Schools Referee Program to boost referee numbers across NNSWF

Northern NSW Football (NNSWF) is launching an innovative new Schools Referee Program to support students to become match officials.

The program will provide schools across the Hunter with the opportunity to offer in-house Level 4 introductory referee courses to students during school hours. It aims to boost the number of student referees and address the shortage of match officials available for school games.

Students will learn how to become a referee, gain a refereeing qualification and an opportunity to earn money while embarking on a rewarding career path.

Northern NSW Football Referee Manager, Brad Carlin, said the program will give students an opportunity to join the NNSWF referee family, gaining access to education materials, video incident clips and coaching from experienced referees.

“It will cultivate the next generation of match officials to officiate at matches in both community and premier football.

The program will help schools become self-sufficient for school games with qualified match officials to address the current shortage of referees.

The benefits to the students are also clear. Through refereeing, students will develop confidence, self-discipline, community skills, a sense of responsibility and skills in problem solving and conflict resolution. Additionally, there is the opportunity to earn money and pursue refereeing as a rewarding career path,” Carlin said.

Tailored to the needs of students and schools

NNSWF will deliver the introductory courses at a time that best suits the school and students.

Upon completing the course, students receive a New Referee Starter Pack (cost $120) including:

  • Level 4 Referee Course
  • Laws of the Game book
  • Whistle
  • Flag
  • Red and Yellow Cards
  • Notebook
  • Green shirt
  • Black shorts
  • Black socks

Hunter region pilot

Currently, the program is only open to schools across the Hunter region, with the potential for opportunities to extend to northern areas further into 2023.

Why you should consider refereeing football

  • Earn extra money
  • Give back to the game you love
  • Stay fit and active
  • Build leadership skills like effective communication, working as a team and decision-making

How to get involved

For more information about hosting a Level 4 Referee introductory course at your school, contact the NNSWF Referees Department at or complete the expression of interest form HERE.