Umpires, referees, and other sports officials officiate competitive athletic and sporting events. They observe the play and detect infractions of rules and impose penalties established by the sports' regulations. Umpires, referees, and sports officials anticipate play and position themselves to best see the action, assess the situation, and determine any violations.
Some sports officials, such as boxing referees, may work independently, while others such as umpires - the sports officials of baseball - work in groups. Regardless of the sport, the job is highly stressful because officials are often required to assess the play and make a decision in a matter of a split second and some competitors, coaches, and spectators are likely to disagree strenuously.
Professional scouts evaluate the skills of both amateur and professional athletes to determine talent and potential. As a sports intelligence agent, the scout's primary duty is to seek out top athletic candidates for the team they represent, ultimately contributing to team success. At the professional level, scouts typically work for scouting organizations, or more often as freelance scouts. In locating new talent, scouts perform their work in secrecy so as to not tip off players that interest them to their opponents.
At the college level, the head scout is often an assistant coach, although freelance scouts may aid colleges by providing reports about exceptional players to coaches. Scouts at this level seek talented high school athletes by reading newspapers, contacting high school coaches and alumni, attending high school games, and studying videotapes of prospects' performances.