Becoming a Referee

Refereeing is for all ages and for both male and female. At the moment we have referees that range between the ages of thirteen and sixty five. The younger you start, the better as there are some great pathways as a referee and assistant referee.

To Start 
Sign up for either a Club Based or Level One Referee course.
Club Based Course: A Course covering the Laws of the Game in a shorter abbreviated way (4 hours – one or two sessions). Good for junior referees, coaches and Club Based Referees (CBRs). This course is also available to complete online followed by a 2 hour session to be attended in person.
Level One Course: A 10-12 hour course covering the Laws of the Game in depth (usually 4 sessions). There is now an online Level One Course, but the first course of the year will be the longer version.

  • In 2016 the course costs are still at reduced rates. Introductory $7 + gst per person and Level one $25 per person + GST.
  • At the end of the courses there is a written test on the Laws of the Game.
  • You must achieve a mark of 70% or higher to pass the tests.
  • You will be given instructions on how to referee so that you can put your recently gained knowledge of the Laws into practice. You will also be instructed on other technical matters.
  • Once it has been established that you are going to make a commitment to refereeing, you will be need to purchase a uniform, which also includes, equipment such as a whistle, flags and a notebook and wallet, containing red and yellow cards.
  • You will then most likely be appointed as an assistant referee with an experienced referee and from there; you will eventually get into the middle as the referee.

Refereeing Pathways
It is acknowledged that not everybody wants to reach the very top level as a Referee, and you may intend to referee only to help out with your children/grandchildren’s Saturday morning fixtures.
However, if you are thinking about Refereeing seriously, you give your self a better chance of getting to a high level by making the decision at a young age.

  • You are a brand new referee and you are classified at level 1. You work both as a referee and assistant referee and are watched and given useful advice by referee coaches or experienced referees. Your on field ability can usually get you to level 2 quite quickly. The next step after at least a year refereeing, is a Level 3 course, and from there promotion level 4 referee, which require fitness testing. Promotion is subject to being recommended by an assessor.
  • You are required to sit a written exam on the laws of the game and complete an on field assessment as a referee (called a field test) where you will either pass/fail. However, as mentioned, there is also the additional requirement of passing a fitness test before you can do a field test.
  • Promotion further up the various local Lists is not achieved entirely by on field performance. Criteria for promotion recommendations include attitude, availability, commitment, demeanor and potential.
  • There is a Development Squad for referees with potential to go much higher. If you make it into this group, you will likely be appointed to the Women’s National League or National Youth League.
  • There are paths for promotion both as a Referee and Assistant Referee. At the higher levels this often requires a referee to choose on which direction he or she wants to pursue, with help from assessors of course. At this stage you will have been selected to attend National Referee Development Academies.
  • By now you will be knocking at the door or already refereeing in the top Mainland Premier League. You will get the chance to be an assistant referee at this level before you referee.
  • The next step up the ladder is to National League (ASB Premiership) level either as an assistant referee or referee (whatever your chosen path).
  • The ultimate goal for some is to become a FIFA official. As a referee you need to be at least 25 years and 23 for assistant referees and at most 40 years old on January 1 for the year first nominated. Each year the candidate needs to be re-nominated and undergo medical tests as well as the FIFA fitness test. Up until 2015 FIFA officials were required to retire on 31 December the year they turned 45. This requirement no longer exists, but FIFA reserves the right to require referees over the age of 45 to undergo additional technical assessments as well as specific medical examinations and fitness testing on a case by case basis.