Referees' Association and the AFA LONSAR Referees Society

The Referees’ Association (RA) is the overarching national body which all referees can join by becoming a member of a local Society. It was set up in 1908 to satisfy the stated "need of a Union and how it might serve the interests of referees and promote the good of the game”.

The RA is an organised group of people involved with refereeing, run by Referees for the benefit of Referees and is administered from its head Office in Coventry.

It is organised into 306 local societies, grouped by County, in 3 Countries (England, Wales and Northern Ireland). Most of its 13,500 members only experience their local society but are safe in the knowledge that they all have the support of their County and National structures.

Benefits

There are several benefits of membership of The Referees' Association. It provides a low-cost insurance policy, supplies (kit, uniforms, and equipment), various publications on training and other information, a Benevolent Fund for those members who are in need. Most importantly, through a network of local societies, it encourages discussion on the game not only amongst members, but also with various footballing bodies.

It offers an Annual Conference which is very popular, with various workshops and presentations throughout the day. There are regularly high-profile presenters including FIFA Match Officials, Premier and Football League Referees and Assistant Referees and top representatives from the Football Association (FA). It also organises an ‘Eve-of-Final Rally’ to honour the FA Cup Match Officials and provide an opportunity to meet them on the day before the big game.

Finally, only full members of the RA can participate in the RA-FA incentive scheme, which offers RA kit and equipment in exchange for points gained by refereeing matches and attending various meetings and training sessions.

Joining

Membership of the RA is optional but strongly recommended by both the FA and the AFA. You can join by becoming a full member of your local Referees’ Society. The AFA County RA currently has two local Societies affiliated to it. These are the AFA & LONSAR Referees’ Society and the North Middlesex Referees’ Society. AFA LONSAR has representation on the both the AFA Council and the AFA Referees’ Committee.

Contact

More information is available at  www.refereesassociation.co.uk

AFA & LONSAR Referees’ Society

The London Society of Association Referees (LONSAR) has a history going back over 100 years. It recently merged with the larger AFA Referees’ Society to become the AFA & LONSAR Referees Society and is currently the largest and one of the most vibrant Societies in the Referees’ Association (RA).

Purpose

The main purpose of the Society is to provide a local club where members are encouraged to participate in AFA and other football, either actively or by passing on their experience to others. The focus is on improving the standard of refereeing and the status of referees, by encouraging attendance at monthly meetings where there are top guest speakers from the world of refereeing (including Premiership Referees).

Benefits

Members are warmly welcomed at the monthly meetings. These also offer the opportunity to discuss Law queries and personal match incidents, and to participate in popular training sessions on varied aspects of refereeing often using DVD clips, leading to improved on-field performances.

Advice from experienced members on all aspects of refereeing is freely available to all levels of referee. The social side is catered for through an Annual Dinner which includes refereeing awards, and a bar where the world of refereeing is put to rights before and after meetings.

Kit and equipment can be purchased through the Society Supplies Officer, and personal accident insurance through the RA. Physiotherapy cover is available as an optional extra. A “100 Club” offers the possibility of winning cash through a monthly draw.

Magazine

A major feature of the Society is the distinctive and well-respected monthly magazine, the “AFA Argus”, which is considered one of if not the best around. Members are kept up-to-date and entertained with what’s going on through news, views and technical items.

Cost

Annual membership varies with age but is around the cost of one match fee.

Contact

Find out more about AFA & LONSAR Referees’ Society on their website:  www.afalonsar.co.uk

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