Referee Development

Refereeing update

Marketing & Communications
An update from the Referee Department following the well documented Referee shortage that grassroots football has experienced this season.

An update from the Norfolk County FA Referee Department:

Following the well documented Referee shortage that grassroots football has experienced this season, Norfolk FA's Referee Department is pleased to provide an update with regards to the current picture, highlighting the developments that have taken place over the course of the season so far.

Since August, our Refereeing Department has been very busy, delivering courses across the County. To date we have successfully delivered five courses during the 2021-22 season, at venues that include West Winch, Caister, East Harling and two at our Football Development Centre. We were extremely pleased to see the majority of these courses run at maximum capacity, with many individuals beginning their refereeing journey.

The success of our completed courses this season has seen 102 new referees trained, ranging from 14 to 68 years old, with encouraging numbers going straight into the adult game. Following attending the face-to-face training, the candidates must officiate five matches to successfully complete their qualification, and nearly half of the 102 have already done this.

Norfolk FA Referee Development Officer, Harvey Newstead, who has been central to the work that has been done this season said: “I am very pleased with the progress we have made so far this season to help address the referee shortages that we have faced, however this is very much the first step in the process and I am looking forward to continue to recruit in the new year as well as support and develop our current workforce.”

Head of Football Services Matthew Lemmon added: “With the recruitment to date, the building blocks are in place to overcome the challenges experienced so far this season. It's now up to the Norfolk Football community to work together to support and retain not only our newly qualified referees, but also our existing group of committed match officials to ensure a positive footballing experience for everyone.”


Hear what newly qualified referee Robyn Burgess, who attended the FDC Course in September had to say about her refereeing journey:

“So far, my experiences have been amazing. I originally wanted to become a referee to help out the club I play for but, after officiating some games I found that it is a very enjoyable role within the game. The course was delivered in a way that made it easy to understand and retain the information needed as it was interactive and inclusive. I have found the matches very enjoyable and the course I took means that I am able to deal with the situations I am faced with. 

"Refereeing is an enjoyable way to be part of a community and keep fit, while learning the ways of the game. If you're thinking of taking a course, go for it!"

Benjamin Rollinson who qualified after attending the East Harling course in October half term also spoke to us about his experience so far:

“I wanted to complete the course to take the next step on my referee journey and to make it ‘official’. The course was fantastic, it was a relaxed environment with a good mix of indoor theory and outdoor practical work. The support provided after the course was also really helpful which included having a referee coach during the five games which is a great way to test your learning from the course.

"If football is something you enjoy, it is very rewarding. You develop your skills and earning respect from everybody involved is brilliant. Completing my course in October was a great accomplishment and I look forward to progressing in the future."


We are delighted to announce that we will be running two further courses at our Football Development Centre in Norwich as part of a January sale special offer!

Both of the opening courses of 2022 are currently priced at £85, offering a 30% discount to anybody who books by January 31st.

The first course will take place on the 4th and 6th February and the second will take place on the 18th and 20th February. Further details, including online booking information can be found on our Referee pages. 



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