FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Hammer Sports LLC is a sports assigning business. Heidi, Hammer Sports owner, assigns referees/umpires for games throughout the state of Minnesota, most being in the metro area.
What is Arbiter?
Arbiter (www1.arbitersports.com) is an online assigning website Hammer Sports uses to assign officials games. It provides all the game details (date,time,location,level, school/ref contact info). Heidi, Hammer Sports assigner, will list and assign games. She will send Arbiter emails to officials on open games, etc. Arbiter also creates 1099s which can be printed at the end of the year in officials account that make over $600. Once assigned games, officials must accept or decline games. Schools/contacts also have access to view their schedules and see officials contact info working their games.
How do officials get paid?
BILL PAY is used to compensate officials who work games for Hammer Sports. Bill Pay is an online system in which the bank processes the hard checks and mails them. It takes 7-10 business days to receive the check in the mail. The address the bank mails check is the ARBITER ADDRESS on your profile so please make sure it is updated and current at all times. If you change your address on Arbiter, contact Donna (Hammer Sports payroll assistant) to avoid payment interruptions. Please be patient and do NOT contact Hammer Sports asking where you check is at until after the time period it takes for the check to arrive (approx. two weeks after games worked). For travel basketball tourneys, Heidi (assigner) pays the majority for the time on the spot for those games, as well as all games worked during the week will be included on that check.
Will I receive a 1099?
If an official makes $600 or more during a year, yes. Arbiter will automatically create a 1099 at the end of the year and place in the official’s account in which they can print off and keep for tax purposes. Hammer Sports will NOT mail 1099s. This is one of the many benefits using Arbiter.
Where can I find referee/umpire gear?
There are MANY places to purchase equipment. Some examples include: Ebay, Amazon, Scheels, Dunham Sports, Dick Sporting Goods, Dave Sports Shops. Google and you can find pretty much anything you need.
Is there an age requirement?
No. High School students can officiate games but adequate transportation is a must and the maturity to handle pressure situations, such as getting questioned on a call, communicating well with coaches, dealing with fans, etc. Hammer Sports oldest official is in their 70s (shout out to Larry Legend). If you have a passion, talent and love for officiating, age is just a number:).
Where are games located?
Hammer Sports is based out of Elk River. Locations vary but most games are in the north metro.
Are there member/association dues?
Yes, but very minimal fee to offset Arbiter/business expenses. Officials can pay online, hard check or it will be deducted on a game check.
What is the pay? Is there is an assigning fee?
The pay per game varies depending on the sport and level officiating. Arbiter displays price per game on listing. When sending out emails on open games, Heidi (assigner) typically shares price as well. As for an assigning fee, yes, there is one (not a volunteer service). No more than 10% is deducted from game fee.
Can I work as a new referee? What if I have no experience with a certain sport?
Absolutely! Everyone that has ever officiated was new at one point. Don’t expect the world right away, be patient. This is a business and it will be a gradual process (start with lower level, work with veteran partner, etc). Hammer Sports wants you to be successful You do not have to have experience or knowledge in a certain sport (it definitely helps). ! Training/resources will be shared and/or provided on this website and Arbiter emails. If you love sports and want to stay involved with it, give officiating a try.
How can I get more games?
One way to get more consideration on working games on a consistent basis is to officiate multiple sports for Hammer Sports. Officials that work for Hammer Sports with regularity will get priority over those that don’t (you must be a good official and not get us in trouble so to speak). It is NOT required to be a multi-sport official though. For example, if you are a solid varsity basketball official, there is always room for good officials. However, there are only so many games to go around. Don’t take it personal if you do not get assigned a certain game/shift.
What does MYAS mean?
MYAS stands for Minnesota Youth Athletic Services. Hammer Sports (Heidi) is assigner for both basketball and baseball. In order to work MYAS games, you must register at myas.org. Clinics for basketball typically start in early fall for basketball registration and early spring for baseball. You need to be certified with MYAS to work their games (few exceptions). For more info or questions on MYAS, contact Buddy Hemric at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-781-2220 ext 1717.
Where can I get high school certified?
To register or get more info, go to www.mshsl.org. Even though the MSHSL does not require certification to work lower level high school games, it is STRONGLY recommend it for many reasons!
-Receive current Rules/Case Books to stay on top of everything and changes
-Receive a background check and concussion training (required MN law) at no additional cost
-MSHSL provides training clinics for every sport to get hands on experience and improve as an official
-You get paid more to officiate MYAS basketball and baseball games
-You can work Varsity assignments
Are there any videos/resources? I can learn how to ref a certain sport?
Yes, you can pretty much google/you tube anything to learn how to ref. Getting high school certified definitely will be a good training resource for any sport you wish to officiate. Hammer Sports will continue to add valuable resources and offer training clinics from time to time.
Can I work with a specific partner? How about a certain time?
Yes, when emailing requests to work games, mention who you would like to work with (make sure they are available and ok with it first). Heidi (Assigner) will do her very best to accommodate requests but there are NO guarantees all requests will work out.
What sports do you assign?
Currently, Hammer Sports assigns baseball, basketball, fastpitch, football, slowpitch softball, soccer, volleyball. Every so often, track starters and scorekeepers are requested too.
Can female referee’s work boys/men’s games?
Absolutely! However, with any official regardless of their gender, they must be able to handle the level of play.
Can I work for other assigners too?
Yes. All officials are independent contractors and are free to officiate anywhere. However, it is NOT ok to cancel games with one assigner to pick up games with another. Hammer Sports greatly appreciates officials who regularly work for them and they will be given priority for future games over others that are not active with Hammer Sports.
Are you interested in assigning more games if I know of someone that is looking for officials? Does location matter?
Yes, of course! Location can matter depending on the amount of games. The majority of Hammer Sports officials live in the Mpls/St. Paul metro area. However, games have already been assigned in out state areas such as St Cloud, Sandstone, Jordan, Rochester, etc. Contact Heidi (assigner) to see if it will work out.
Can I request not working with a certain official?
Yes, but please do not make a habit of it. Sometimes personalities clash and its best not to pair certain individuals together. However, working with a new official should NOT be a reason. We all have to give back to the game. Veteran officials, please offer some advice if needed and newer officials, keep an open mind and be ok with constructive criticism. It will make all of us better and more successful!
What if I witness another official/fan being unprofessional? What should I do?
Please email Heidi (assigner) if something is of concern to you. It will be kept confidential. Try and not be confrontational. Be the bigger person. If it needs immediate assistance, call Heidi and/or get the site person. For example, an official and parent get into a shouting match.
Do you provide training clinics?
Hammer Sports plan to offer clinics and/or share info to all officials about training opportunities.
Do you sell referee equipment? What do I need?
Not yet! Hopefully soon. Until then, please use ebay, amazon, google, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunham Sports and Scheels to find what you need. See ref gear here.
Do you self-assign games on Arbiter? If so, how do I do it?
Yes, but only for soccer, softball, baseball and volleyball games. Basketball is assigned only by Heidi, Hammer Sports Assigner. Self-assign is a feature on Arbiter, see tab by schedule. You can choose up to five games a day. Games will not been shown if you are already scheduled on Arbiter. For questions about self-assign, contact Arbiter customer service hotline at 801-576-9436.
What if I need a sub for my games (sick, car problems, family emergency, job, etc..)?
If something important comes up and you cannot work your game, contact Heidi (assigner) ASAP. If it extremely short notice (less than 24 hours), you need to try and find your own sub (that is qualified and will do a good job) if Heidi has trouble filling it. Requesting a sub to work for another assigner is not acceptable. Please honor your assignments. Thanks
What is the cost to have officials assigned to work games?
The cost varies by sport, level, etc. Heidi will work with you and give comparison rates what others are paying to ensure you are getting a fair price. The assigning fee is included in the game fee, there is no additional charge added.
What is the level of experience of your officials?
The level of experience is a broad range. I have new referees, veterans, high school, varsity, and a handful of college officials that work games for Hammer Sports. It’s important to keep training and recruiting new officials because every year there are officials who move, retire, etc. Heidi (assigner) does her very best to have new refs work with those with experience. For certain higher level games, only experienced officials are used.
Do you assign scorekeepers?
Yes, Hammer Sports is willing to assign scorekeepers.
What if I think the invoice is wrong?
Mistakes can happen. If you have a question in regards to an invoice received, contact Donna Hunt, Hammer Sports payroll assistant, email@example.com.
Can I request certain officials to work OR to not work our games? Can I provide feedback about an official’s performance?
Absolutely! I want you to be happy with who works your games. Plus, Heidi (assigner) loves and appreciates feedback about officials. It will be kept confidential. She wants to know who isn’t hustling, showing up on time, etc. It’s also important to point out the ones who are doing a great job. Everyone loves to hear they are appreciated
What if I need to a cancel, change or add a game to our assigned schedule?
Please email the assigner (Heidi) at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP. If on short notice, call 763-350-0098. If schools/contact do not inform the assigner of any changes, they will still be obligated to pay officials who show up to work even if the game is cancelled. FYI, you will have officials contact info assigned to your games on Arbiter.
I noticed most of your games assigned are north metro. Can you assign officials elsewhere?
Yes! The majority of games assigned are north metro, but Hammer Sports is expanding. Games have been assigned in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Waconia, Chaska, Jordan, Bloomington, Chisago Lakes, Forest Lake, St Cloud, Sandstone, plus many more. Hammer Sports has a lot of referee connections throughout the state of Minnesota.