Recreational Sports Officials: Contractors or Employees?


  • Merry Moiseichik
  • Sharon Hunt
  • Dawn Macchiarelli


Referees, sports officials, contractor, employee, personnel, recreation administration, municipal government.


Are sports officials employees or contractors? The municipal recreation programs across the country most often pay their league officials as contractors. Lately, IRS auditors have told directors in several cities they were not allowed to do this because deciding game schedules indicated employment. Changing sports officials' employment status will have major repercussions throughout the country in finding officials, financing league programs, and ultimately in developing recreation programs in general. Questionnaires were sent to a stratified random sample of recreation directors in cities with populations over 25,000. Three cities were selected from each of the 48 contiguous states for a sample of 144 cities. Questions included how sports officials were paid, scheduled, and trained and what government documents were filed. This paper presents the results of the study and gives specific recommendations as to how to legally pay sports officials as contractors.





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