BILL EATON'S INSIGHT INTO LIFE AS A REFEREE IN TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE: A lot of work is being done to nurture referees

Bill Eaton

Bill Eaton

First published in Sport

BILL Eaton continues to give his light-hearted view of life as a referee.

This time he discusses how the Bolton, Bury and District League led the way in terms of refereeing

WITH the pressure mounting on match officials in the Premier League and the Football League, referees just starting or progressing their careers will not be able to get any more help than what is now being offered in the Bolton Bury and District Football League.

Many years ago the league led the way yet again in Lancashire by having its own referee development nights, tackling issues such as foul identification and the punishment of the offence, positioning and match control.

This time the BBDFL has taken the development of junior referees to yet another level by forming a Referee Youth Council.

Six referees who are graded from level seven to four and from four different referee societies who are aged between 16-21 have signed up to help improve standards and confidence.

They will be sent out to mentor not only newly qualified and junior referees throughout the season but also help at quarterly training nights.

The basic financing for the scheme is through league funds. With the Olympic legacy of inspiring a generation of children to become world-class sportsmen and women gradually fading our young and upcoming referees are not looking that far into the future.

With around 20 referees mentored in the last few months the vast majority are not looking to take up the whistle as a career, they look at refereeing as fun, enjoyable physical activity.

They like being in charge, they like the responsibility, they like local games they can just walk to and they like friendly managers who are kind and supportive to them.

They don’t like managers/coaches and spectators shouting at them or moaning.

So just like the players our children who are referee’s are in the game for fun. Please let the children play and let the children referee.

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