Become A Referee

Steps to becoming a referee

This page will step you through the process of becoming a referee.

1. Age

The minimum age to become a referee is 12 years old to officiate on small sided games (SSG) for under 8, 9, 10 and 11.

The minimum age to become a Level 4 Referee is 13 years old, however MDFRA does encourage 13 year olds to remain on SSG football until confidence is developed for open age group football. 13 year olds will only be able to Referee on 12 year old matches, but can officiate as an Assistant Referee on any match appointed (given) to them by the Appointment Officer.

2. Laws of the Game Course

This course is primarily aimed at those who are wanting to become a referee, but is also available to coaches, parents and players who are simply wanting to gain a better understanding of the Laws of the Game (LOTG). After completing the course participants will receive a certificate which will allow them to continue on the refereeing pathway and attend the FFA Level 4 Referee course.

Participants can either print the LOTG certificate and bring it to your Level 4 Referee course, or send a photo/PDF of the certificate to registrar@mdfra.com.au.


3. Referee Course

Next, you will need to undertake an entrance level course, such as the Small Sided FFA Level 4 Referee course. This is the entry level referee course and the start of your refereeing journey.

This is a one day course that comprises of a classroom/theory based component, and a some practical based teachings out on a soccer field.

There is very minimal physical activity on the day, so comfortable clothing and sports shoes is sufficient. You will receive a whistle on the day as part of the course.

    • Cost: $60 for the course
    • Rebate: A $25 rebate is available for course participants who become a member of the Macarthur District Football Referees Association (MDFRA).
    • Payment: Prepayment either through the course registration portal, or to the MDFRA bank account is preferred, but cash or card can be paid on the day (please note 1.9% merchant fee and check availability of card payment prior). See below for link to MDFRA bank account, please ensure you use your surname and L4 Course as a reference.


4. Registration with MDFRA

You will then need to become a member of the MDFRA, much like you may do as a player. Registration is required on an annual basis. The membership year is 1 April to 31 March annually, and members must pay 20% upon application, with the remainder by 31 May.

A link is provided below to the guide on how to register using the PlayFootball platform. Please note the 2020 Registration Fees below.

Payment through the PlayFootball platform using a debit/credit card is highly preferred, and will allow you to get out onto the field quicker – your registration and payment are automatically reconciled and connected.

If you prefer to pay in cash, or card using an EFTPOS/contactless terminal, you must attend a meeting to make payment. If you wish to make payment via the EFTPOS/contactless terminal, please note a 1.9% merchant fee and please check availability of facility prior to the meeting.

Referees who are older than 18 years of age (adults) must gain a PAID NSW Working with Children Check (WWCC) prior to their registration being approved. This does require adults to attend Service NSW to complete the application process. The number must be sent to the Registrar at registrar@mdfra.com.au to be validated. See below link for further information.


5. Registration on Horizon WebRef

MDFRA uses a platform called Horizon WebRef for receiving ‘appointments’ which are the games you are scheduled to officiate on. The Appointments Officer uses the availability self-entered by each referee to appoint (schedule) referees onto suitable games.

Please note that registration on Horizon WebRef is not a registration with MDFRA – refer to step 3 above. Registration with Horizon Web Ref will only be accepted once you register with MDFRA on PlayFootball and the Registrar and Treasurer receive at least 20% of your registration fee. If you are an adult, a valid WWCC number must also be provided and validated by the Registrar.


6. Equipment

Equipment is available from the Equipment Officer who attends meetings and training for the first half of the season, or pick up by prior appointment. It is recommended that the Equipment Order Form (link below) is completed prior to pick up so the Equipment Officer can have your equipment ready.


7. Senior Referee Recruitment Initiative

In 2020, the MDFRA is again partnering with MFA to gain new senior referees. As part of the initiative, a $150 discount is offered to new senior members who have never refereed before.

8. Start-Up Cost of Becoming a Referee

The start-up costs of becoming a referee are summarised in the below table. Note: Senior (New) means those who are eligible for the ‘Senior Referee Recruitment Initiative’. The referees fees payable for each match are available on the link below:


(Brand new female)
(Brand New)
(Referee Before)
Course Fee$30$60$60$60$60
Course Rebate$0-$25N/AN/A-$25
Registration Rebate$0$0-$90-$160$0
Equipment Package$75$110$110$110$110

9. Joining MDFRA from another referees branch

A letter must be sought from your current/previous referees branch that outlines.

    • Your referee qualifications
    • Your financial status (all payments up to date)
    • Your membership/disciplinary status (no outstanding disciplinary matters)

Once the letter is provided to the MDFRA Secretary (secretary@mdfra.com.au), you may progress with registration on PlayFootball (step 3) and Horizon Web Ref (step 4).

It is highly desirable that you obtain the same equipment that is utilised by MDFRA (step 5) to ensure all match officials are in the same uniform.