In North American Sport, referees and officials are paid Big $$$. NFL referees earn on average, $200000 for 16 weeks of work. They make considerably more if they also referee in the playoffs, something like $100000 a game. NHL referees make, at the top end, around $350000 a year. Top tier Rugby referees I've heard come somewhere under $200000 a year but they have to work ALOT MORE to make that. Want to retain good refereeing talent, the pay needs to come up.