One of the biggest pains in the backside for the majority of managers is finding a referee for your game. Here's how it's meant to work:

Mini Soccer (U7 to U10)

The Crowborough League doesn't allocate referees to mini soccer teams, instead going with the approach that it is down to you, the manager, to find someone to referee your games. Usually this will be an assistant coach or a willing parent, but we also have some young referees who are either in training or newly qualified, who will be willing to referee if available. Speak to Chris about this.

U11 Upwards

Once you move to 9 a side football (and then to 11 a side), a qualified referee is recommended where possible as you're dealing with offside decisions and a larger, more complex scale of game. Whatever league you are involved with will have a referees secretary (for the Crowborough League you can find out who that is here), whose job it is to assign referees to all fixtures. In reality, there are rarely enough referees to go around though.

We have some referees available via the club and when the pitch allocations are sent round on a Monday, a referee will usually be assigned then.

If you are playing in the Crowborough League, details of your fixtures will appear on FA Full Time, along with any referee that has been assigned. If nobody has been assigned by around the Wednesday of the week preceding the game, you can assume fairly safely that nobody will be.

The county FA provide lists of referees for you to contact in the event of needing a ref. Many will be assigned already, but you are welcome to try any names on the list and see if you can find someone.

Kent FA Referees List:

Payment for Referees

You are responsible for arranging payment for your referee for home matches. The club will refund you for all referee fees, so make sure you get a receipt from your ref. so you can claim the money back. £35 per game is standard (2022) for an 11 a side game.

To claim back your referee fees, send all receipts (scans are fine) to Allan Culverhouse, our club treasurer, by e-mail at the end of each month.

Running the Line

From under 11 upwards you will also need 2 people to run the line. Each team provides one person to do this, who runs the line for their team (deciding if the opposition players are offside or not and which way to award throw-ins are the two most obvious duties of someone doing this). The resources simply aren't out there for the leagues to provide qualified assistant referees (cup finals etc. excepted), so using a willing parent or assistant coach is the best option. Yes - you get some people who blatantly disregard honesty in these situations (and you will definitely fall foul of this at some point - it's happened to all of us), but the majority are fine and those who aren't will be quickly ignored by a good referee, who will realise what's going on. Make sure you snag a parent early on who is happy to don their boots and take hold of the flag!

Your own linesman will be expected to run the line in line with your defenders, so they're deciding if the opposition forwards are offside or not.

Watch out for linesmen who "coach" whilst running the line and avoid the temptation to do this yourself - this is absolutely not okay and the referee will step in if they see anyone doing this - they are meant to be impartial and there is no way someone can concentrate on being impartial if they're telling their own defenders to keep a high line or step up to play someone offside!