Referees Feature

Referees Feature

Who can become a referee?

Anyone aged 16 and above. All you need is enthusiasm, commitment and a willingness to learn. If you want to reach the top, the younger you are the better, but former players can continue to remain within the game and retain their involvement. Female only referee beginner courses are run throughout the country, but you are free to attend any beginners course that you choose.

How do I start?

The course is 15 hours long and is usually run over a weekend. There is an emphasis on practical and interactive participation and is intended for those who intend to actively participate as referees. They are held locally throughout the year. For information on upcoming Referee Beginners Courses contact or follow this LINK

Is there a charge for attending a course?

There is a charge of €75 which covers the cost of materials and a €25 Referee Registration fee with the Football Association of Ireland for the current year. You will also need to complete a Garda Vetting Form and FAI Referee Registration Form.

Is there an examination to pass?

Yes, there is a 20 question multiple choice test. This part of your training ensures that you have a good understanding of the Laws of the Game. You will also learn the practical aspects of being a referee such as how to signal, take up correct positioning and so on.

When will I be able to commence refereeing?

As soon as you pass your course and Garda Vetting clearance has been received, the FAI Referees Department will allocate you to a local league, either of your preference or one suitable for you as a Newly Qualified Referee. Local Observers will help coach you in your early games.

How can I become a top referee?

Obviously you need to have ability but you are also required to be fit, enthusiastic, willing to learn and be part of the refereeing team in your area. Women’s only modules are run throughout the country, with video conferencing also being used to engage with referees who may not be in a position to attend.

You are required to attend mandatory local workshops and seminars every year that keep you up to date on the latest referee techniques. Your local FAI Referee Observer will nominate you for more challenging matches as you gain experience and expertise and may lead to an improved classification for you. How far you progress in refereeing ultimately depends on your commitment and abilities.

How can I book a course?

Courses are available online here and more information can be obtained from the Referees Department at