Building the best referees

The National Competition Referee Selection Process aims to select and prepare our best available talent in line with the game’s professional development in this country.

Following the December announcement of the National Referees Technical Committee and updated Referees Strategic Plan the FFA Referees Department began the National Competition Referee Selection Process 2012/13.

Our aim is to ensure the Hyundai A-league and Westfield W-League panel is chosen from the best available talent in the country and are adequately prepared for the season ahead in line with the game-s professional development in this country.

It is our aim to have Australian referees regarded as world-class officials.

Our key focus is on searching for the best and those with the potential to be the best. Competition for places is important so that we are constantly looking to improve - this includes no places on panels being made incumbent but earned each year.

Any 2011/12 panel member who is unable to retain their position for the 2012/13 season remains eligible to regain that position in future seasons if they can maintain/achieve the selection criteria.

As referees we have an obligation to the game to continually improve.

A key change is the establishment of the Possibles and Probables Candidates program.

The Possibles and Probables candidate list was created from three areas:

1. Review of last season-s panel - The best performers from last season-s panel will be classed Probables (i.e. most likely to be reappointed to the panel) - Some will fall into the Possibles category

2. National Talent Pool - Looking for those who have the potential to be a top class Hyundai A-league and Westfield W-League referees

3. Nominations from the states for those who are not in first two categories - Looking for those who have the potential to be a top class Hyundai A-league and Westfield W-League referees

From the above candidate list referees were then appointed, in conjunction with the Member Federations, to various State League games nationally.

Secondly, an FFA representative was appointed to view each referee as often as required with information supplied back to the FFA Referee Department for analysis and discussion.

The Referee Department have from this process created the final panel of match officials from the "Possibles and Probables" list.

In a first for FFA this process started just after the completion of the Hyundai A-league 2011/12 season and took in a full six month process in the lead up to the season ahead.

I was extremely pleased with the quality and professionalism of the candidates for this year-s Hyundai A-league and Westfield W-league and their performances as a part of this comprehensive program.

As a result there are some new additions to the referee-s panel.

With the panel now selected, the focus has turned to preparation to ensure the panel is in optimal condition both mentally and physically for the season ahead.

Three key aspects of preparation include: - Fitness - Games - Communication

For the upcoming Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League seasons our key focus in the pre-season was on deciding on the Panel Selection, Preparation for the season ahead and Communication with Clubs to create clear lines of communication between decisions and processes and also to clearly communicate our plans for the season.

We are embarking on this project in an effort to ensure we have a comprehensive selection process and a professional preparation schedule ready for the season, so that referees have every opportunity to perform at their best level.

We look forward to the season ahead and continuing the development of referees in Australia and New Zealand.

Click here to download the Referees Panel 2012.