Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Become a grassroots football referee in Thurrock in 2024

THE FA’s digital ‘Guide to the Laws of the Game’ modules are accessible to grassroots football referees as they move towards the eventual completion of their full face-to-face course.

The online facility is facilitating the improvement of individuals and their understanding of the laws of football, especially for new officials, as well as highlighting how they should be applied. Variations for youth football are included, and there are questions at the end of each module, all of which must be answered correctly to successfully complete the learning.

Videos are used throughout, alongside activities to reinforce all the key points within the guide. The five modules are relatable for any football role and are available free of charge. Anyone who has an initial interest in this course must complete this learning before attending The FA’s Referees Course.

Essex County FA Referee Development Officer, Lukas Wood, is encouraging new match officials to come forward and complete the online learning: “These modules and the course are for anyone aged 14+ interested in becoming a referee. Once a learner has completed them, we will send details of how to book onto the face-to-face FA Referee Course.”

“Upon attending this training, you will need to go out and referee five 9v9 and/or 11v11 fixtures within the local grassroots leagues. We aim to send a Referee Mentor out to watch you on one of these. After refereeing five fixtures, you will then become a fully-qualified referee.”

The online modules take around 90 minutes to complete, and you are not required to finish in one go, as this can be ticked off in stages. Face-to-face training will entail one evening session (6:00-9:00pm) and one full-day session (9:00am-5:00pm). For the five 9v9 and/or 11v11 fixtures, the timescale on this is dependent on the learner/referee and their own availability.

Lukas continued: “There is no better time to become a referee, with all the opportunities available. Being able to attend CPDs [Continuing Professional Development], where we welcome Premier League and EFL match officials along, is fantastic, as well as delivering face-to-face practical CPDs in which our senior group of match officials deliver.”

Michael Wallace, Essex County FA Referee Development Officer, added: “Refereeing gives you a greater understanding of the sport you love and keeps you active and closer to the game. The rules and technicalities of the game, and the people management skills you acquire, make you a better person in and out of the game.”

“The skills you learn as a referee, such body language, communication and decision-making skills, you can take into your life outside of refereeing, too. And you will do a lot of running while developing all these skills… so it is also a good way to keep fit! If you like meeting new people and growing your personal skills, then refereeing is for you.”

Guide to the Laws of the Game Modules

Module 1 (‘Before the Match’) covers the referee’s pre-match responsibilities, including ensuring players’ kit is safe, how to carry out the coin toss and what a referee needs to take with them to a match.

Module 2 (‘Signals and Communication’) contains short video clips (GIFs) which show every signal the referee and assistant referee might give during a match.

Module 3 (‘Getting it Right’) deals with foul challenges, violent conduct, handball, unsporting behaviour, denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (DOGSO) offences and advantage. It uses video clips from football at various levels to show how the referee should manage common scenarios.

Module 4 (‘Offside’) also uses video clips, this time to demonstrate what is and isn’t offside and how the referee should manage offside offences. The clips, like those used in the ‘Getting it Right’ module, are voiced over to explain the decisions the referees make.

Module 5 (‘Managing Restarts and Set-Pieces’) covers restarts and set pieces, including goal kicks, corner kicks, throw-ins, free kicks and penalty kicks. It uses both video and illustrations to clarify what players must do at each restart and set piece and explains what the referee should do if players don’t comply with the law.

A new range of referee courses is coming up, and learners also need to complete the relevant safeguarding children qualification. To find out more, or to sign-up, visit www.essexfa.com. You can also keep up-to-date on the latest grassroots football news by following @EssexCountyFA and @EssexReferees on Twitter/X and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.

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