Referee Pathway

Dorset Referee Line Up
Dorset Referees handshake prior to kickoff
Dorset Referees handshake prior to kickoff
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Have you ever wondered about how to progress as a referee? Well read on to find out about the referee pathway and progression criteria for all Referees within the Dorset County.

Unqualified Referee on Basic Referees course.

Stage 1- Referee Pathway

Trainee Referees – Linked to Leagues and Clubs, to assist in reaching 6 11aside matches.  Will be watched at least once, and be assigned a Retention  Mentor. Will be expected to watch other Referees as part of the Match day Experience.
Exit Route – Moved to Stage 2
Exit Route - Removed for failing to complete 6 11 aside matches, or failure to contact Retention Mentor.
Exit Route – May choose to opt out of pathway and Referee locally – in which case individual will be contacted twice a season by the RDO, and will be encouraged to attend in service training.

Stage 2 – Referee Pathway

Level 8, 7, 6, and 5 Referees – Refereeing regularly, will be included in a number of mentoring groups, not on an individual basis. Candidates within this group will be expected to attend some in service training. ALL promotion candidates must be part of this group and meet the promotion criteria.
Exit Route – Moved to Stage 3
Exit Route – Removed for failing to meet criteria
Exit Route- May choose to opt out of pathway and Referee locally – in which case individual will be contacted twice a season by the RDO, and will be encouraged to attend in service training.

From Stage 2 the following Academies will be selected:

  • Dorset County FA Youth Academy

    Each Referee will be coached individually, and will be expected to attend in service training events. They will also be expected to accept appointments designed for Academy Referees. They will be expected to attend fitness sessions when requested.

  • Dorset County FA Supply League Academy

    Referees and Assistant Referees within this Academy will be offered in depth training and support, but will be expected to attend in service training events and fully engage into the programme. They will be expected to attend fitness sessions when requested. Referees and Assistant Referees within this Academy will be offered in depth training and support, but will be expected to attend in service training events and fully engage into the programme. They will be expected to attend fitness sessions when requested.

Stage 3 – Referee Pathway

Level 5 Referee serving on the Dorset Premier League or other equivalent competition- Will have coaching groups and be offered regular advice. Candidates will be expected to attend fitness test and some in service training.
Exit Route – Moved to Stage 4
Exit Route – Removed for failing to meet criteria
Exit Route - May choose to opt out of pathway or return to stage 2 and Referee locally – in which case individual will be contacted twice a season by the RDO, and will be encouraged to attend in service training.

Stage 4 – Referee Pathway

The Football Association Regional Academies- Entry into this level is by county nomination followed by invitation by the FA. All candidates must be Level 4 Referees.
Exit Route – Promotion to Level 3 or removal by the Football Association.



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