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Play and Participate


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Be part of the journey

Give something back to the game you love or remain involved in the game after injury or retirement. Play a vital role in ensuring players enjoy the game and increase participation in the sport.

Active referees
Have a look at some valuable resources for active referees as well as learning about the referee pathway and how you can progress to the top level of the game.
Find out more
Become a referee
Refereeing is a complex but rewarding activity and whether your goal is to referee in the small sided games, grassroots football or to progress to higher levels we will provide supports to help you achieve your goal.
Find out more

About the course

The beginner course is designed to equip new referees with the key skills and knowledge they will need to be able to referee grassroots football matches safely and effectively. 

The course comprises online learning on the Laws of the Game and face to face training. You must complete the online learning before attending the face to face training. You will also need to complete online safeguarding training before attending the face to face training.


Education and training


Active referees


Our pathway


Become a referee

Your questions answered

Anyone aged 16 and above. The courses are open to men and women and all you need is enthusiasm, commitment and a williness 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.

The course is made up of three sections and is all covered online:

Part A – This section of the course allows you to explore PDP adaptions, Laws 1-4, Laws 7-10 and Laws 13 -17 in your own time. After booking a place on the course the content for each Law will be provided to you, navigate through the material and complete the assessment questions that follow before moving onto the next Law.

Part B – Consists of 6 hours of practical workshops by Zoom. These meetings will focus on the Laws 5, 6, 11 & 12, which are the more complex Laws. The workshops will also be used to explore the practical aspects of refereeing. Please note that you cannot attend the practical without having completed all the assessments from Part A of the course.

Part C - After the practical session you will receive a link to complete the final course assessment. This is an open book exam, and you will have 48 hours to submit your answers.

There is a charge of €50 which also covers your Referee Registration with the Football Association of Ireland for the current season

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.

As soon as you pass your course and Garda Vetting clearnace has been received, you will be allocated to a local league, either of your preference or one suitable for you as a Beginner Referee. Local Observers will help coach you in your early games and membership of the local branch of the Irish Soccer Referee Society is available should you wish to join.

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. You are required to attend mandatory local workshops and seminars every year that keep you up to date in 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.

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