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There are plenty of great things about being a referee. You actively participate in the sport, you help raise the standard of the game, you develop a network of friends, you develop your management and communication skills and you get to wear black! (Or variations on it).

Referees are an integral part of soccer, and if you’re aged 13 years or more, you can join this specialised and important side of our game.

The referee structure in NSW supports 3,250 referees spread throughout 42 Branches.

An exciting aspect of being a referee is that, like playing, you can participate at a variety of levels.

To take that first step you need to be at least 13 years of age.

From this first step, you can follow the referee pathway as long as you want.

Setting goals and committing yourself to achieving them is essential no matter what your endeavour. We have a great support network to assist you in realising your refereeing goals. A number of courses have been established which provide a pathway for you to develop from a beginner through to State League, NSW Premier League and national league.

You may even aspire to reach the pinnacle of refereeing which is world recognition by obtaining your FIFA badge.

To take that first step to qualify for a referee you will need to:

  1. Attend lectures on the Laws of the Game.
    These are conducted over a full day course, which includes a multiple-choice examination that is set by the National Referees Organisation, and applies throughout Australia. On successfully completing your examination stage you will receive your Referee Theory Certificate.
  2. Be assessed by one of the Referee Branch inspectors on a level of game that the Branch considers appropriate for you as a starting point.

On a successful field assessment you will then become a qualified referee and will be issued with the appropriate Referee Certificate.

Don’t be put off by the examination, even if it is many years since you have been required to do any sort of examination. The course and the examination are structured to give you maximum opportunity to gain a 100% success rate for all those serious about becoming a referee.

It is essential to read through the laws of the game before attending the theory course. Football Federation Australia has a good website with the current laws of the games and videos to explain each law. We strongly recommend that you visit the below page before attending the course:




The Pathway

There is no short cut to the top. Even if you were set a theory examination that required you to obtain 100% correct answers to all questions on every Law of the Game, this may not necessarily make you a good referee.

A good referee knows the Laws of the Game, has experience as a referee, and has the ability to apply the Laws of the Game such that the players are able to display their football skills and the spectators can enjoy all that our game can offer as a spectator sport.

Experience comes with refereeing or acting as an assistant referee in as many games as possible. Referee Branches run coaching sessions on a regular basis and attendance at these sessions plays an important role in building on experiences. Branch inspectors will from time to time watch your on-field performance offering constructive advice to improve those areas where you need some guidance.

As a referee or an assistant referee you will receive a match fee that will help offset the expenses for travelling to games, your uniform and other costs associated with your refereeing duties and still leave you with some left over.

To find out more about courses for referees, please contact on…  info@canterburyreferees.org.au, or you can send us a message by filling in the form below…