Five reasons why it's time to hang up the playing boots and pick up the whistle!
Making that decision to cross over to the [perceived] dark side by becoming a referee is often a tough one to make, for the misconception is that refereeing lacks the social elements and skills required, when compared to the likes of playing. This couldn't be further from the truth!
In the Sutherland Shire, our region is fortunate to have one of the larger amateur football associations in Australia and our role at the SSFRA is to provide and develop referee's to support grassroots football in the Shire. With WMD Law backing us in 2023 and 2024 as our brand new sponsor, now is a fantastic time to get involved.
Lets explore why you should consider becoming a referee:
With refereeing, you get to decide how much running you will actually do! Now, this comment is likely to infuriate many players, but truth be told, you can get away with a consistent jog and the occasional "run" over 90 minutes. To be very clear, we don't endorse a lack of running, and actually encourage all of our referees to go beyond the requirements of the game. The truth is, refereeing does allow for various levels of fitness and is a great way to keep the body and mind active.
Did you know: On average, a referee will get through 6-7KM's of movement over a typical 90 minute game, that increases for the higher graded games (a fitter referee will reaching upwards of 10KM's per game)
Manage your own Schedule
Unlike playing, refereeing provides flexibility and doesn't require a weekly commitment. You can decide to referee all weekend or you can choose to be available for 2 hours on a Sunday morning. It is completely up to you.
We provide an easy to use online portal for referee's to log in and select the times when they are not available and we will appoint you to games based on your availability. Still playing, or coaching a team, we can work with that to ensure you get a game that works around your schedule.
It goes without saying, the more you are available, the more you will get out of your refereeing experience and the better your appointments will be!
Earn some pocket money!
Refereeing is a great way to earn some extra pocket money! As a cadet (under 18 years of ages), it's a great way to earn an income for those still attending school in a way that won't interfere with your Monday - Friday education. In addition, you are earning an income whilst supporting the game you love. Referees in Sutherland get paid monthly, which is a great way to fund that next shopping trip!
For prospective adult referees, it may not be so much about the money however as we do receive a payment, the pocket money from our refereeing often funds a summer holiday, which is always a nice way to thank our partners for letting us out of the house on the weekend to referee!
Whilst the Laws of the Game are fairly static (that is, they don't regularly change from year to year), there is so much to learn from the practical applications to these laws and no two games are ever the same.
As referees we are required to learn how to interpret all sorts of interesting situations and apply the correct 'game manager' techniques to ensure all 22 players remain on the pitch and play the game in a safe manner. This is the type of learnings that are most important and ultimately shapes our development. This may sound daunting, but there is plenty of support along the way and an experienced referee is always willing to help answer those 'tricky' questions you may have.
Socialise with friends
Just like playing, we work as a team and prioritise our social calendar to ensure we are always having a good time. The banter is strong and we enjoy sharing our experiences (aka war stories) just like players and coaches. As a close knit community, every referee keeps an eye out for one another and by doing so, allows us to meet some pretty interesting people.
Given refereeing is a volunteering role, on top of these many considerations, your contribution on the pitch helps support grassroots football. So what do you say, are you going to make the right decision?
Find out how to become a referee in 2023