Ever thought about being a football referee? Don’t they get abused and questioned about their parentage? Are they not related to taxmen, estate agents or traffic wardens? Far from it. The majority of referees in Peterborough and the surrounding areas are actually young people aged 14 to 20 who are refereeing junior football for players aged 7 to 16. With the decline of newspaper rounds, and Saturday jobs getting fewer and fewer, the decision to train as a football referee ticks a lot of boxes.
To take up refereeing you need courage and self-belief. Confidence is another key skill, but that comes after taking the referees’ course and refereeing a few games.
Basically, anyone can become a football referee as long as they have passed their fourteenth birthday. They must attend the FA Referees Course, pass a test, and referee at least six games in which the offside rule is applied. They must also undertake the FA Safeguarding workshop, and finally, once they reach 16, they must have a DBS check which shows they are a safe person to work with players under 18.
Every referee starts with grassroots games in their local area. Often this is mini soccer (for players aged 7 to 10), or the newcomer could jump straight into games with offsides (under 11s up to adult football). You can only referee adult matches if you are 16 or older.
Refereeing can be beneficial for your career too. When looking for their next job, a referee will be able to put down a number of qualities and strengths that they have, such as:
- Good communicator
- Decision maker
- Physical fitness
- Knowledge of the laws of the game
- Able to defuse possibly heated situations
- A young person able to discipline adult managers if necessary
- Able to write reports about any discipline they have administered
- Good people manager
These are tremendous skills to have on anybody’s CV and should give any job applicant a head start over other candidates.
Peterborough Referees’ Association has members from the city as well as across Fenland and South Lincolnshire. It has been acknowledged as one of the best associations in the country, winning two national awards for its work in the community and on social media. Many referees who have been members of this association have gone on to be promoted within the referee circles and have had great opportunities, such as being a match official in National Cup Finals and Internationals. Some have even refereed in China, Croatia and Northern Ireland.
One thing that we have not mentioned, and another reason to train as a football referee, is that referees get paid per game. The amount varies; refereeing a children’s game pays £18 (plus travel expenses to and from the game of 25p per mile) while refereeing adult football could pay upwards of £50 (all-inclusive) for matches where spectators pay and the ground has floodlights. Professional referees in the Premier League are full time, and their salary is about £75,000 per season, plus bonuses on performance. If they referee in the Champions League or Europa Cup, then that basic salary would be over £100,000 per annum.
If you want to take a closer look at how to be a referee, then go to Facebook Peterborough Referees Association and message us for more information or see www.northamptonshirefa.com/referees for the next course.