Referees: Appointments & Club Procedures

The League Referee Secretary will endeavour to appoint Registered Referees to all matches in the Under 16, U17 and U18 age groups, but this should not be taken for granted since it will depend on the number and location of available referees from week to week.


For other age groups and in cases where there are no officially appointed Match Officials in attendance, the Clubs shall agree upon a referee in accordance with the procedure described in Rule 23 and summarised below.


Mini-Soccer – the referees are considered to be ‘game leaders’ Any person who referees a game of Development Football has the authority to apply the Laws of Mini-Soccer even if they are not a fully qualified referee. The referee should always help the players to learn the game by explaining their decisions. Assistant referees are not required for Development Football.

The Laws of the game should be a guide for the referee in Mini-Soccer with the spirit of the Laws being more important than the letters of the law. Appreciation of the needs of the child is essential.


 9 v 9 games at u11 & u12 - Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws for 9v9 Football in connection with the match to which they have been appointed, even if they are not a qualified referee. The powers and duties of the referee are as normal rules apply, as per Laws of Association Football.


11 v 11 games - Unless there is an officially appointed Referee, the Clubs shall agree upon a referee. An individual thus agreed upon shall, for that game, have the full powers, status and authority of a registered referee.


The minimum age to act as referee is 14. Individuals under the age of 16 must not participate either as a Referee or Assistant Referee in any open age competition. Referees between the ages of 14 and 16 are only eligible to officiate in games where the Players’ age band is at least one year younger than the age of the Referee: For example, a 15 year old Referee may only officiate in competitions where the age banding is 14 or younger.


Procedures are described in Rule 23.B

The Home team should supply a refereepreferably qualified and currently registered, but if unable to do so the Away team must be invited to supply one. Both teams must provide a Club Linesman.

If the Away team has an available qualified referee he will take precedence over a Home team referee who is not qualified and likewise an available and currently registered referee will take precedence over a non-registered referee. Where an Away team knows that it has a qualified and currently registered referee available to referee the match, this fact should be made known to the Home team at the earliest opportunity. Any such offer that is refused by the Home team without good reason should be reported to the Management Committee.       


The appointed referee shall have power to decide as to the fitness of the Ground in all matches and that decision shall be final, subject to the determination of the Local Authority or the owners of a Ground, which must be accepted.


League appointed panel referees. Nominated Referees are shown on the League’s website from Monday onwards and Clubs are required to make early contact with the appointed Referee. Except in the case of late appointments, Managers should make contact with the appointed Referee by the Tuesday in the same way as they contact their opposition under Rule 20 I. Late notification (excepting for late appointments) shall be liable for a fine (in accordance with the Fines Tariff).

The Management Committee reserves the right to appoint a referee to any match, in which case the Home team will normally be notified by the Thursday prior to the match. For the semi-finals of all Cup, Shield and Trophy competitions, a League appointed referee will be allocated whenever possible, but if not possible then both teams, together with the Referees Secretary shall agree on a suitable referee. Each team shall supply a Club Assistant Referee.


All Age Groups – After every match, a Mark must be given to the Referee. The Referee’s name and mark is added to your Match Card as part of the Result Notification.

Marks are given out of 100 – preferably in accordance with the guidance given below.

Where a total mark of 60 or less is awarded to a referee, an explanation of such mark must be sent to the League on form TAN 8 within seven days of the game. If a referee is consistently given low marks, his Club (if any) will be notified and further low marks could result in the league asking for that person to be withdrawn from the role pending further training.




The FA’s Referees Committee has approved the following system for the marking of referees by clubs. Clubs are encouraged to think carefully about the marking of referees.


Mark Range


100 - 86


The referee demonstrated very accurate decision-making and controlled the game very well using management and communication skills effectively to add value to the game.


85 - 76


The referee demonstrated accurate decision-making and controlled the game well using management and communication skills to contribute positively to the game.

75 - 61

The referee demonstrated reasonably accurate decision-making and despite some short comings, generally controlled the game well.

60 and below

The referee demonstrated shortcomings in the accuracy of decision-making and control which affected the game.


Ø    Club Officials should use the full range of marks within each category to help distinguish between different performance levels e.g. within the 85-76 category a mark of 84 indicates a better performance than a mark of 77.

Ø    Whilst some referees may have poor matches there will usually have been some positive aspects of their performance so extremely low marks should be very rare.

Ø    When club officials are marking a referee they should always look at the game as a whole and not an isolated decision. The result of the match should not influence the mark and disciplinary action should be judged objectively.

Ø    When a mark of 60 or lower is awarded an explanation must be provided to the competition using the box provided and on the form TAN 8. The purpose of this explanation is to assist referees to improve their performance levels so the comments should be as helpful as possible.

Deciding on the Referee’s Mark

The following questions focus on the key areas of a referee’s performance. They are intended as an “aide memoire”, are not necessarily comprehensive and need not be answered individually. It is, however, worth considering them before committing yourself to a mark for the referee.



o  How well did the referee control the game?

o  Were the players’ actions recognised correctly?

o  Were the Laws applied correctly?

o  Were all incidents dealt with efficiently/effectively?

o  Were all the appropriate sanctions applied correctly?

o  Was the referee always within reasonable distance of incidents?

o  Was the referee well positioned to make critical decisions, especially in and around the penalty area?

o  Did the referee understand the players’ positional intentions and keep out of the way accordingly?

o  Did the referee demonstrate alertness and concentration throughout the game?

o  Was the referee aware of the players’ attitude to advantage?

o  Did the referee use the assistants effectively?

o  Did the officials work as a team, and did the referee lead and manage them to the benefit of the game?