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Nottinghamshire FA call for Safer Recruitment Within Football

We have been made aware that incidents have occurred that bring to light problems in the way in which Nottinghamshire clubs are managing recruitment of their volunteers, in this case referees.

Due to some clubs not receiving an official referee appointment there has been a growing move towards appealing for referees via social media. We must highlight that is approach is not officially supported by the Nottinghamshire FA.

By adopting this method of recruitment falls below expectations we have in place for safeguarding we therefore would like to highlight the recommended process for both clubs and leagues to follow in order to address the highlighted problem.


Leagues are issued monthly with lists of fully compliant referees, who then appoint a referee to their fixtures.

If there is a shortage of referees and you are required to provide your own and you choose social media, we suggest the following:

  1. Ask any referee you contact to provide a screen shot / print out of their Whole Game System profile. Showing their; qualified referee status, safeguarding qualification and DBS check.
  2. Ask referee to provide photo identification (ie. Passport or Driving License) with their name and date of birth
  3. With this information, check on Nottinghamshire FA’s website suspension checker

If at this point you are still left without a referee or something doesn’t feel quite right, please be aware of rule 23(b) in FA Standard Code of Rule for Youth (SCORY) – see below:

In cases where there are no officially appointed Match Officials in attendance, the Clubs shall agree upon a referee. An individual thus agreed upon shall, for that Competition Match, have the full powers, status and authority of a registered referee. Individuals under the age of 16 must not participate either as a referee or assistant referee in any open age competition and individuals under the age of 14 must not participate either as a referee or assistant referee in any Competition Match. Referees between the ages of 14 and 16 are only eligible to officiate in competitions where the Players’ age band is at least one year younger than the age of the referee, for example a 15 year old referee may only officiate in competitions where the age banding is 14 or younger.


For any further information on this matter please contact Nottinghamshire FA

Monday-Friday 0900-1700 on 0115 983 7400

Safeguarding matters or concerns:

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