referee support

Refereeing Support

fitness for refereeing

As you progress in refereeing, moving from local leagues into semi-professional football, the demands on referees are greater and with that a higher level of fitness is required. With the demands on referees increasing every season, there is an even greater need to be ‘fit for purpose'.


Referee Bulletin

On the first Wednesday of the month we publish a bulletin detailing all the latest refereeing updates. To read the latest bulletin, simply click on the relevant link below.

Previous Issues: Sept 2020
 Oct 2020
Current Issue:  Sep 2021 Oct 2021

referee engagement group

The Norfolk County FA Referees Department is committed to supporting, retaining, and developing our referees and ensuring that as a match official you feel valued. As a department we also want to give you regular opportunities to have your voice and opinions listened to, to help us improve and to improve your overall refereeing experiences.

For the 2021/22 season, we are very pleased to launch The Norfolk County FA 'Referee Engagement Group' (REG). The Group will aim to meet bi-monthly online and will give our referee workforce the opportunity to have direct contact with the County FA Referees Department.

The members of the ‘REG’ will be asked to liaise with local referees and associations to ensure that all views of our grassroots referees are considered and taken to meetings. The ‘REG’ will help shape our key priorities in refereeing over the upcoming seasons and will be asked to offer views on a number of refereeing topics, and to challenge the County FA Referees Department to ensure we offer the very best support.

The members of REG are listed below and they can be contacted via our Facebook Group so you can voice your opinions and offer any thoughts on how we can make the grassroots refereeing experience even better.

In addition to CFA Staff, The REG will be made up of:

1 x Norfolk FA Mental Health Champion
1 x Norfolk FA Young Referee Group Management Team Member
1 x Assessors Association Representative
1 x Referees' Association Representative
8 x Grassroots Referees

Mental Health Guidance For Referees

Norfolk FA takes the Mental Health and well-being of our Referees very seriously. Clearly, as in our everyday lives, we have a role to play in looking after and improving our own mental health. 

If you have a mental health problem and would like to have a confidential conversation, then please first contact Callum Parke, who is the Norfolk Referee Mental Health Champion, at or visit the Norfolk Referee Mental Health Hub which can be found in the August 2021 Bulletin. 

Refereeing brings mental health into sharp focus, as you and your assistants are the ‘third team’ on the field – and sadly often at the receiving end of intense scrutiny and/or abuse. Both can understandably be unnerving.

But one of the elements of your role in football is already a bedrock of mental health: physical health. We know that keeping fit and healthy has a direct effect on mental health, and refereeing is a great way of keeping active as well as staying in football long after you playing days are over.  

Staying in football is in itself a benefit because of the friends you make and the camaraderie you build up. However, several other categories of people play a support role in relation to referees. If they have a concern about a referee’s mental health, the documents below are intended to help them.


Whilst Referee assaults are extremely rare, unfortunately they do sometimes happen. Should you be subjected to an assault whilst officiating a match, we have a support policy in place to provide you with the care and assistance that you need. Full details of the policy can be found in the document below.


At the 2019 Referee CPD events we asked our Match Officials to write down any advice that they would give to new referees at the start of their officiating adventure. We received an enormous amount of helpful information and the most common themes have been pulled together and published in the document below, which hopefully you will find useful! 

Protocol for dealing with discriminatory abuse

The FA have published a protocol to provide guidance to Match Officials and Clubs as to what actions should be taken when there is an incident of discriminatory abuse by Spectators at a Grassroots game. It is therefore important that all Match Officials familiarise themselves with the protocol so that they know how to act in the unfortunate event of being involved in a match where such abuse occurs.

Please note that whilst the protocol is aimed at incidents of discriminatory abuse by Spectators, as a Match Official you must always report all incidents brought to your attention to the relevant County FA as an extraordinary incident even if you did not hear the abuse yourself.

Referee Shop

As a Norfolk FA match official, you are able to purchase a number of additional items through us as well as Referee kit through our partners, Discount Football Kits. 
  • Norfolk FA County Ties (priced at £15.00)
  • Norfolk FA Referee Badge (priced at £6.00)
You can purchase Nike Referees’ kit and many accessories through our partners Discount Football Kits by clicking on the link below.

Referee Appointments

safeguarding for referees

Norfolk FA takes the safety and well-being of our young Referees very seriously. Whilst the vast majority of football is played in safe and friendly environments where everyone can enjoy taking part, there may be occasions where you would like additional help and support. If you witness anything that concerns you, have any safeguarding issue regarding yourself, or if you just wish to speak to us, the document at the bottom of this page provides full details of who to contact as well as other useful information.
The FA Respect


The FA's Respect programme provides a series of tools for leagues, clubs, coaches, players and parents from grassroots to elite football - to help ensure a safe, positive environment in which to play the game.