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Referees are employed to ensure rules are enforced ahead of, during and after a BattleBots fight.

Before a fight begins, referees will ensure all teams are ready, with one referee typically assigned to the red square team and another assigned to the blue square team in a 1v1 fight. During the Comedy Central seasons, referees would ask teams if they were ready before pushing the button. However, in the reboot era on ABC and Discovery, teams have taken on the responsibility of pressing their ready buttons.

During a fight, referees keep an eye out for robots showing insufficient mobility as per the BattleBots rules. At any time in a fight, a referee can issue a warning that they will begin a ten count to a knockout if the team cannot show sufficient mobility. If the count is completed, it is the referee's job to therefore announce a knockout. Likewise, it is the referee's responsibility to ensure pins are limited to the maximum allowed time as rules surrounding such tactics evolved over the years.

After a fight, it is the referees' jobs to ensure teams relinquish control of their robots as soon as the fight is called. Referees may also be called up to explain a situation to competing teams in the event of an unprecedented moment. For example, during the BattleBots: Champions II fight between SawBlaze and Tantrum, head referee John Remar explained that the fight would be going to a judges' decision as his call for a knockout occurred just slightly later than the moment the battle timer hit zero.

List of Referees[]

Current Referees[]

BattleBots currently employ three referees for a main season. As of World Championship VII, one is allocated to each team, with a third working as a communicator between both sides.

Name Seasons Background
John Remar Long Beach 1999-Present The longest-serving referee in BattleBots history.
David Sanfilippo World Championship IV-Present Former Director of Disabled Student Services at California State University.
Kathryn Godfrey re;MARS all:STARS 2022

World Championship VII-Present

First female BattleBots referee.
Yvette Clutterbuck BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon Las Vegas-based singer and actress.
Patrick Bean Actor and Whiplash ShowBot team member.
Jeremy Ines Actor and HyperShock ShowBot team member.

Former Referees[]

A number of crew members have taken up the role of referee since the inception of BattleBots in 1999. However, as they were often uncredited, many remain unknown. This is especially the case of BattleBots IQ and other untelevised events.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive:

Name Seasons Background
Sean Bryan BattleBots: Destruct-A-Thon (2023) American actor.
Michael Ayers World Championship I
World Championship II
World Championship III
World Championship IV
Co-founder of the software company ScanAlert.
Todd Owens BattleBots Championships 2009 Referee for the 2009 Championships alongside John Remar.
Mike Garcia BattleBots IQ 2004 Unknown.
Brett Dawson BattleBots IQ 2003 Competed in Seasons 4.0 and 5.0 with Moebius.
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