The FA’s online ‘Guide to the Laws of the Game’ modules are enabling new grassroots football referees to move towards the eventual completion of their full face-to-face course.
The online facility is helping to improve understanding of the laws of football, especially for budding new officials, as well as demonstrating how they should be applied. The five modules are relevant for any football role and are available free of charge. Anyone who wants to become a referee must complete this learning before attending The FA’s Referees Course.
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, plus there are activities to reinforce all the key points within the guide.
Essex County FA Referee Development Officer, Lukas Wood, is encouraging new match officials to come forward and complete the online learning: “The modules and course are for anyone aged 14+ interested in becoming a referee. Once a learner has completed them, we’ll send details of how to book onto the face-to-face FA Referee Course.”
“Upon attending this training, you'll 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'll then become a fully-qualified referee.”
The online modules take around 90 minutes to complete, but don't have to be finished in one go and can be ticked off in stages. For the face-to-face training, this 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 added: “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.”
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 different 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.
To find out more about the learning, or to sign-up, please follow this link. You can also keep up-to-date on the latest grassroots football news by following @EssexCountyFA and @EssexReferees on Twitter and by searching for ‘EssexFootball’ on Facebook.
Forthcoming Referee Courses
Thursday 17th March (6:00-9:00pm), Sunday 20th March (9:00am-5:00pm)
Frenford FC, The Jack Carter Centre, The Drive, Ilford, Essex, IG1 3PS
Monday 11th April (6:00-9:00pm), Wednesday 13th April (9:00am-5:00pm)
Broomfield FC, Mill Lane, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7BQ
Please Note: Details for how to book onto one of these courses will only be sent to individuals who have completed the online laws of the game modules.