Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal says the attack happened over the weekend during a game held at Eisenhower Junior High School.
Hoyal says the 46-year-old referee apparently made a call against the suspect, who lashed out with a single punch to the man's face.
Hoyal says the victim was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, but doctors found the injury was much more severe.
Officials say the teenager from Salt Lake City was booked into the Salt Lake Valley Juvenile Detention Center on suspicion of aggravated assault. His name isn't being released because he's a minor.