Basic Referee Course

With as many as 1 in 5 UK matches played without qualified officials, the grass roots game is in desperate need of referees. Increasing the number of qualified referees remains one of the FA's top national strategy goals and we would encourage anyone wishing to contribute to the game to consider taking one of the Basic Referee Courses offered through county FA's at venues all over the UK.

It is an open entry course available to anyone (minimum age 14) and requires no previous training or experience. It provides a solid instruction to the laws of football and includes both the theoretical and practical skills needed to effectively referee 11v11 youth or adult games. The course consists of 5 modules offering a total of 24 hours tutoring plus 6 matches and is often run as a 2 day course, though this varies depending on the individual course provider. The 5 modules are a mixture of theoretical and practical instruction:

Module 1

  • Laws of football
  • The referee's role
  • Overview of requirements for controlling matches

Module 2

  • Warm up and cool down drills
  • Management of various game play scenarios
  • Position during play
  • Communicating with players

Module 3

  • Multiple choice examination covering theoretical and practical topics
  • On pitch assessment of practical topics

Module 4

  • Candidates undertake six games to help reinforce topics covered
  • 1 to 1 mentoring during two games to provide direct real time input

Module 5

  • 3 hour workshop to reflect on what has been learned and review their initial refereeing experiences.

In addition, the FA Safeguarding Children workshop is included as a standard part of the Basic Referee Course. Qualified referees should attend Annual Referee and Training Development programmes provided through their own county FA's.

Course prices vary but as an indication, 2015 prices range from £85 to £135 depending on the structure and location of the course.