Female Only Referee Course - March 2024

Great Demand for Female Only Referee Course

28 new female referees complete our latest female-only FA Referee Course.

Cheshire will soon have 28 more referees capable of officiating grassroots football locally, following a hugely successful female-only FA Referee Course hosted by Cheshire FA.

With an increase in demand from female participants eager to get involved in refereeing, which accompanied The FA’s Refereeing Strategy targeting an increase in female participation, Cheshire FA hosted the female-only course across two days in March.

“It was excellent to have so many sign up for the course,” said Cheshire FA’s Referee Development Officer, Ryan Bostock. “Our initial target was for 16 aspiring referees to register. However, after we hosted a pre-course event, we generated excellent interest which saw us go way beyond that target. Everyone involved was brilliant, and it was a pleasure to deliver on this course. Each of our new referees were eager to learn and put their skills and knowledge into practice. With the women’s game continuing to grow and exciting opportunities available in the women’s progression pathway, there’s never been a better time to be a female referee.”

Prior to the start of the two-day course, each candidate was required to complete Safeguarding Children and Laws of the Game courses. Thereafter, the FA Referee Course consists of 11 hours of in-person learning. 

Commencing with an evening theory-based session, participants covered Laws of the Game, communication skills, recognising foul challenges, and building relationships and rapport. 

The second day was a full day combining theory with practical sessions. Participants covered decision communication using a whistle, voice and signals; positioning, managing restarts in play, cautioning procedure, offside, handball, assistant refereeing, and how to deal with inappropriate behaviour.

Now that the course has been completed, each new referee will be required to officiate five Under-11 games to progress from trainee referee status.  The support from Cheshire FA continues, however, as all referees will be invited back to three CPD modules. These sessions provide an opportunity to deliver feedback on their experiences, develop new skills, and provide support through their first season as a referee. All referees will also have access to an FA Coach Mentor should they wish, as well as wider support through our refereeing network and Referee Associations.

“The female-only Referee Course surpassed my expectations,” admitted Vicky, who was one of the 28 aspiring referees on the course. “With professional and engaging tutors, and a perfect balance of theory and practice, the course has equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and tools to kick-start my refereeing journey.”

Laura Holmes, Cheshire FA’s Women and Girls Development Officer, added: 28 women signing up and completing a FA Referee Course within Cheshire is a huge step in the right direction for women in officiating. This milestone sets a powerful precedent for inclusivity and progress, as we continue to provide opportunities for aspiring female referees.”

If you’re an aspiring female referee in Cheshire, and you’d like to register your interest in our next female only FA Referee Course, please contact Ryan Bostock, Referee Development Officer at Cheshire FA, via Ryan.Bostock@CheshireFA.com