RefSix

ref shortages

Tino Best

RefChat Addict
#1
I see that one league has complained that it has had to cancel 4 games due to lack of available refs. our friends at ref support have become involved although to their credit they have not named the league. just a general question are there shortages in your areas? i know there is in Suffolk.
 
#2
I see that one league has complained that it has had to cancel 4 games due to lack of available refs. our friends at ref support have become involved although to their credit they have not named the league. just a general question are there shortages in your areas? i know there is in Suffolk.
Seen that, weird angle they've took whichever league it is! Shameful.

My usual Saturday league has two games out of twelve with no appointed referee, and that is with dragging in two referees that don't usually officiate unless desperate. In the league I play in on Sunday there are FOUR fixtures, with only two referees! Madness. Our CFA have said that the FA are focusing on ex-players becoming coaches and not referees, so I expect that it will ease off and go back to a better ratio of ex-player coaches/refs...
 

JH

RefChat Addict
#3
I see that one league has complained that it has had to cancel 4 games due to lack of available refs. our friends at ref support have become involved although to their credit they have not named the league. just a general question are there shortages in your areas? i know there is in Suffolk.
Where have you seen this?
 

Ben448844

RefChat Addict
#5
In my area there isn't a huge amount of Saturday amateur football. Several of the Sunday Leagues go short every week and the Junior leagues always have plenty of games without an appointed referee. There's just been a new batch of refs who've completed the course so hopefully it improves. It is a very populous area, so there are a huge amount of games to cover.

I've seen the Twitter debate regarding reasoning for ref shortages. There's lots of valid points about the course fee, kit fee etc. But for me It a a cultural issue. Refereeing is still seen as being the person in the middle who gets shouted at, the person who's going to get abused. This is a valid and accurate assessment of a referees role, managing dissent and poor behaviour towards you, and until this changes I can't see there being an increase in people taking up the whistle long term.
 

RobOda

RefChat Addict
#6
Saturdays three divisions, plus all local cup games are covered easily. Reserves go without, or get lucky when we have too many local. Youth is the same, goes without most of the time.

County competitions isn't suffering at all obviously.

North of Wales has a few problems though, pretty sure I linked to a league having an entire weekend called off due to shortages. I know a sizeable number of refs have quit because of the new tech coming through this season and they don't want to deal with the technology (not VAR :p), so that's had a knock on effect apparently.
 
#7
Saturday league seems fine. Sunday has had a few fixtures most weeks without a referee, so it does appear there are shortages this season in that league at least
 
#8
My league has 18 fixtures of a Saturday and 2-4 of them typically go without depending on one thing or another.

In general we are seeing refs retire naturally but fewer taking up the whistle so a slight drop in coverage.
Perhaps an increase in veterans football has also cannibalised some people's availability? Whilst that is typically on a Sunday, most people can only commit so much time to football so a choice between reffing on a Saturday or playing with old pals on a Sunday leads to fewer people taking the black...

I saw the Twitter messages and still have no idea why a League would be critical of referees. They are people with lives outside of football like everyone else. Clubs generally have about 30 players signed on to field a squad of 11 + subs to a game. It is recognised that players have wavering availability so how hard is it to equate that to referees. Plus it's half term so some could have family commitments.
 

OIREF!

RefChat Addict
#9
I saw the Twitter messages and still have no idea why a League would be critical of referees. They are people with lives outside of football like everyone else. Clubs generally have about 30 players signed on to field a squad of 11 + subs to a game. It is recognised that players have wavering availability so how hard is it to equate that to referees. Plus it's half term so some could have family commitments.
In my area we typically lose a couple of grass root matches each weekend due to lack of referees. On the other hand we probably lose the same number where clubs are unable to field a team due to player shortages.
 

one

RefChat Addict
#10
I don't mind it. It means i can pick and choose what games i want to do.

Surplus of refs mean they can pick and choose what refs they wan to have.

Kidding of course.
 
#11
There were fixtures cancelled in one of the North Wales leagues due to lack of officials. I support a team who play in the 3rd tier of the Welsh Leagues and most of the games there's no official assistants. Trust me as a fan the game is much better with official assistants. We had an assistant one game and people were giving her a bit of grief, I said they would miss her if she wasn't there ( nothing to do with gender) and the week after we had no assistants and the game was a farce .

I saw that they were short of refs and as id reffed before I thought I'd give it a bash. I do local youth and tomorrow I'm doing a senior game for first time in 12+ yrs. If they don't want me or I find that I don't enjoy it then no harm done I just won't do it.
 

Brian Hamilton

I am the storm
Observer/Tutor
#12
I am an Appointments Secretary on a league where the top division is what used to be referred to as Step 7 on the National League System. It is part of a 3 league pool and each of their top divisions are Supply Leagues. We had just 3 games with no referee two seasons ago. We looked at that and our fixture programme. We decided to become more strategic with regards to the Reserve Divisions (we have two). We gave them peak times off, for example August Bank Holiday when we have a major music festival at the centre of our catchment area. We now only struggle on one weekend a year. This year we had 12 games in one weekend without a referee.

The major contributory factor for me is too much football, which means referees don't always have to turn out on a Saturday afternoon to get a game. As students come back to university, as new referees decide to give lining a go, the pressure eases as we move into the bad weather from the end of November. Things get a little tight in April as night games kick in, but we manage.

All that said, it's getting to a difficult situation when I have to turn out on a line or do a top cup game because I've run out of bodies. As for RefSupport, I have previously been a strong critic of their approach, particularly on the issue of strikes. On this issue, they seem to be much more collaborative and I welcome that. I strongly disagree with the approach set out by Cornwall FA in that referees will not be shuffled up the divisions. That is simply wrong and denies referees the opportunity to test themselves at a higher level. I also feel more has to be done by The FA to support referees leaving the game because of the levels of abuse. The referees need more training and the clubs need effective deterrents. Posturing over campaigns and armbands will not work. Deterrents need to have teeth. Referees need to have confidence that if abuse is reported, then something tangible is done.

As an aside, I am also planning a league referee course later this season. That means each club should have their own in-house official should I not be able to appoint one.
 
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RustyRef

Administrator
Staff member
#14
I don't think it is any worse now than it has been in the past, whilst the number of referees has dropped so has the number of 11-a-side teams, arguably the latter being more dramatic.

Far from me being cynical, but could the league's issues today be down to a certain World Cup final being played at the same time? Although if it was the referees involved probably wished they had earned some money instead … :oops:
 

Tealeaf

Lighting the darkest hour
Staff member
#15
I don't mind it. It means i can pick and choose what games i want to do.

Surplus of refs mean they can pick and choose what refs they wan to have.

Kidding of course.
Tongue firmly removed from cheek this is what I do to a limited extent.

Over here we have 5 Saturday morning youth leagues with teams inevitably asking around for referees. Three of said leagues straddle two counties (Bucks and Beds) which makes appointing more difficult.

I haven’t formally registered with any of these leagues but cover games on a semi-regular basis. It works for me that way. If I’ve had a particularly tough week at work, or I’ve got a lengthy journey in the afternoon it gives me the chance to have the morning off as and when I want it. This way I haven’t made a commitment that I’m unable to keep, or need to come off a fixture because I’m heading for south Hertfordshire etc for a supply league game.

As I’m sure those who do the appointing will attest there’s little worse than someone pulling out at short notice because of other games.This way I’m not guilty of that!
 

one

RefChat Addict
#16
Yeah, when there is practical reasons for doing it, there are no issues as long as you manage it well so that others are not inconvenienced. But if it is for selfish reasons and causing issues for others, its not on. I had those who make themselves available for multiple leagues, get appointed by more than one but don't let any of them know util very late to make sure they can choose the most convenience/most money, best combination they can have. And when they pull out they only give the reason as "last minute other commitments". Then you find out they are refereeing somewhere else at the same time. My standard practice was one warning and then no more appointments.
 

deusex

RefChat Addict
#17
£170 for a refereeing course?
Who is gonna pay that seriously?
Looking at £250 after you've bought your kit.
I'd make it £50 deposit which you get back after 20 matches
Referee standards have dropped considerably in Manchester past 10 years. Good refs retiring/moving/packing it in and they have not been replaced
 
#18
£170 for a refereeing course?
Who is gonna pay that seriously?
Looking at £250 after you've bought your kit.
I'd make it £50 deposit which you get back after 20 matches
The cost of starting out is a genuine concern. The course involves officiating at least 5 games so typically you'd get £100+ back by the time you're taking the exam. My course also included whistle, wrist lanyard, flags, cards and wallet, Law book. Some League offer support - mine gives a £30 after 10 games in the League - and some RAs / County FAs can help with kit.

Nonetheless it remains high considering the shortages - you'd expect a much lower fee to encourage uptake.

I imagine they have set the fee for a reason but would be interested to know what that may be (my hypothesis is that they want to attract people who are invested in the role and are going to make a go of it rather than train thousands who quit after 1 game)
 
#19
I'm registered with North East Wales FA and they have been brilliant. It was £85 to do the online course and after that you attended a practical session to finish the course. They provide you with a full kit, cards ,flags and a whistle and you have a mentor for 5 games too which is great as they help you no end. I think its been good as they are setting the standard for new referees and I've been really pleased with it all.

As someone above touched on people taking multiple fixtures and then giving back last minute, I think it's wrong and I wouldn't do it. If I commit to a game I do it end of, I don't want to do Saturday afternoons so I don't take any fixtures though the last 2 weeks I have had nothing planned for the Sat afternoons so I did 2 senior games. Maybe casual refs isn't what they ideally want but at least I'm not messing any one around
 
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