How To Become a Junior Grassroots Referee

How To Become a Junior Grassroots Referee – A Step-by-step process

1. Attend a ‘Get into Refereeing’ Workshop

This is the first step for you getting involved with Refereeing; this workshop will give you a brief understanding of your potential new role within the game, and you will actually get the opportunity of making some decisions based on clips too!

2. Book onto a course

Once you have completed the ‘Get into Refereeing’ workshop, you will then be provided with a list of courses. You will be able to enrol on a course through some special links, provided only to those who have completed Step 1!

3. Pre-Course Preparation

Prior to the course there are steps to take to ensure that you can referee straight after the course, if these are not completed and not communicated then you may get turned away from the course:

• Obtain an FA DBS check (if over 16); details of this will be provided in the course joining instructions email you will receive.

• Complete FA Safeguarding Children Workshop (16 or over) or FA Safeguarding For All (under 16)

• Complete the online Laws of The Game Module

• Look into buying appropriate kit; we have a fantastic link with our partners at Discount Football Kits, and offer a £30 voucher when purchasing the latest Nike refereeing kit. Again, further details of this offer will be shared with you in the joining instructions email!

• If U18 ensure that a parent / guardian has created a FAN and you have been linked together using https://myaccount.thefa.com

4. Contact a League

Building a relationship with the league(s) you’ll be refereeing for is very important.

The Referee Secretary will provide you with fixtures and support you through your refereeing journey. They are also usually experienced referees themselves who can offer support and guidance.

It will be worth your while taking a look at your local leagues and working out which is best for you, contact them and see if there are any opportunities to officiate within the league. Make sure that your availability times match up with when their games take place, and they are able to offer you games within a reasonable travelling distance to you.

If you haven’t made contact with a league and they have said there is availability, then it is unlikely that you will get onto a course.

5. Attend Course

Enjoy the course, ask lots of questions, take plenty of notes and mix with other trainee referees. This will give you a solid footing as junior grassroots referee.

6. Mentoring

There may well be the possibility of a mentoring scheme within your local FA county. Through working with your league and our dedicated team of Referee Mentor Leads (RMLs), your country may try and arrange a match where you will be supported by a referee mentor and give you feedback on your performance. This process is not an assessment and is solely for your development purposes, giving you practical hints, tips and advice to making your life as easy as possible! This is also an opportunity to ask any questions which you have of the mentor in person.

7. Training Games

In order to become fully qualified trainee referees must complete five training games which once complete are sent to the County FA. These games can be in any format, either League or friendly fixtures! We will seek feedback from your league and promote you to a fully qualified ‘Youth’ Referee if Under 16 or Level 7 if 16 or over.

8. Final Unit

You will be invited to a final Unit webinar, where your county will explore information which has been provided and seek to offer advice and guidance around any questions or challenges faced. Your FA County may also have an experienced high-profile referee who can share their experience and journey and answer any questions which you may have. You will also receive information around the promotions scheme, Referee Associations and further development opportunities.

Now you are ready as a junior grassroots referee!

<< Check out this blog post on reasons to become a referee >>

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