Development paths in refereeing can occur in many ways. The following is a generic overview of the key milestones that all referees will pass in their development from complete novice to seasoned veteran. In particular it describes the initial steps you would undertake were you to apply to join Sydney Schools Football Referees Association (SSFRA).

Step One: Complete the APPLY NOW form on this website. Your application will be processed by the SSFRA Recruitment Officer and you will be invited to participate in a Level 5 Referees Course (this may also incorporate Level 4 as well).

Step Two: After accepting the date for your Referees Course, you will be provided a Resource Manual and DVD for you to complete as pre-work for you impending course. This work must be completed prior to attendance on the day.

Step Three: Attend the course., during which the SSFRA Instructor will take you through the theory and practical elements of the Level 4/5 Courses. By day's end and upon achieving the necessary pass mark on the Course Exam, you will be certified as a Level 5 Referee.  

Step Four: Now that you are qualified, we will immediately start to appoint you to games officiated by SSFRA. Initially we will appoint you as an Assistant Referee in order to familiarise with a "live" game situation and to develop your confidence and awareness on the park. Even as an Assistant Referee you will now start to earn match fees for your efforts.

Step Five: Once you have grown accustomed to the duties of an Assistant Referee and shown confidence with the new skills you have learnt, we will then appoint you as the Referee on one of our junior games. One of our Inspectors will supervise your performance and pending the successful completion of a field test, you will now have gained your Level 4 Certification.

Step Six: As your skills, confidence and refereeing aptitude develop further with the assistance of our Inspectors/Mentors, you will be appointed to higher grades of game. This will culminate in your appointment to 2nd Grade matches and then ultimately 1st Grade. The 1st and 2nd Grade (U18) games are our most competitive games and are hence appointed to our senior referees. As you progress to this standard of game, you may then be nominated to attend a Level 3 Referees course and pending a successful field test at the 1st Grade level, you will be officially certified.

Step Seven: Continued strong performance at the senior level may also lead to your nomination by the branch as a delegate on the Football NSW, Premier Youth League Panel or dual registration with the NSW State League Referees Association where you will have the opportunity to further develop your skills by referee even higher levels of senior football.

Step Eight: Ongoing refereeing with the State League branch may lead to further courses and certification at a Level 2 or Level 1 grade and pending further success, referees can then be nominated to achieve national/international representation and qualification as a FIFA Referee.   

Step Nine: Referee the 3/4 Play-Off Game at the FIFA World Cup (that is, as Australia will be playing in the Final).