Referee development

So you want to be a korfball referee!

Without refs we wouldn’t be able to play the game we all enjoy, so firstly well done for deciding (or being persuaded!) to start out on the road to becoming a qualified korfball referee.  It can seem a bit daunting at the start but don’t worry, there are loads of people in the area who are here to support you as you learn the ropes as well as helping to develop your refereeing talents as far as you want to take them.

Lots of people start refereeing with someone else so you can encourage each other and talk about how you are finding it with someone who is also going through the process.  If you think this would help you, it’s worth trying to get other club members to pick up a whistle too – you never know!

Below we outline the path most people take to becoming a referee and what is involved in each stage. Each step will take a different amount of time and different people will progress through them at different rates for a whole variety of reasons. 

1. Tell someone! The first step is to decide you would like to have a go at reffing and let your club coach know so you can do some practise during training sessions.  Have a quick go, speak to the other refs in your club and if you are still keen….

2. Tell SWKA. We are always keen to have more refs in the area and the SWKA is here to help anyone who wants to become a korfball referee.  There is support out there for you, with many of our top refs more than happy to give up their time to visit your club session and give you some independent feedback about how you are getting on.  The best first stop is the area Development Officer who can be contacted by emailing [email protected]

3. Carry on practising as often as possible.  It is important to develop your confidence and experience so keep going with the practical side of things.  This includes reffing at training, maybe offering to go to the end of another clubs session to officiate a game at their session so you get to referee different players, referee at a SWKA beginners tournament or ask your club if it is possible to organise a friendly with another club which you can referee.  Hopefully everything you have done so far has increased your confidence and you are now ready for….

4.  Practical assessment.  This will involve one of the people who referee regularly in the league coming to watch you ref and giving you some feedback about what you are doing well and what you can improve on.  If successful you will be added to the list of referees to officiate SWKL Division 2 matches.

5.  Attend an EKA approved rules course.  The SWKA provide rules sessions for players annually which are a good overview but to become a fully fledged referee you need to have attended an EKA rules course run by one of their approved assessors.  These are held somewhere in the area and are usually once a year due to the cost and logistics of holding them.  It might sound a bit scary and you do have to take an exam at the end of it but it’s really interesting to have a very experienced international referee to explain the interpretation of the rules and highlight how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls that referees encounter.

6. Q level assessment.  After you’ve been reffing a while and performing well in the SWKL 2 matches you take charge of, we will arrange for you to be assessed to get to Q status.  This is an award from the England Korfball Association and is recognised throughout the country.  You will need to have passed the theory part of the rules course to be a fully fledged Q level ref so make sure you attend the courses that are run or if not this is not forthcoming send a request for a course be held to the SWKA development officer who should be able to help.  You should now be ready to officiate SWKL Division 1 matches (and get paid even more!).

 7.  Keep going! It is important to keep practising even when you are qualified and to get feedback from people as you develop and become more confident as a referee.  After you have got some more experience and are performing well in SWKL Division 1 there is the opportunity to progress further if you want to.