Referees are often the least thanked volunteers that makes our sport as great as it is. As we can all appreciate, one of the biggest challenges we have faced in recent years has been referee coverage in competitive fixtures. It is well documented that a lack of referee coverage leads to a poor level of retention for players. This combined with a higher than expected referee drop-out has meant that the number of games each weekend covered by a referee is not at a level we would all desire.
In order to improve and address this issue, BDAFA has worked collaboratively with the BFR on multiple initiatives to help improve the number of referees in Bankstown as well the number of games covered by referees.
The two main initiatives which are pleased to announce to our clubs are as follows:
1) Altered Scheduling –
BDAFA will look to amend the historical 1pm & 3pm afternoon slots to now accommodate and third fixture in the afternoon. Based on need, venue and feedback from clubs and their members this will allow for afternoon timeslots of 12pm, 2pm & 4pm or 1pm, 3pm & 5pm as required. This will not only allow for greater referee coverage of fixtures, but also allow for more games to be held at the home venue and reduce the need for neutral venues.
2) Referee Registration Subsidy –
BDAFA & BFR have discussed the need to remove all barriers relating to cost for someone to referee in Bankstown. In doing so, BDAFA will look to subsidise referee’s registration expenses and associated costs to allow and encourage a greater amount of referee participation. Below are some of the key highlights of the subsidy:
- Free referee courses will now be offered to encourage as many people as possible to complete the course.
- Referee registration will be capped at $100.00 for the 2021 Winter Season, with referees also receive this registration amount back in full once they reach 30 fixtures in the 2021 Winter Season.
- New referees will no longer need to purchase uniform and equipment to start the season, with all referees receiving a new referees kit, with new referees also receiving a set of flags, whistle and cards.
BDAFA and BFR hope that these initiatives will create growth within the Bankstown football community and enable a substantial increase in the number of games covered by referees in our competition moving forward.
BDAFA and BFR will work together in the coming days, to share marketing material that we hope our football community can help spread the word and encourage recruitment of new referees.