Ref4Me

Big line

Jevon Swinscoe

Member
Level 6 Referee
Without wanting to rain on your parade, it can't be first teams. Even for friendlies there are strict rules around the level of officials needed, and if a Premier League's first team was playing you would realistically need at least an SG2 referee in the middle and at least one FL assistant, and no assistant would be below L3.

In really response to this, I was earlier in the season sent a message as a L7 asking me to Referee a Pre-Season game where the away team were an a Championship sides U23 team with 1 or 2 Lads that are actively playing for the first team.

The home team were a local United Counties team.
 
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ChasObserverRefDeveloper

Regular Contributor
In really response to this, I was earlier in the season sent a message as a L7 asking me to Referee a Pre-Season game where the away team were an a Championship sides U23 team with 1 or 2 Lads that are actively playing for the first team.

The home team were a local United Counties team.
Was the e-mail from an Appointments Secretary? They should know the rule/ protocol.
 

JamesL

RefChat Addict
Level 3 Referee
Nope, I got a message from a fellow official asking if I could Ref it.

Had no problems and even had the PL2 team praising me saying "I'm one of the better Referees he has seen" and he is an ex pro
Point is, and there is no offence or implication that you aren't up to the job, a level 7 should be nowhere near that level of football.
 

ChasObserverRefDeveloper

Regular Contributor
Nope, I got a message from a fellow official asking if I could Ref it.

Had no problems and even had the PL2 team praising me saying "I'm one of the better Referees he has seen" and he is an ex pro
Glad it went well on this occasion, but accepting a game of this sort should always include a check that the match is authorised and the appropriate Appointments Secretary is aware and approves . . . which would not be the case as described . . . otherwise you are left with no insurance or support if anything goes wrong, and the possibility of a charge of refereeing an unauthorised fixture.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Point is, and there is no offence or implication that you aren't up to the job, a level 7 should be nowhere near that level of football.

It is a massive risk, OK if it goes well then it is a great experience. But if anything goes wrong, say a serious injury that gets blamed on you, or a fight, it is highly likely you will be charged and suspended. It won't be the person that gives you the game that gets the blame, it will be the referee.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
It is a massive risk, OK if it goes well then it is a great experience. But if anything goes wrong, say a serious injury that gets blamed on you, or a fight, it is highly likely you will be charged and suspended. It won't be the person that gives you the game that gets the blame, it will be the referee.
Most/all games above a certain level have referee grading requirements, even as far 'down' as Tier 4 women in my experience.

I know for a fact that the rules have been 'stretched' at times - but we're talking allowing 2 experienced 7s to the do the line as opposed to a 5 or 6 and a 7 - that sort of thing - but jumping up 3 or 4 levels and officiating full time professionals I agree is a big risk to take, however tempting.
 

PinnerPaul

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Glad it went well on this occasion, but accepting a game of this sort should always include a check that the match is authorised and the appropriate Appointments Secretary is aware and approves . . . which would not be the case as described . . . otherwise you are left with no insurance or support if anything goes wrong, and the possibility of a charge of refereeing an unauthorised fixture.
Good point about checking with someone who actually knows the level requirements - that is unlikely to be the clubs or a fellow referee!
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Most/all games above a certain level have referee grading requirements, even as far 'down' as Tier 4 women in my experience.

I know for a fact that the rules have been 'stretched' at times - but we're talking allowing 2 experienced 7s to the do the line as opposed to a 5 or 6 and a 7 - that sort of thing - but jumping up 3 or 4 levels and officiating full time professionals I agree is a big risk to take, however tempting.

Those are for competitive games though, there is a separate rule for friendlies. Finally found the document, this is the requirement for referees ...

1639155725652.png For assistants the rule is ...

At least one of the two Assistant Referees or the Fourth Official (where appointed) shall also be deemed to have the ability to Referee a team from the level of the uppermost competition level of the two competing teams. This is important to ensure that there is sufficient cover, should the match Referee be taken ill or become injured.

 

GraemeS

RefChat Addict
Level 5 Referee
Those are for competitive games though, there is a separate rule for friendlies. Finally found the document, this is the requirement for referees ...

View attachment 5338 For assistants the rule is ...

At least one of the two Assistant Referees or the Fourth Official (where appointed) shall also be deemed to have the ability to Referee a team from the level of the uppermost competition level of the two competing teams. This is important to ensure that there is sufficient cover, should the match Referee be taken ill or become injured.

6 or 7 years into my refereeing career and that's the first time I've seen anything along those lines, so shouldn't be a huge surprise that our OP in this thread didn't realise that there are still restrictions on friendlies!

Also, your last sentence still leaves room. Assuming that our OP was the junior assistant and the other assistant was of an appropriate level, that last paragraph does seem to imply that there is no direct restriction on the level of the junior AR?
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
6 or 7 years into my refereeing career and that's the first time I've seen anything along those lines, so shouldn't be a huge surprise that our OP in this thread didn't realise that there are still restrictions on friendlies!

Also, your last sentence still leaves room. Assuming that our OP was the junior assistant and the other assistant was of an appropriate level, that last paragraph does seem to imply that there is no direct restriction on the level of the junior AR?

Technically not, but for a Premier League team the appointing authority is going to be The FA or PGMOL, and neither of those are going to appoint a level 7 as they won't even have any awareness of them.
 

bester

RefChat Addict
Level 7 Referee
Have seen plenty in FA Core being given appointments that they aren't qualified to do in non-competitive games..
 

callmemyref

Well-Known Member
Level 9 Referee
Level 6 Referee
Without wanting to rain on your parade, it can't be first teams. Even for friendlies there are strict rules around the level of officials needed, and if a Premier League's first team was playing you would realistically need at least an SG2 referee in the middle and at least one FL assistant, and no assistant would be below L3.
I made a small research, I may have gotten it wrong but my understanding is that the rules you are talking about are for friendlies which are mostly televised and on which tickets are sold (mostly big main stadiums). The game I did was a friendly game behind the closed doors, you won't be able to find a video or a lot of information, there were no spectators and it was on the team's small training ground.

Please let me know what you think?
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
I made a small research, I may have gotten it wrong but my understanding is that the rules you are talking about are for friendlies which are mostly televised and on which tickets are sold (mostly big main stadiums). The game I did was a friendly game behind the closed doors, you won't be able to find a video or a lot of information, there were no spectators and it was on the team's small training ground.

Please let me know what you think?

No, it is any non-competitive game. The game that the rule was brought in for, the infamous QPR vs China national team match, was played at QPR's training ground with no crowd.

The guidelines you might be thinking of are for televised games, as this ups the level of officials needed. For example, an FA Cup preliminary game will normally be a L4 in the middle and L5s on the line with no 4th official. If it is on TV it will be a L3 in the middle, L4s on the line, and an L3 as 4th official. Similar for National League and WSL games that are televised.
 

callmemyref

Well-Known Member
Level 9 Referee
Level 6 Referee
No, it is any non-competitive game. The game that the rule was brought in for, the infamous QPR vs China national team match, was played at QPR's training ground with no crowd.

The guidelines you might be thinking of are for televised games, as this ups the level of officials needed. For example, an FA Cup preliminary game will normally be a L4 in the middle and L5s on the line with no 4th official. If it is on TV it will be a L3 in the middle, L4s on the line, and an L3 as 4th official. Similar for National League and WSL games that are televised.
Thank you
 

Southerner In The North

Member
Level 7 Referee
Glad it went well, but PGMOL / The FA would have been having kittens had anything gone wrong. Really should have been at least a 2B in the middle and at least one L3E on the line. The principle is (unless it has changed) that the referee can be one level below that which normally referees the lowest level club, same for at least one assistant so they can take over if the referee is incapacitated.

They changed the rules after an incident in 2007 where the China U23 team played QPR in a "friendly" and all hell broke loose with a 50 man brawl, a China player with a broken jaw, game abandoned, and QPR's assistant manager Richard Hill subsequently fired. From memory Dermot Gallagher was in the middle, but the assistants were nowhere near the right level for a Championship team.
It’s a Covid thing mates a 6 and got a PL team in a friendly due to Covid drop out he checked and was allowed.
 

RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
Which team is that?

The rule only applies if it is the professional club's first team. The concept that an L6 could officiate a full Premier League team is just not realistic, the pace of the game is ridiculous and they would be totally out of their depth.
 

callmemyref

Well-Known Member
Level 9 Referee
Level 6 Referee
The rule only applies if it is the professional club's first team. The concept that an L6 could officiate a full Premier League team is just not realistic, the pace of the game is ridiculous and they would be totally out of their depth.
It weren’t full prem team during my match as well, they called it 1st team match, but actually there were half first team players (mostly subs) and half second team players.
 
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