The following update has today been issued to North Riding FA match officials
As was outlined in a recent statement, we take the wellbeing of our match officials extremely seriously and are keen to tackle any issues that we become aware of head-on.
Referees perform a vital role on the football field and without them, football would cease to exist. As with all participants of the grassroots game, they deserve respect and the right to fulfil their role in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment.
Ross Joyce, North Riding FA Referee Development Manager, commented: “We’re lucky to have an outstanding workforce of grassroots referees in our county, so it’s vital we encourage, support and celebrate their development. Any form of abuse to our match officials, whether it’s verbal or physical, is strictly condemned and will not be tolerated.
“Whilst there is clearly a need to address this poor behaviour, I must emphasise that the majority of our referees find officiating matches a wholly positive experience.”
The following policy has been put together for all match officials to outline how they will be supported by North Riding County FA.
The policy has been developed in conjunction with Ross Joyce and with members of our Referee Development Committee.
The policy is designed to clarify the processes and procedures that North Riding FA will adhere to and can be expected to deliver.
North Riding FA fully appreciates how difficult the role of a match official can be, and wants to ensure that all officials have the best possible support available to them at all times.
To ensure we can offer the best possible provision, we have implemented the following initiatives to better support our referee workforce:
• All new trainee referees to be assigned a referee mentor in partnership with our local Referee Association branches
• The introduction of a 24-hour referee hotline: 0330 122 2932
• Unannounced visits to games by North Riding FA personnel
• Monday referee clinics to help support match officials from the weekend's games
Our referee support hotline is in place for all match officials who may experience an issue during or after a game.
Whether you need to report an assault or improper conduct, require support with disciplinary reports or need any other form of support - no matter how minor that may be - this is the number to call.
(T) 0330 112 2932
We ask that match officials save this number in their phones and call it if they have any issues. A member of our referee development team will respond within 24 hours, but typically on the same day.
This is an automated number and is charged as a local number, which is included in mobile phone packages.
We’re pleased to be launching a new Monday Referee Clinic, which is available to the entire NRCFA referee workforce.
This gives our match officials the opportunity to arrange an appointment with a member of our referee development team and receive support with disciplinary report writing, whilst obtaining any other advice that may be required.
To arrange an appointment, please call 0330 112 2932
If any match official is subject to an assault whilst officiating, we will follow the below procedure upon receipt of an allegation concerning a registered North Riding FA match official, whether it’s sent by the match official or another stakeholder within the game.
Immediately after receiving the report we will:
• Acknowledge receipt of report in writing within two working days
• Arrange a meeting/visit or suitable alternative with the match official
• Automatically refer the incident to the County Welfare Officer if the match official is below the age of 18 years or considered to be a vulnerable adult
Within five working days of receiving the report we will:
• Discuss and agree the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against the offender(s)
• Provide contact details of the relevant Police authority and/or Police Victim Services
• Discuss and agree with the match official an action plan moving forward that should include the opportunity for matchday support moving forward
• Ensure the Local Referees Association branch is informed of the incident to allow further support to be offered
Ongoing commitment to the match official
• Arrange for a member of the referee development team to attend and support at a personal hearing, if one is requested
• Ensure regular contact is made with the match official before and after a possible hearing
• Provide details on the outcome of the personal hearing if relevant and requested for by the match official
We will do everything we can to ensure referees are supported and offenders are dealt with robustly, within The FA discipline framework, for a ‘proven’ charge of offence against a match official.
Any match official who is assaulted must ring the referee support hotline on 0330 112 2932 to make the Association aware.
Furthermore, we strongly advise reporting the matter to the Police.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of our team on Support@NorthRidingFA.com