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Become a Football Referee in 2021

Sutherland Shire Football Referees

The pathway to becoming a qualified football referee with the Sutherland Shire Football Referees Association requires interested participants to complete the online Laws of the Game Quiz and successfully complete the FFA accredited, Level 4 Practical Course that is run by the SSFRA.

Pre-requisites to becoming a referee with the SSFRA

  • You must be 14 years of age at the start of the local football season.

  • If you are over 18, you must complete and provide the full WWC check (see below)

  • You must bring a positive attitude, a passion for football and a commitment to ongoing learning and training

Step 1 - Complete Laws of the Game Certificate

This is a free online course provided by the Football Australia. You will be required to present your LOTG Certificate when you attend the Level 4 Practical Course (see Step 2)

Complete your Laws of the Game Certificate

Important Note: The online course will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete and involves a series of quizzes design to test your understanding of the Laws of the Game. Some of these laws of the game have been updated by IFAB and therefore we will explore these changes during the Level 4 Practical Course.

If you get a question wrong during the quiz, you will have the opportunity to resit the quiz until you complete the requirements of each law. If you are unsure or have any questions about the Laws of the Game, make a note of your questions and bring them along to the Level 4 Practical Course.

Step 2- Level 4 Practical Course

Attend and successfully complete your Level 4 Practical Course. This is an FFA accredited course, run by the SSFRA and is designed to prepare you for your first game as a football referee. The course will cover practical techniques, theoretical knowledge and basic principles of game management. In 2021, we will be offering this course on the following dates: ​​

Online enrolments into the above course are now closed, there are limited seats available and interested participants will need to register via email to recruitment@ssfra.org.au

Course Information

All courses will commence at 8.30am and be completed by approximately 3.30pm at the offices of the Sutherland Shire Football Association, as follows:

Harrie Denning Football Centre Bates Drive Kareela NSW 2232

Registered participants will be contacted closer to the respective course date with information regarding next steps and paying your registration fees. You must be enrolled to attend this course - if you show up on the day without a registration and the hall is at Covid-safe Capacity, you will be turned away. All participants must have completed the LOTG Certificate before attending a course.

If you are no longer able to attend your registered course, please email recruitment@ssfra.org.au at your earliest convenience.

Other Considerations & FAQ's

What are the costs to becoming a Referee?

In 2021, the following charges will apply for New Referees:

New Cadet Referee* - $160.00 New Adult Referee - $200.00 (+$80 compulsory WWCC payable via Services NSW)

All packages include your course fee, the SSFRA registration fee (which is to cover the affiliation fees charged by Football NSW and FFA) as well as your uniform (a black shirt, shorts, socks) and basic equipment required to referee (whistle, cards, notebook). Additional optional uniform and equipment may be purchased on the day.

*For the purposes of Registration, a cadet referee is defined as being under the age of 18 years as of 1 January 2021

Other costs to be considered for before becoming a referee?

Referees will be required to source their own wrist watch with stopwatch functionality, this is a cost that will be at the referees own expense. (A stopwatch is not required for attending the course). Whilst a mobile phone offers a stopwatch functionality, this is not an acceptable device for keeping time as a referee.

Participants over the age of 18 year of age MUST attain a full Working With Children Check (WWCC) in order to become a referee. This comes at a cost of $80 to the participant, see below for further details. (don't be tempted to apply for the volunteer (free) check as this is not sufficient)

What do I need to bring on the day of the course?

It is recommended participants bring:

  • Comfortable shoes, a hat and running attire (whilst we won’t be running, there will be components of the course which we will do outdoors)

  • Water and snacks to keep you focused

  • Writing Material (pens or pencils)

  • A positive attitude

I am under 18 years of age, do I need to bring my parent/gaurdian along to the course?

Yes*. The opening 30 minutes of the Level 4 Course will explore expectations, what its like to referee, our internal protocols and briefly touch on procedures within the Sutherland Shire Football Referees Association. It is recommended that a parent or guardian of a participant whom is under 18 years of age attend this opening session. This section of the course will also be helpful for adults attending the course.

* Due to limited capacity in the hall, we ask that participants only bring one parent/gaurdian to this session to ensure social distancing is achievable.

Will the course be COVID-safe?

To ensure adequate social distancing, the capacities for each course has been reduced. Participants will be required to complete a COVID-safe check-in and hand santiser will be available throughout the day. The wearing of a mask will be optional and components of the course will be undertaken outdoors (weather permitting)

What if I complete this course but do not register with SSFRA?

If you intend to complete your FFA Level 4 Certificate but not register with the Sutherland Shire Football Referee's Association, we recommend you do not take this course and instead attend one of the online courses offered by Football NSW. You will not recieve your accreditation if you do not pay your registration joining fees, however should you decide after taking the course that refereeing is not for you, we will not charge you a course fee.

Click here to find out more about courses offered by FNSW.

Can I attend an online course offered by FNSW and become a referee with the SSFRA?

Yes. In 2021, Football NSW will be running a series of FFA Accredited Level 4 Courses. These courses will be run via Zoom and participants will be required to pay the $100 fee to FNSW for their attendance. This fee covers the course registration fee that in Sutherland we do not charge to participants (provided a registration with the SSFRA is completed).

Following successful completion of the online course, participants are welcome to register with the Sutherland Shire Football Referees Association by contacting recruitment@ssfra.org.au; please note we are not able to waive the $100 course fee for attending the online course via FNSW.


Football NSW - Working With Children Check Policy For anyone over the age of 18, a fully paid WWCC is required to become a Member of the SSFRA.

To apply for your WWCC - visit the Services NSW Website

Whilst it is not a requirement to have your WWC Check completed to attend the Level 4 Course, we recommend you undertake this check at your soonest convenience as you will not be appointed to a game until we have received this information from you. This check process by Services NSW can take up to 4 weeks to complete.

The only exemption to this requirement is if you are under 18 years of age, where the check is not mandatory. However, those members/participants who are 17 year olds, and turn 18 during the season should note, a valid WWCC is required the moment you turn 18. You can apply for this check as a 17 year old.


If you are still unsure or if you have any questions relating to how to become a referee in 2020, please contact our Recruitment Officer via recruitment@ssfra.org.au

Note: If you are under the age of 14 at the beginning of the season and still want to become a football referee, we recommend you contact your local club to enquire about their miniroos referees programs.

#LOTG #NewMembers #Education #2021

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