Referee Ash;ey Hickson-Lovence

Become a Referee

More and more and more people of all ages, genders, races and abilities are getting into their refereeing journey.

- Develop vital skills (teamwork, fitness and communication).

- Stay involved in football beyond playing.

- Understand the game on a different level.

- Be rewarded with match fees and expenses for the games you do

- Potential for a professional career with incredible opportunities along the way. 

- Become a member of a unique and diverse ‘Referee Team’.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  What does a referee do?

 A referee is appointed to a football game in order to apply the Laws of the Game so that it is played fairly and safely. A referee must be confident, assertive and fair in order to successfully control the game.

For more information on the responsibilities of a referee, consult the law 5 of the Laws of the Game.

A qualified referee much affiliate to the East Riding FA if they wish to referee during the current or upcoming season.

2.  How can I become a referee?

Anyone can become a referee with The FA granted that you are at least 14-years-old and a resident of England.

To train as an FA-qualified referee, you need to undertake a basic referees course.

3.  How can I become the next top referee?

To become a top referee at the Premier League and international level, it takes talent, dedication, experience and fitness.

Referees in the Select Group (those who officiate on the Premier League) all started out on a basic referees course. Over time, they have been successfully promoted through the ranks from grassroots level, through semi-professional level, up to the Football League and beyond.

If you show enough drive, determination, fitness and talent, there is no reason why you couldn’t achieve the top level of refereeing.

4. What is the role of the assistant referees and the fourth official?

At the local park level, a football game may only be officiated by a referee in the middle and two club assistant referees. 

However, at the semi-pro and professional level of the game, all matches will have four officials: the referee, two assistant referees and a fourth official.

The assistant referees

The assistant referees assist the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game. They have particular responsibility for when the whole of the ball leaves the field of play to determine:

- Which team is entitled to a goal kick, corner kick or throw-in

- When a player may be penalised for being in an offside position

- When misconduct or any other incident occurs outside of the view of the referee.

The fourth official

The fourth official assists the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game and officiates if any of the three other match officials (referee or assistant referees) is unable to continue. S/he has specific responsibilities for:

- Controlling the occupants of the technical area

- Assisting with substitution procedures during the match

- Assisting with any administrative duties before, during and after the match, as required by the referee.


5. Who looks after referees and appoints them to games?

Each competition will have an appointing authority which is responsible for selecting referees at the various levels of the game. For FIFA World Cup matches the appointing authority is FIFA, while UEFA Champions League appointments are made by UEFA. In England, the Premier League and Football League appointments are made by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) who are a separate company jointly owned by The FA, the Premier League and Football League. They manage refereeing at the elite level of the English game.

Semi-professional refereeing is co-ordinated by The Football Association, which is responsible for the appointments and management of Panel referees (Level 2a and 3b referees on the Football Conference) and Contributory League referees (Level 3 referees on Step 3 & 4 Leagues).

Below this, the management of refereeing is the responsibility of the County FA in which the referee resides. Each league in our County has their own Referee Appointment Officer and it is there responsibility to appoint match officials to games.

6. What are the Laws of the Game?

The Laws of the Game for 11v11 are set by the International Football Associations Board, which features representatives from the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and FIFA.

These laws are followed in every country of the world that is affiliated to FIFA. Amendments are made to the Laws for each season. Every referee must apply the Laws of the Game in every game of 11v11 football that is played.

FIFA compose the Laws of the Game for Futsal and these are updated at least every other season. The FA writes its own Laws of the Game for small sided football, which are applicable in England.