Release Date: Dec 18, 2010
There are four grades referees in Northern Ireland:-
Senior: Referees who officiate in the Irish premier League and include our four FIFA Officials
Intermediate: Referees who operate in one of 6 Intermediate leagues throughout Northern Ireland, and which includes our nine FIFA Assistant Referees
Junior: The referees who operate in one of the many junior leagues
Club: Club referees are those who are still involved with a club, but have passed their referees exam and have affiliated. They will take charge when there is no official referee.
How do I become a referee?
The first step is to take a beginners class, which culminates in an examination in the Laws of the game.
Successful candidates are affiliated to the IFA through one of four Divisional referee associations. The secretaries are as follows:-
North East Ulster: Trevor Moutray
Mid Ulster: Lee Tavinder
North West: Tony Young
Fermanagh and Western: Clare Noble
Referees are graded primarily according to ongoing assessment, with fitness, age and commitment secondary factors. These Assessments are carried out by a panel of former referees who attend matches and assess the referees according to FIFA and UEFA guidelines.
All matters affecting refereeing are decided upon by the Referees Committee, a Committee which consists of 7 persons. Currently the chairperson of the committee is Fred Magee, with the vice-chairperson former FIFA referee Walter Clarke. The remainder of the committee is made up from former FIFA and senior officials - Malcolm Moffatt, Norman Loughlins, Lesile Irvine, John Ferry and Robert Campton. Alan Snoddy the IFA Referee Development Officer also attends the meetings.
The Association requires all referees operating at intermediate ad senior level to meet certain fitness criteria, and all nominees to the FIFA lists of international Referees and Assistant Referees are compelled to meet the FIFA criteria.
Northern Ireland Referees Association
The NIRA is the umbrella organisation representing referees in Northern Ireland. Its current chairman is David Malcolm and its secretary is Clare Noble.
Womens football is the fastest growing sport on the planet and refereeing is tryng hard to keep up. The Association has a small number of female referees, and is attempting to increase this number by staging all women beginners classes.
FIFA List - 2010
The current IFA officials on the FIFA List of Referees and Assistant Referees are:-
Referees: Alan Black; Mark Courtney; David Malcolm; Raymond Crangle
Assistant Referees: Eamonn Shanks; Gareth Eakin; Paul Munn; Thomas Fairfield; John Mc Dowell; Dan Steele; Andrew Neeson.
Referee Development Officer
In 2006 the IFA appointed Alan Snoddy as it's first Referee Development Officer. This role supports all refereeing actitivties in N.Ireland with a focus on recruitment, retention and promoting refereeing.
Official Sport Specialist Partner
Referees for all your sports equipment needs visit our partner Podium 4 Sport (formerly Vi Sport) at 40 Montgomery Road, Belfast or online at www.podium4sport.com