Refereeing big games in the run in
This time last week we were anticipating the referee strike across grassroots football. As I wrote last week, I was pleased that the story shone a light on the issues and challenges facing our referees, and the fact that they need to be supported effectively.
I am also pleased that referees in Cambridgeshire did not walk out. I think that there are 2 reasons for this: firstly the reported widespread level of physical abuse is not prevalent in our county, but we do have issues to address; secondly our referees tell us that they feel well supported already by our excellent team of staff and volunteers.
An example of the support on offer for our match officials was on Monday evening. We held a development evening for level 5 to 7 referees, a group who can feel left of the development pathway if they are not seeking to go any further in the game.
53 referees came along, which is a great turn out. With the season coming to a climax, the focus was on big game management. Many of the officials present had been appointed to cup finals and it was a good opportunity for them to look forward to these big games but more importantly to develop their skills as we hit the end of season run in.
The evening, led by Cambridgeshire FA Referees’ Officer Colin Hills and FA Referee Tutor Barry Ereira, covered a number of topics including game management, the role of the assistant referees and the fourth official. The evening was designed to ensure the match officials had the best possible skills to improve the cup finals experience for all.