Referee Appointments

'Referee decline in West Norfolk a worrying trend' - Norfolk FA

The Norfolk County FA Referee Department hashighlighted a worrying trend which has seen referee figures decline in the westof the County.


The Norfolk County FA Referee Department has highlighted a worrying trend which has seen referee figures decline in the west of the County, to the point it is affecting the grassroots game in the area.

Of the many different roles that people can play within grassroots football, without any one of players, coaches, volunteers or referees, football begins to struggle; and West Norfolk urgently needs an influx of referees.

Within the last 5 years, 94% of grassroots matches played on a Saturday in Norfolk have had a qualified FA referee appointed to them. Without an appointed FA official, games are difficult for clubs to manage and those fixtures featuring non-qualified referees can often be tarnished due to the inexperience of volunteers.

Between the 2014/15 season and the 2017/18 season, the North West Norfolk Football League saw an increase in the amount of matches that were officiated by an appointed FA referee, with coverage reaching 90%. However, this season for a number of reasons there has been a desperate shortage of referees in the area meaning that the percentage of coverage has dropped to 80%, other leagues are also feeling the affect.

Despite maybe seeming high, that figure is 15% lower than the overall Saturday League referee coverage in the whole of Norfolk.

Norfolk FA’s message is simple. For football in North West Norfolk to improve and for participation to increase, more referees are required in the area.

Chairman of the North West Norfolk league, Ray Venemore said: “The teams in our league pay affiliation fees and rightfully expect to have their games covered. We’re aware of the Referee shortage in the area and the impact this is having on players’ football experiences; we are therefore working hard with Norfolk FA to hopefully recruit more officials to address this.”

Referee Development Officer, David Robinson said: “Coverage in North West Norfolk is proving challenging this season. We’ve been successful in supporting and developing referees in other parts of the County to date, it would be great to start some people from the North West on a similar journey.”

Refereeing is a great way to give back to the beautiful game, to keep fit, stay involved in football and to earn money in the process. Norfolk FA are calling for people to take up the whistle and are running two courses in January, one of which is in King’s Lynn, to qualify the next generation of Norfolk referees.

Could refereeing can be your New Year’s Resolution? Call us on 01603 704050 (Ext 1; Opt 1) or email for further information and to have a chat about getting involved.