EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR REFEREE
I found him dejectedly studying an ancient copy of the "Referee."
When forty love had been scored against me I appealed to the referee.
If the boat is upset the referee's canoe helps them to right.
It was like the tap of the bell for a twenty-round go with the referee missin'.
It's been put up to me to keep time an' referee this mix-up, and I don't want no help.
Being the only non-partisan in the crowd, I was asked to referee.
In that case, under the new rules, I should referee the matter.
Fred Linden was to play the part of referee, and decide which was the better man.
It seemed clear that a referee ought to know the rules of the game.
They carried him to his corner, the Battler on one side, the referee on the other.
1620s, "person who examines patent applications" (see refer). Sporting use recorded by 1820 (specifically of baseball from 1856).