’t opened or damaged to ensure you’re purchasing new versus used or returned gear.
12. Ask About Upcoming Sales
Store associates often have insight into upcoming referee product sales or clearance events so you can plan ahead.
13. Purchase Floor Models
Nicely discounted referee shirts, shoes, and tools can sometimes be found in floor model displays after new models arrive.
14. Buy Offseason for Best Bargains
Shop for referee gear in the offseason when stores are purging inventory to make room for new stock.
15. Know Return and Exchange Policies
Understand refund time limits and conditions in case something doesn’t work out or fit properly.
Discount sporting goods shops take more effort to comb through, but persistent and savvy shoppers can uncover amazing bargains on referee equipment. Follow these tips and save big on all the uniforms, tools, and accessories you need.
Shop Clearance Sections for Referee Apparel Deals
Whether you’re a seasoned ref gearing up for another season or a newbie getting started in officiating, finding affordable referee apparel can be a challenge. Brand new referee shirts, pants, flags, whistles and other equipment can be pricey, especially if you’re outfitting yourself from head to toe. Luckily, there are ways to save on quality ref gear by taking advantage of clearance sections both online and in sporting goods stores.
Check out these 15 tips to help you find the best deals on referee shirts, pants, shoes and more:
1. Shop end-of-season sales
One of the best times to find referee apparel deals is during end-of-season clearance sales. Retailers will discount referee gear to make room for next season’s inventory. Look for sales on referee shirts, pants, shoes and equipment after the end of football, basketball, soccer, volleyball or other major officiating seasons.
2. Search online clearance sections
Websites like Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Soccer.com have dedicated clearance sections where you can sort and filter by referee gear. Search for referee shirts on clearance or referee pants on sale to quickly see discounted options.
3. Sign up for retailer emails
Often, the best deals will be advertised in retailer emails and flyers. Sign up to receive emails from sporting goods stores and referee gear websites. This way you’ll get notifications about upcoming sales on referee apparel and equipment.
4. Check the sale racks in stores
Don’t forget to peruse the sale section and clearance racks at local sporting goods stores. Sort through to find heavily discounted referee shirts, pants and other apparel. Try stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy Sports, Modell’s and more.
5. Shop off-brand referee gear
Lesser known brands like Honigs, Smitty and Augusta Sportswear often offer referee apparel at cheaper prices. The quality is still good, but without the premium brand name markup. Search sites like Amazon for off-brand referee shirts and pants.
6. Buy used or refurbished gear
Gently used referee gear like shirts, shoes and flags can be found at reduced prices on sites like eBay and Craigslist. Or look for refurbished whistles and referee watches discounted on Amazon.
7. Use coupon codes and cash back
To maximize savings on referee apparel, look for coupons and promo codes from retailers. Also use cash back sites like Rakuten when shopping online. Every little bit saved helps when buying referee gear.
8. Buy referee gear bundles
Some brands like Honigs offer referee gear bundles that package multiple shirts, pants, whistles and other equipment. Buying a bundle can be cheaper than buying each item separately.
9. Shop international retailers
International sporting goods stores can sometimes offer referee apparel at lower prices even after shipping. Check sites like Soccer.com and Lovell Soccer for deals on shirts and equipment that ship worldwide.
10. Buy referee gear in sets
When possible, purchase referee apparel in sets – like a pack of two or three shirts together. Sets are typically cheaper per piece than buying individual items.
11. Share costs with other officials
Split bulk orders of referee gear with other officials to take advantage of quantity discounts. This works best if you all wear the same shirt or pants size.
12. Shop off-season for next year
Once the current season ends, prices start dropping in preparation for next season’s inventory. Shop the off-season and buy referee apparel on sale for next year.
13. Check holiday sales
Keep an eye out for holiday weekend sales around Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, etc. Referee apparel deals can pop up during these major sales events.
14. Buy retailer overstock items
Overstock referee gear often ends up discounted in clearance sections. Look for overstock referee shirts and pants that retailers are trying to offload at lower prices.
15. Sign up for price drop alerts
On sites like Amazon, use the price drop alert feature to get notified when referee apparel you’re watching drops below a certain threshold. Then you can snag the deal when the price is right.
With the right timing and a little patience, you can save big on quality referee gear for your next season. Follow these tips to get the referee apparel you need at the most affordable prices. And be sure to take advantage of retailers’ clearance sections both online and in stores – that’s where you’ll find referee shirts, pants and equipment deepest in the red (tagged for clearance!).
Buy Used Referee Uniforms and Equipment to Save Money
Outfitting yourself with brand new referee gear can get expensive fast. Quality referee shirts, pants, shoes, whistles and flags often come with premium price tags. Luckily, there’s a budget-friendly way to get the referee apparel you need – buy it used!
Purchasing pre-owned referee uniforms and equipment is a great way to save money as an official. Here are 15 tips to help you find deals on gently used referee gear:
1. Check local thrift and consignment shops
Visit thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army, as well as local consignment and resale shops. Sort through their athletic sections to uncover hidden gems like referee shirts, pants, shoes and equipment.
2. Search Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace
These classifieds sites allow locals to sell referee gear nearby. Browse listings for used referee apparel and equipment in your area. Act fast if you see a good deal.
3. Join referee gear swap Facebook Groups
Search Facebook for referee gear swap groups where members buy, sell and trade used uniforms and equipment. This is a great way to connect with other officials.
4. Check eBay and other resale sites
eBay always has lots of listings for used referee gear at discounted prices. Also try sites like Poshmark, Mercari and OfferUp to find pre-owned items.
5. Ask fellow officials if they have used gear
Talk to referees you know locally – they may have extra shirts, shoes or equipment they’re looking to sell or pass along for cheap.
6. Buy referee gear bundles
Search for used referee gear bundles, which package multiple used items together at a discounted rate. Great way to get a full uniform.
7. Look for referee gear at yard and garage sales
As you browse neighborhood yard sales, keep an eye out for referee apparel mixed in. You can score great deals on pre-worn gear.
8. Check apps like Letgo and OfferUp
Browse these apps for locals selling used referee gear. Filter by items located closest to you to find deals nearby.
9. Search for referee gear at flea markets
Another place to uncover discounted used referee shirts, shoes and equipment is at flea markets and swap meets in your area.
10. Buy used gear lots and resell what you don’t need
Sometimes it pays to buy a large used gear lot, keep what you want, then resell the rest to recoup some costs.
11. Join local referee associations
Getting involved with local referee groups can provide access to used gear sales between members.
12. Check out Play It Again Sports stores
This sporting goods resale franchise buys, sells and trades gently used sports gear – including referee uniforms.
13. Buy referee gear from other sports officials
Umpires, referees and officials from other sports are a good source for quality used gear at reasonable prices.
14. Don’t overlook smaller used gear sellers
Sometimes the best deals come from lesser-known resale sites and independent sellers.
15. Inspect used gear carefully before buying
Carefully examine any used referee apparel for defects, tears or excessive wear-and-tear before purchasing.
Refereeing can be an expensive hobby, but buying used uniforms and equipment is a smart way to save money as an official. Follow these tips to outfit yourself with quality referee gear at affordable resale prices. Just be sure to thoroughly inspect any used items prior to purchasing them.
Rent Referee Gear for Short-Term Needs
As a new or part-time referee, you may not want to invest in buying a full set of brand new gear that you’ll only use occasionally. In cases like these, renting referee uniforms and equipment can be a cost-effective option.
Renting referee apparel allows you to get the shirts, pants, shoes, whistles and accessories you need in the short-term without breaking the bank. Here are 15 tips for renting referee gear as needed:
1. Rent referee gear from local sporting goods stores
Some sporting goods stores offer referee uniform and equipment rentals for officials in need of part-time gear. Ask about rental options at nearby stores.
2. Check with referee associations about rentals
Local and regional referee associations may have rental programs or gear-sharing options for members who only referee occasionally.
3. Search for online referee gear rental companies
A quick online search will reveal websites that rent referee apparel and ship to your door. Compare rental rates and policies.
4. Rent used gear through peer-to-peer platforms
Sites like Grover let individuals list referee gear for rental. You may find better deals renting used items from other refs.
5. Only rent essential referee gear
To save money, only rent the absolute necessities like shirts, pants, shoes, whistles. Skip extras like hats, bags and accessories.
6. Rent gear as far in advance as possible
Give yourself lead time to find rentals and obtain the gear. Don’t wait until the last minute before your games.
7. Share rental costs by splitting gear
Split uniform rentals with other part-time refs by each using the shirts/pants on alternate weeks.
8. Take good care of rented referee equipment
Follow all care instructions so you avoid fees for damaged or lost rental gear.
9. Extend rentals if you officiate longer than expected
Most rental companies allow you to extend if your reffing gig lasts longer than planned.
10. Clean and launder gear before returning
Properly wash uniforms and sanitize equipment to avoid cleaning fees when you return rentals.
11. Return rentals on time to avoid late fees
Carefully note due dates so you don’t incur expensive late return charges.
12. Compare rental costs vs buying used gear
If you’ll referee frequently, purchasing affordable used gear may save more money long-term.
13. Ask about damage waiver or insurance options
Some rental providers offer damage coverage for an added fee – consider whether it’s worth it.
14. Read rental contracts closely
Understand all terms, conditions and responsibilities before agreeing to referee gear rentals.
15. Research rental companies’ reputations
Check reviews to ensure reliable service and high-quality gear from potential rental providers.
Renting referee apparel and equipment can be a smart, budget-friendly option if you only officiate occasionally. Just be sure to protect yourself by fully understanding rental terms and properly caring for any borrowed gear. Happy refereeing!
Ask Other Referees for Recommendations on Gear
As a new referee looking to buy uniforms and equipment, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what gear to get. With so many brands and options to choose from, how do you know what’s really the best for refereeing? One of the best ways is to ask veteran officials who have experience using different referee apparel and accessories.
Getting referee gear recommendations from fellow refs you know is a great way to find out what works well on the field or court. Here are 15 tips for soliciting advice from fellow officials on the best referee shirts, shoes, whistles and more:
1. Talk to referees you see frequently
Chat with refs you regularly interact with to get their first-hand input on gear they use and recommend.
2. Ask refs what brands they prefer
Inquire about what brand of shirts, pants, shoes, whistles, etc. they’ve had the best luck with in terms of comfort, quality and durability.
3. Get specifics on why they like certain gear
Ask detailed questions about why they favor particular referee apparel and equipment over other options.
4. Find out where other refs purchase their gear
Get recommendations on the best sporting goods stores, websites, etc. to shop at for referee uniforms and accessories.
5. Ask about any gear to avoid
Find out if experienced referees have had bad experiences with certain brands or products to steer clear of.
6. See if they know of any sales or deals
Seasoned referees may know of stores running sales, coupon codes or other ways to save on gear purchases.
7. Look for consensus among referee opinions
If multiple refs recommend the same shirts, shoes and equipment, that’s a good sign of quality.
8. Get hands-on experience with their gear
Ask fellow officials if you can try on their shirts, blow their whistles, etc. to get a feel for different options.
9. Ask about comfort and fit
Get veteran refs’ input on how certain shoes, shirts and pants fit, feel and allow mobility during games.
10. Consider different perspectives
Take into account that every referee has personal preferences – blend together advice from many to make informed choices.
11. Ask for photos of gear
Have experienced referees text you photos of uniforms and equipment they recommend so you can visualize options.
12. Compare prices referees paid
When getting gear suggestions, ask how much they paid to gauge if the price is reasonable.
13. Consider when they bought recommended items
Factor in that prices and products change over time – newer models may be available.
14. Ask referees for online reviews of gear
Experienced refs may be able to point you toward helpful product reviews of referee apparel they recommend.
15. Thank refs for taking the time to advise you
Show appreciation for veteran officials who take time to provide gear suggestions and recommendations.
Leveraging the experience of seasoned referees is invaluable when deciding what gear to invest in as a new official. Follow these tips to get personalized advice that will set you up for success on the field!
Comparison Shop to Find the Best Referee Gear Prices
Outfitting yourself with referee apparel and equipment can put a dent in your wallet if you’re not careful. Brand new referee shirts, pants, shoes, whistles and accessories often come with premium price tags. That’s why it pays to put in the time comparison shopping to find the best deals.
Checking prices across different retailers before you buy referee gear is the key to saving money. Here are 15 tips for stretching your dollar through comparison shopping:
1. Search multiple sites for the same items
When looking for a specific referee shirt or shoes, search on various sporting goods sites to compare prices for the exact same products.
2. Leverage price matching policies
Many retailers will match competitor pricing if you find the same gear cheaper elsewhere – ask them to honor this.
3. Don’t assume Amazon is always cheapest
Double check referee apparel prices on specialty retailers as well as Amazon – you may find better deals.
4. Factor in shipping costs
A lower base price doesn’t always mean the best deal after shipping fees – do the total cost math.
5. Check both online and local stores
Compare online referee gear prices, but also shop sporting goods stores in your area to find the best overall value.
6. Look for coupon codes and savings
Search for active promo codes and discounts for each retailer before comparing final checkout prices.
7. Compare pre-tax and post-tax costs
Tax policies can vary by retailer – make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples total costs.
8. Consider used gear prices too
Factor in savings from buying quality pre-owned referee items from resellers like Craigslist or eBay.
9. Create price drop alerts
Use site tools to get notified if prices decrease on referee gear you’re watching and comparison shopping.
10. Compare bundle pricing
Price out referee uniform and equipment bundles across retailers to identify the best overall package value.
11. Leverage loyalty programs and points
Consider redeemable rewards that reduce your net costs when shopping certain retailers.
12. Don’t forget cash back sites
Add cash back on top of any savings by shopping referee gear via portals like Rakuten.
13. Compare prices across countries
International retailers may offer lower pricing even after shipping – do the currency conversion.
14. Time purchases around sales holidays
Shop end-of-season or holidays like Black Friday when retailers compete heavily on pricing.
15. Contact sellers for discounts
Don’t be afraid to ask retailers for a better price – some may be willing to negotiate on referee gear.
Putting in the effort to shop around always pays when buying referee uniforms and equipment. Use these comparison shopping strategies to get the gear you need at the best value.
Look for Referee Gear Packages and Bundles to Save
So you want to start reffing or you’re looking to upgrade your referee gear. Purchasing everything piecemeal can get expensive fast. That’s why it pays to look for referee gear packages and bundles. These pre-selected kits allow you to get everything you need in one fell swoop, often at a discounted price compared to buying individually.
Here are 15 tips to help you find the best referee shirt and equipment bundles to meet your needs and budget:
1. Shop Online
Online retailers like Amazon and Soccer.com offer some of the most extensive selections of pre-packaged referee kits. Browse their offerings to get an idea of different package options out there before you buy.
2. Check Local Sporting Goods Stores
Don’t forget to check larger chain stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods or Modell’s. Their referee shirt and gear selections may be more limited but you can often find solid basic packages for an affordable price.
3. Look for Referee Associations or Leagues
Many referee associations and sports leagues partner directly with equipment companies to offer special discounted gear bundles for their members or referees. Check with groups you may already be affiliated with.
4. Attend Referee Clinics or Training Events
Equipment vendors often have booths and sell packaged referee gear deals at clinics, training events, and tournaments. Get your hands on products and take advantage of special pricing.
5. Inquire About New Referee Starter Kits
Some companies like Official Sports and Soccer Referee Gear offer new referee starter kits that combine a jersey, shorts, socks, flags, cards, and more to get you going. Great for first-time refs!
6. Look for Referee Gear Package Deals
Keep any eye out for limited time referee package deals being promoted. Sign up for referee gear company email lists to be notified of upcoming sales and specials.
7. Buy Last Year’s Packages on Clearance
Search for leftover previous season referee kits that retailers are trying to clear out. You can often save big on discontinued but still functional gear.
8. Share Bulk Orders with Other Refs
Talk to other referees you know about combining forces for a bulk package order. The more you buy, the more you’ll likely save per item.
9. Don’t Overlook Used Gear Bundles
Check sites like eBay, SidelineSwap, and Craigslist for used referee package sets. Experienced refs sometimes sell equipment bundles when they upgrade.
10. Comparison Shop
Price compare packages across a few different sites and stores. A retailer may offer free shipping while another has a lower base price that makes them cheaper overall.
11. Read Package Reviews
Don’t just look at the package contents. Read through customer reviews to get a sense of real world feedback on the quality and fit of included gear.
12. Prioritize Essentials First
If buying a la carte, focus your initial budget on essential referee gear like jerseys, whistles, cards, flags, and socks. Add accessories later.
13. Consider Refurbished Electronics
For pricier referee gear like electronic whistles or communication systems, search for certified refurbished items to save. Test thoroughly when they arrive!
14. Join Rewards Programs
Sign up for referee gear retailer rewards programs to earn points or perks that can be applied to future referee package purchases and shipping.
15. Save Up and Be Patient
If money is tight, save up until you can afford exactly what you want. Deals pop up frequently so you can often find sales if you wait.
Finding the right referee gear bundle takes a bit of effort. But using these tips will help you score big savings on quality shirts, equipment, and accessories. So you can take the field looking and feeling like a pro!
Take Advantage of Referee Gear Sales and Promotions
Refereeing can be an expensive hobby between the shirts, shoes, flags, whistles, and more required gear. That’s why savvy refs keep an eye out for sales and promotions when looking to stock up on equipment. Here are 15 tips to help you capitalize on deals and discounts for all your reffing needs.
Never pay full price if you can help it! Use these strategies to save on referee gear:
1. Check Retailers Frequently
Ongoing sales are common so get in the habit of browsing referee retailers often. Sign up for email alerts so you never miss a price drop.
2. Look for Holiday Weekend Sales
Major holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day usually bring major sales. Retailers want to clear old inventory before new stock comes in.
3. Shop End-of-Season Clearance
When one season ends, retailers will discount gear to make room for next season’s styles. Stock up on essentials that won’t go out of style.
4. Buy Discounted Overstock or Discontinued Items
Overproduction or discontinued colorways mean major savings off original prices. Grab referee staples like black and white jerseys on the cheap.
5. Look for Package Deals and Bundles
Retailers offer referee gear bundles with multiple items for less than buying individually. Perfect for new and replacement kits.
6. Join Loyalty and Rewards Programs
Members often get first dibs on sales plus accumulate points and perks that add up to serious savings on referee equipment.
7. Stack Coupons and Promo Codes
Check sites like RetailMeNot for available stacks to combine percent-off, free shipping, and dollar-off promo codes from various retailers.
8. Buy Refurbished Electronics
Refurbished whistles, watches, and communication systems can offer major discounts off new versions if you don’t mind pre-owned.
9. Look for Price Matching
Some stores will match (or even beat) a competitor’s lower price on an identical referee product. Just show proof of the deal.
10. Negotiate Bulk Order Discounts
Organize group orders with other local officials to meet retailer volume discounts and split shipping costs.
11. Sign Up for Newsletters and Alerts
Sales can come and go quickly. Register with your favorite retailers to receive early access to short-lived lightning deals.
12. Check eBay and Other Resale Sites
Search for new-with-tags or gently used referee gear that individuals are reselling for drastically less than retail.
13. Buy Last Year’s Model on Clearance
When updated versions of shoes or electronics come out, snap up the previous model at a steep discount from certain retailers.
14. Join Referee Organizations for Member Savings
Many referee associations partner with brands to offer special promo codes and packages exclusively to members.
15. Don’t Buy More Than You Need
A “deal” isn’t truly a deal if the extras just take up space. Stick to essential referee gear unless there’s an unbeatable bargain.
Follow these referee sale shopping strategies and you’ll be fully equipped for the season ahead without taking a penalty on your wallet. Now get out there and save big on the gear that helps make every match a fair one!
Custom Order Referee Shirts and Equipment for Better Fit
As an official, having properly fitted referee gear can make all the difference in your comfort and performance on the field or court. Rather than settling for off-the-rack shirts and equipment from big box sporting goods stores, consider custom ordering your referee uniform for optimal fit and function.
Check Local Referee Associations
Many local referee councils and associations offer custom apparel and equipment for their members. Check with the referee organization for your sport in your area to see if they have partnerships with vendors who can supply custom fitted gear with your association’s logo and colors. Going through your referee association ensures you will get approved officiating attire for your sport that aligns with your local organization’s uniform requirements.
Look for Specialty Retailers Online
In addition to local referee groups, there are online retailers that specialize in customized referee apparel and accessories. Sites like RefStore.com allow you to design your own shirt with your name, number, and stripes in sizes that fit you precisely. You can also find shoes, hats, bags, and equipment cut for referee physiques. Ordering online provides more customization options than your local referee shop while still ensuring a comfortable, flattering fit.
Focus on Proper Jersey Fit
A refereeing jersey that’s either too baggy or too tight can hinder mobility and appearance. When ordering a custom referee shirt, focus on getting the right fit through the shoulders, chest, and length. You want a shirt that doesn’t restrict your arm movements when signaling calls. But you also don’t want excess fabric that could impede you or get untucked. Measure your best fitting athletic shirt and use those dimensions for your custom referee jersey order.
Consider Moisture Wicking Fabrics
Fabric technology has come a long way in athletic apparel. Look for referee shirts made of lightweight, breathable moisture wicking fabrics that will keep you cool and dry on the field or court. Custom fitted shirts are available in high-tech moisture wicking fabrics that feel great and perform even better. jerseys also come in a variety of stylish patterns and color-blocking designs, so you can look sharp while staying cool under pressure.
Don’t Forget the Shorts
Along with the jersey, proper fitting referee shorts are key for comfort and maneuverability. Shorts that are too long or too baggy can impede leg movements like lunging and side stepping. Compression style shorts in moisture wicking fabrics offer a flexible fit that moves with you. Look for shorts with secure side pockets to hold your whistle, cards, or other officiating gear. Custom fitted referee shorts promote free range of motion while minimizing interference.
Get the Right Shoes
Running shoes may seem like a good choice for refereeing, but they often have excessive cushioning that reduces stability. Volleyball and basketball referee shoes have a lower profile sole and better lateral support for quick starts, stops and side-to-side movements. Soccer cleats are ideal for traction on grass and turf fields. Consider footwear engineered specifically for the demands of refereeing your sport when ordering custom fitted gear.
Accessorize for Safety
Approved protective equipment like padded referee belts, gloves, and hats complete the uniform. A secure belt pouch provides easy access to cards and pens for documenting the match. Soccer referees may opt for shin guards and ankle sleeves for protection on the pitch. Having the right accessories that fit your body properly minimizes distractions and allows you to focus on officiating.
Focus on Fit over Flash
It’s tempting to add flashy patterns, bright colors and custom logos when ordering referee gear online. But fit and function should take priority over style. The perfect stripes or color scheme won’t matter if the uniform doesn’t allow you to move freely and command authority on the field. Get the right fit first, then add any approved custom design elements for flair.
Check Warranties and Return Policies
One advantage of custom ordering online is you can often return or exchange items that don’t meet expectations. Check retailer warranty, return, and exchange policies before ordering in case you need to send something back for re-sizing. It may take some trial and error to dial in your perfect fit, so don’t be afraid to swap out items if the initial sizing is off.
Consider Year-Round Use
Maximize your investment in custom referee gear by considering multi-season and multi-sport use. Quality moisture wicking jerseys and shorts can transition from summer to winter sports when layered properly. Soccer referee shoes often work for flag football too. Getting the most use out of your personalized officiating uniform saves money in the long run.
Budget for Replacements
Build the cost of periodic gear replacements into your officiating budget. Shoes wear out quickly on artificial turf. Moisture wicking fabrics can degrade over time. Make sure to properly maintain your custom referee uniform and plan to replace items as needed. Having spare shirts, shorts, and shoes on hand ensures you always have functional officiating attire ready to go.
Take Care of Your Gear
Follow care instructions to prolong the life of your custom referee wear. Use mesh laundry bags to protect lettering and logos in the wash. Spot clean stains immediately after games. Let moisture wicking fabrics air dry. Properly break in new shoes. A well-fitted uniform only helps if you care for it properly. Extend the lifespan of your gear with some simple maintenance.
Finding referee shirts, shorts, shoes and equipment tailored to your body can make looking and feeling your best out on the field a reality. Work with local and online vendors of custom referee apparel and accessories to get gear cut for optimal fit, comfort and performance. When your uniform fits you perfectly, you can take charge of the game with confidence and authority.
Carefully Review Sizing Charts When Ordering Online
Shopping for referee gear online provides convenient access to a wide selection of shirts, shoes, and equipment. But one downside is you can’t try things on before you buy. That’s why carefully consulting sizing charts is a must when ordering referee uniforms and accessories online.
Measure Yourself Accurately
Before referencing any sizing chart, first take accurate body measurements. Use a flexible cloth tape measure and have someone assist you for the most precise measurements. Note your chest, waist, hip, arm length, thigh, calf, and neck circumferences. Measure the length from shoulder to waist and inseam length as well. Having these measurements will allow you to compare your body to the retailer’s chart.
Read the Chart Details Closely
Not all online sizing guides are created equal. Pay close attention to whether the chart uses letter sizes, numerical sizes, or actual body measurements. Note if the sizes run small, true to fit, or large. Identify whether the measurements are in U.S. or European sizes. Review all accompanying notes explaining the retailer’s specific sizing recommendations. The more details, the better.
Compare Your Numbers to the Chart
With your own measurements in hand, start cross-referencing against the online size chart. For shirts, compare your chest size first as this is hardest to tailor. Then check arm length, shoulder width, and length based on your height. For shorts and pants, waist size and inseam length are critical. When in doubt between two sizes, opt for the larger size if the retailer accepts returns.
Remember Sizes Vary by Brand
Keep in mind that sizing can vary quite a bit between manufacturers. So don’t assume a size medium shirt or 32-inch pant will fit the same across all brands. Be sure to consult each retailer’s specific chart to identify your appropriate size with them. Trying on clothes from that brand in store can provide an additional sizing data point.
Do you prefer slim and tailored fits or loose and relaxed cuts? This personal preference will impact what size you order for any given set of dimensions. If you like athletic apparel fitted to your body, you may need to size down. If you prefer room to move, consider sizing up for a looser referee shirt or shorts.
Many online retailers provide separate size charts for shirts, bottoms, shoes, etc. Do not assume the overall clothing size chart applies to a referee jersey, shorts, compression gear, or shoes. Search for or request specific size guides for each referee item you are ordering.
Reference Recent Purchases
Think back to other athletic apparel purchases you’ve made recently. What size did you order in major brands like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc.? Use those as data points to help guide your refereeing gear sizes. Stick with sizes you know fit well in performance fabrics from trusted brands.
Read Customer Reviews
Check online customer reviews for sizing feedback on specific referee gear items and brands. Fellow buyers will often report if something fits large or small. Pay special attention to reviews from customers of a similar height and build. Their experience can reveal if you should adjust up or down.
Ask About Exchanges
Before hitting submit on your referee gear order, contact customer service to inquire about the retailer’s exchange policy. Most will allow exchanges for different sizes at little to no cost. Know the return timeframes and conditions required in case you need to swap an item.
To accommodate any needed exchanges, place your referee gear order well in advance of when you actually need the items. Allow several weeks for initial delivery, trying items on, and arranging returns or exchanges. Ordering early takes the stress out of cutting it close and makes proper sizing easier.
When ordering from a new referee gear retailer, consider purchasing just one or two items first. Try on their shirt and shorts to gauge sizing before buying an entire uniform kit. Once you confirm proper fit, go ahead and order full referee attire with confidence.
Focus on Key Measurements
Certain measurements are most critical for a proper fit with referee apparel. For shirts, focus on chest, shoulders, and arm length. For shorts and pants, it comes down to waist and inseam. Sleeve, torso, and leg length create the foundation for comfort and mobility.
Online shopping makes accessing officiating gear easier than ever. But lack of trying items on can complicate finding your ideal size. Use these tips to consult sizing charts like a pro when ordering referee uniforms and accessories online.
Inspect and Try On Referee Gear Before Purchase
Looking for Referee Gear Nearby? Try These 15 Tips to Find the Best Ref Shirts and Equipment
As a referee, having the right gear is essential for looking sharp and professional on the field or court. However, finding high-quality referee shirts, shoes, flags, whistles, and other equipment can be a challenge if you don’t know where to look. Here are 15 tips to help you locate and inspect referee gear in your area before making a purchase:
- Check local sporting goods stores – Big retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s, and Sports Authority often have sections dedicated to referee gear. Try on shirts and shoes to get the right fit.
- Look for referee specialty stores – Some independent stores focus specifically on gear for refs. They may have a wider selection of shirts, flags, and accessories than general sporting goods stores.
- Search for uniform supply stores – Businesses that specialize in uniforms for police, firefighters, and other industries may also carry referee shirts and pants. Quality and durability may be better.
- Check online – Websites like RefStore.com, OfficialSports.com, and MetroRef.com have a huge selection of gear. Browse online but try to order a few sizes/styles and return what doesn’t fit.
- Talk to other local officials – Veteran refs often know the best local stores to purchase gear. Ask fellow officials where they like to shop.
- Inspect fabric quality – When trying on shirts, look for breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics like polyester instead of cheaper cotton/poly blends.
- Review stitching – Ref shirts take a lot of wear and tear, so check that logos and stripes are tightly stitched on. Loose stitching can unravel quickly.
- Consider moisture-control – Modern referee shirts use moisture-wicking and anti-microbial technology to keep you cool and dry.
- Check for proper fit – Shirts should be trim-fitting but allow full mobility. Try making referee motions to ensure the sleeves and length are right.
- Look for comfort and flexibility – The shoes you ref in should be comfortable and stable to run in. Leather or synthetic uppers tend to last longer than mesh.
- Review return policies – Buying referee gear online can be risky fit-wise. Opt for retailers that accept returns of unworn items.
- Ask about local deals – Some referee organizations may partner with stores or brands to offer members discounts on gear and uniforms.
- Search referee forums – Other officials often post reviews and recommendations for gear on forums like RefStripes.com.
- Try before you buy – If possible, ask if you can try on display shirts or borrow a fellow ref’s extra gear to test it out.
- Prioritize visibility – Bold stripes and bright colors help you stand out as the authority on the field or court.
Finding referee gear for your local games doesn’t have to be a challenge. Follow these tips to inspect quality, fit, comfort and visibility before purchasing shirts, shoes and equipment from local sporting goods stores, specialty shops or online retailers. With the right gear, you’ll look and feel like a professional on every call.