Whether you are playing in an eleven-a-side match, a small-sided competition or a new format such as Futsal, one person will remain a constant presence: the referee.

There are over 1,600 registered referees in the county, ranging from those just setting out in the game to individuals who have progressed to officiating in the FA Premier League and Football League. We support the development of match officials from initially booking onto courses, in gaining promotion and also via the form of mentoring and assessment through a referee’s career.

You can start to get involved from the age of just 14, with specific pathways in place within both the men’s and women’s game if you wish to move through the levels. You’ll get lots of helpful advice from the outset, including details about the laws of the game and guidelines on fitness and nutrition.

We also back the initiatives of the Essex County Referees Association. The ERA provides assistance for officials and, with the aid of an incentive scheme run in conjunction with The FA, points can be obtained each time you referee a match or attend a meeting of the RA and seminars organised by the County Football Association. These points will enable you to purchase referee kit and supplies from the RA’s supplies department at a reduced cost or, in some cases, no cost at all.

Once you have gained experience of officiating, you may like to get involved in one of our mentoring schemes, where you can share information, ideas and advice with up-and-coming referees at society meetings, at grounds or even by telephone. So, if you have a query about the laws of the game, want to know more about misconduct reporting or just wish to gather further information about becoming the man or woman in the middle, you’ve come to the right place!

Referee Courses

Thinking of becoming a referee? Anyone over the age of 14 complete the course. But the game doesn't just need young referees - plenty of players who are in the twilight of their football years have also enrolled on one of our courses to continue their involvement in the game... it’s never too late!

If you're interested in any form of the referees course, you should register your interest using the link below or the form at the bottom of the page.

Please Note: If you do not referee a minimum of six matches following completion of the course, you will not be a fully qualified referee. It is compulsory to referee six matches of 11v11 football (or 9v9 football including the offside law).

We advise you not to take the course if it is purely to obtain a certificate for your studies. We offer other courses which will provide suitable certification for your school/college studies.

Referee Interest Form

Click here to complete the Referee Interest Form.

As of this season, courses are no longer published online to ensure candidates are registered on the correct course, and are kept local. All of our courses are now arranged in-line with demand for a course from football in that area, and the location of the potential candidates.

Once we have received your Referee Interest Form we will keep you fully up-to-date with details of appropriate forthcoming courses. In addition, we will invite you along to a 'Get into Refereeing' evening, which will offer a further insight into the courses we offer as well outlining the benefits and commitments of refereeing, leaving you best placed to proceed with registering on the correct course. It is entirely up to you which type of football you officiate on.

Once qualified, it is up to you how far you would like to progress, be it at a local Saturday or Sunday league standard or through the levels into the semi-professional and professional game. For more information on courses, or on becoming a referee, please E-Mail or call (01245) 393097.

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