Becoming a referee with The FA

Become a referee

Why referee?

Refereeing is a great way to be involved in football. There are opportunities for everyone, whether you only want to referee at your local club or progress to the international stage. It gives you the opportunity to remain active in the game following injury or retirement, to make new and lasting friends within the game and to play a huge role in ensuring the players enjoy their match day experience.

There has never been a better time to be a referee in England. And remember…it can be great fun!

How do I get started?

If you want to qualify as a referee, you will need to be at least 14-years-old, live in England and successfully complete the FA Referee Course.

To attend an FA referee course you will need to contact a member of the referee development team at your local RDO/Ms Key Contacts or visit their website to find a course near you.

What are the Laws of the Game?

The Laws of the Game for 11-a-side football are set by The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which features representatives from FIFA, The Football Association, The Football Association of Wales, The Irish Football Association and The Scottish Football Association.

The Laws of the Game for 2016/17 can be found by clicking here.

What are the different refereeing levels?

 International  FIFA List  
 Level 1  National List (Premier League and Football League)
 Level 2a  Panel Select List (Conference Premier)
 Level 2b  Panel  List (Conference North and South)
 Level 3  Contributory League (Contributory Leagues) 
 Level 4  Supply League (Supply Leagues
 Level 5  Senior County (County Leagues)
 Level 6  County (County leagues
 Level 7  Junior (Amateur leagues)
 Level Y (Former 8)  Youth (14 or 15 years of age
 Level T (Former 9)  Trainee
 Level D (Former 10)  Developer (Workforce: Tutor, Observer, Mentor, Coach)

More formats of the game 
There are more versions of the game than simply 11-a-side. Find out more about the Small-Sided game, Futsal, Mini-Soccer and Disability football.

Download the Pregnancy and Refereeing Policy below.