Appointment of Under 18 Referees

Appointment of Under 18 Referees to County Cup Matches and advice given to Under 18 Referees prior to a game

Establish a parent/guardian (PoG) contact list for all under 18 referees.
Create an Under 18 ID Card, which will carry the referee’s emergency contact & any medical details, as well as the NSPCC Hotline & RDO numbers.
On completing unit 4 of the referee course, referees will be given a booklet outline all they need to know about getting games, how to correspond with leagues and clubs, WFA & RA contact details as well as practical advice that reinforces the learning on the course. (Existing under 18 referees will either be sent or emailed a copy). This information will also be included on the WFA website.
All WFA communication including WFA County Cup appointments will be sent through the PoG contact details, unless the PoG has given permission for the WFA or the league to use a direct email / mobile contact for their child.
Referee Appointment Officers (RAO) for leagues and other competitions will be required to only appoint referees via the above process, and this shall also apply to Home clubs when confirming a fixture.
PoG of under 18 referees will be advised to only accept appointments through the official league RAO, the only exception to this would be if the referee or the PoG is already connected with a club, and they ask the referee to officiate home games for team’s below the referee age.
When appointing an Under 18 referee, the following guidelines MUST be followed.

14 year old Referee can only referee U.13 & below (If the referee is eligible to play in U.13 football, then they can only referee U.12 & below).

15 year old referees can only referee U.14 & below. (If the referee is eligible to play in U.14 football, then they can only referee U.13 & below).

16 & 17 year old referees can referee any age as well as open age football.

RAO should take into consideration the facilities that are available at each ground to ensure that under 18 referees are not changing with adults referees.
When appointing 16 & 17 year olds to games where more than one official is appointed to the game, the same approach should be adopted as when appointing female & male officials to the same game. Where this is not possible the RAO must ensure that the POG is happy for their child to change with adults, and the adults appointed are also comfortable with changing with 16/17 year old referees.
PoG will be advised that they are responsible for ensuring the safety of their child/referee to and from the ground and if possible to remain at the ground for the duration of the match.
Where an under 18 is appointed to a match with other officials (IE Referee & two AR’s), the league or competition can’t require the under 18 to travel with the other officials unless the PoG has given permission. The U18 referee would also still be entitled to claim his/her mileage if making their own travel arrangements.
Home teams will be advised that the welfare of the referee will be their responsibility once the referee arrives at the ground, during game and afterwards until the referee leaves the ground.
Parents and spectators in all leagues will be that it is not only a breach of the laws of the game to verbally abuse a referee, but doing so to an under 18 referee is a breach of the FA Safeguarding standards and parents, & clubs in breach of this will not only face possible disciplinary action, but also face Welfare related charges.
Adult league RAO, to be made aware of level 7 & Level 6 referees that are under 18, and to advise clubs as above if any under 18 referees are operating on their leagues.
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