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There are plenty of great things about being a referee.  You actively participate in the sport, you help raise the standard of the game, you develop a network of friends, you develop your management and communication skills and you get to wear black! (Or variations on it).

Referees are an integral part of our game, and if you're aged 13 years or more, female or male, you can join this specialised and important side of our game.  There is a Referees' Branch close to you.   Refereeing can be very rewarding.

The referee structure in NSW supports 3250 referees spread throughout 40 Branches.  39 of those Branches are members of the NSW Referees Administration Group with the other Branch being the NSW State League Football Referees.  Together representatives of these two organisations meet as the NSW Referees State Technical Committee (Football NSW)

This State Technical Committee has the responsibility for policies relating to referees in NSW and for the implementation of referee coaching and development programs while the Branch is responsible for the direct recruitment of referees and the day to day management, training and promotion of referees.

From within this structure, opportunity exists for anybody, female or male, to climb to the highest level of the referee ladder to which they may aspire.

To take that first step you need to be at least 13 years of age although in some of our Branches they cater for Small Sided Games and in this case you can commence at 11 years of age.  From this bottom rung you can follow other referees up the ladder of success.

Many before you have reached the pinnacle of refereeing which is world recognition by obtaining your F.I.F.A badge.  Gaining your F.I.F.A badge is like climbing a very long extension ladder where along the way there are many other opportunities that do not require the long climb to the top.

The referee ladder provides opportunity to reach the highest level of amateur soccer, state league, super league and national league.  How high you climb is up to you, refereeing is like many things in life, what you put into it can affect greatly what benefits you can gain.


To reach the bottom rung you will be required to do two things, which are available at anyone of our Branches either in the country or Sydney metropolitan areas:-

1. Attend lectures on the Laws of the Game.  These are conducted over four two-hour sessions, which includes a multiple-choice examination that is set by the Football Federation Australia, and applies throughout Australia.  On successfully completing your examination stage you will receive your Referee Theory Certificate.

2. Be assessed by one of the Referee Branch Assessors on a level of game that the Branch considers appropriate for you as a starting point.  On a successful field assessment you will then become a qualified referee and will be issued with the appropriate Referee Certificate.

Don't be put off by the examination, even if it is many years since you have been required to do any sort of examination.  The course and the examination are structured so as to gain a 100% success rate for all those serious about becoming a referee.


There is no short cut to the top.  Even if you were set a theory examination that required you to obtain 100% correct answers to all questions on every Law of the Game, this may not necessarily make you a good referee.

Climbing the ladder requires a good knowledge of the Laws of the Game, experience as a referee, and the ability to apply the Laws of the Game such that the players are able to display their football skills and the spectators can enjoy all that our game can offer as a spectator sport.

Simon Micallef (a GDFRA member) was one of our State and National League referees and  World Cup referee who has climbed the ladder.  Along the way he has built up this enormous experience bank starting on the bottom rung, up through amateur games to state league to super league to national league to world cup.

Experience comes with refereeing or acting as an assistant referee on as many games as possible.  Branches run coaching sessions on a regular basis and attendance at these sessions plays an important role in building on experiences.  Branch Assessors will from time to time watch your on-field performance offering constructive advice to improve those areas where you need some guidance.


You're a player, club official, parent, spectator, TV watcher, male or female or never had any direct involvement in soccer. Regardless of your background we would like to invite you to come and join us.

As a referee or an assistant referee you will receive a match fee that will help offset the expenses for travelling to games, your uniform and other costs associated with your refereeing duties and still leave you with some pocket money.

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Granville District Soccer Referees Association - The Official Web Site