With around 50,000 grassroots football matches played across the UK each weekend, a reliable workforce of match officials is critical. Grassroots referees play a vital role in supporting the development of junior grassroots football. Referees play an integral part in ensuring football remains fair, safe and inclusive for all.
If you’d like to become a referee at your local football club or in the premier league, you have to start at the grassroots level. There are many different stages to achieve different refereeing levels. This will start from refereeing 5 A-side, 7 A-side, 9 A-side and to a complete team of 11 A-side or ages above 11+.
Referees are trained individuals, who know the rules of law regarding football. You may not agree with the decisions that the referee makes but please show restraint from abuse. This doesn’t give you or any other person associated with your club the right to abuse any of the officials if the decision is not to your liking.
In grassroots football, all referees are marked by team coaches. Marking referees help to aid their development in the game and also allows them to gain hands-on experience. The experience of the referee is gained by constant officiating. When marking a referee and placing comments on a report card of the game, respect for the referee is paramount.
Sometimes games are fast and in a split second, just the pressure on a referee could make his decisions clouded. If a decision isn’t to your liking, no abuse should be levelled at the referee or their assistants, with either sarcastic comments, abusive language or any forms of intimidation.
Referees should always report any abusive language to their league secretary and this could result in teams getting fined.