Becoming a Referee

Refereeing is for all ages and for both male and female. The younger you start, the better as there are some great pathways as a referee and assistant referee.
The Steps

Sign up for either an Introductory or Level One referee course. Introductory Course: A Course covering the Laws of the Game in a shorter abbreviated way (4 hours – one or two sessions). Good for junior referees, coaches and Club Based Referees (CBR’s). Level One Course: A 10 -12 hour course covering the Laws of the Game in depth (either four or six separate sessions). 

  • At the end of the course there is a written test on the Laws of the Game.
  • You must achieve a mark of 70% or higher to pass the test.
  • You will be given instructions on how to referee so that you can put your recently gained knowledge of the Laws into practice. You will also be instructed on other technical matters.
  • Once it has been established that you are going to make a commitment to refereeing, you will be need to purchase a uniform, which also includes, equipment such as a whistle, flags and a notebook and wallet, containing red and yellow cards.
  • You will then most likely be appointed as an assistant referee with an experienced referee and from there; you will eventually get into the middle as the referee. 

Refereeing Pathways

It is acknowledged that not everybody wants to reach the very top level as a Referee, and you may intend to referee only to help out with your children/grandchildren’s Saturday morning fixtures.  
However, if you are thinking about Refereeing seriously, you give your self a better chance of getting to a high level by making the decision at a young age.

  • You are a brand new referee and you are classified at Level 1 status. You work both as a referee and assistant referee and are watched and given useful advice by referee coaches or experienced referees. The next step is Level 2 status as a referee and that is attained by passing an on field assessment. 
  • After a year or two you can attend the Level 3 Referee course and if you pass a test (30 questions right out of 33) you become a level 3 Referee.
  • To become Level 4 you are assessed on two games as a referee (called field tests) where you will either pass/fail. However there is also the additional requirement of passing a fitness test before you can do a field test.
  • Promotion further up the various local Lists is not achieved entirely by on field performance. Criteria for promotion recommendations include attitude, availability, commitment, demeanor and potential.
  • There is a Development Squad for referees with potential to go much higher. If you make it into this group, you will likely be appointed to the Women’s National League or National Youth League.
  • There are paths for promotion both as a Referee and Assistant Referee. At the higher levels this often requires a referee to choose on which direction he or she wants to pursue, with help from inspectors of course. At this stage you will have been selected to attend National Referee Development Academies.
  • By now you will be knocking at the door or already refereeing in the top Mainland League. You will get the chance to be an assistant referee at this level before you referee.
  • The next step up the ladder is to National League level either as an assistant referee or referee (whatever your chosen path).
  • The ultimate goal for some is to become a FIFA official. As a referee you need to be at least 25 years and 23 for assistant referees and at most 37 years old on January 1 for the year first nominated. Each year the candidate needs to be re-nominated and undergo medical tests as well as the FIFA fitness test. FIFA officials no longer have to retired at age 45, but may be required to submit further information on request.

To register for a course click here