Amateur Football

Playing in the Spirit of Football,
Promoting Fair Play and Respect for All

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Guidance for Club Referees


You have the same status as any other Referee. You are in control of the game and your decisions are final. Show respect for the players. Be firm but polite. Never argue with players and never change your mind.


Check the pitch. If in doubt do not allow the game to be played. Look out for:-

Anything dangerous on the pitch such as pieces of glass, metal, needles or plastic

Dangerous appurtenances – goalposts, cross bar and stanchion, corner flags and nets

A dangerous playing surface due to bad weather – e.g. cold/frozen, waterlogged, etc.

Basic Need

To start to referee a game you need: -

· At least one match ball adequately pumped up - to be provided by the home team

· A whistle – to stop play

· A watch

· A coin – the winning captain chooses which end to attack in the first half

· Pencils & a notebook to record the score and any discipline

· Red and yellow cards if available

· Football boots or other similar footwear

· A black or dark kit to distinguish you from the players and make you look the part.

Length of Match

· 2 x 45 minutes, plus stoppage time

· can be reduced to 2 x 30 minutes provided you agree with both teams

· double headers: 2 matches, each 2 x 30 minutes

· LOB & LFFA cup matches which are drawn: add up 2 x 15 minutes extra time, then if necessary each team takes five penalty kicks.

Team Kit

The teams should have distinct, numbered kits and the goalkeepers have different colours from the players. Players should not wear jewellery. Captains should be wearing a Spirit of Football armband.


Award a direct free kick (or penalty) if during play a player: -

· Kicks/attempts to kick an opponent 

· Trips/attempts to trip an opponent

· Jumps at an opponent 

· Charges an opponent

· Pushes an opponent 

· Holds an opponent

· Spits at an opponent 

· Strikes/attempts to strike an opponent

· When tackling, makes contact with the opponent before the ball

· Deliberately handles the ball (except a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

All other offences, including offside, dangerous play and impeding the progress of an opponent, result in an indirect free kick.

Disciplinary Report

Any disciplinary reports (cautions, dismissals, post-match reports) should be sent to the AFA (the parent County Association for the League). You will receive full backing from the League.

After The Game

Return the ball to the home team 

· Collect your match fee (£34)

· If you can, accept the home club’s hospitality.

· Send a Match Report Card to the AFC - the home club should be able to provide you with a copy or they can be sent via email from the league website. This is an invaluable piece of feedback for the League Referees' Secretary and other League Officers.

If you would like any further help or advice or would like to undertake a referee training course please contact the Referees’ Secretary.


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