Referees listen on at meeting

Referee Associations

Referee Associations & Societies

Referees Societies are local branches of the Referees Association organised by referees for the benefit of Referees. 

Local societies operate like a self-help group where you can meet with other referees to discuss different aspects of your game, share experiences and debate issues.

Other benefits of joining the Referees Association include:
Membership of a strong national association through your local society
Monthly meetings in your locality for social and cultural activities
Comradeship and advice on refereeing matters from experienced colleagues
Assistance with your development as a referee
Representation of your interests at County and National levels with the full support from the RA should you be the victim of unfortunate circumstances or should you receive unjust treatment.
Guidance on matters affecting promotion.
Direct access to the best range of referee kit and equipment in the country
Personal accident insurance cover while on refereeing duties
Membership of the Benevolent Fund
IPRS supervised physiotherapy – for full members

You can find out more by contacting our Referee Development Officer or contacting the Referees Association directly. 


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 three 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.

There are several benefits of membership to 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.

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.

More information is available at

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