The FA has announced that from the 2017-18 season, all competitive league matches from step 1 (The Premier League) to step 8 (our level) will have Additional Assistant Referees (first seen in the Europa League), and is looking for honest, energetic and keen football fans to volunteer to become the said assistants. Interested? Please read on.
If you are unaware of the role of the Additional Assistant Referee, it’s basically two extra linespersons; one each patrolling the bylines of the pitch.
Here is a description of the role of the Additional Assistant Referee - copied off the official FA website.
Additional assistant referees may be appointed under the competition rules. They must be active referees of the highest category available.
The competition rules must state the procedure to be followed when a referee is unable to continue, and whether:
1. the fourth official takes over as the referee, or
2. the senior additional assistant referee takes over as the referee, with the fourth official becoming an additional assistant referee
Where appointed, the additional assistant referees, subject to the decision of the referee, are to indicate:
when the whole of the ball leaves the field of play over the goal line
which team is entitled to a corner kick or goal kick
when misconduct or any other incident occurs out of the view of the referee
when offences have been committed whenever the additional assistant referees have a better view than the referee, particularly inside the penalty area
whether, at penalty kicks, the goalkeeper moves off the goal line before the ball is kicked and if the ball crosses the line
The additional assistant referees also help the referee to control the match in accordance with the Laws of the Game but the final decision will always be taken by the referee. In the event of undue interference or improper conduct, the referee will relieve an additional assistant referee of his duties and make a report to the appropriate authorities.
Steps 1 to 6 will have FA appointed officials in the role of Additional Assistant Referees, but two volunteers from each step 7 & 8 club will be needed. Bedford Town is looking for two volunteers between the ages of 16 to 65.
You must be keen to do the role, have the energy to be alert for the full 90 minutes, and above all, as you will be helping the officials in a serious competitive match, be honest and impartial.
All successful volunteers from step 8 will undergo a week of intensive training (at the FA’s expense) at St. Georges Park (Home of the FA). There will be three course dates, in May, June and July.
Applicants must be available for all Bedford Town matches in the league.
The club will be fined if any volunteer has been deemed biased in a match, the club cannot ‘field’ an Additional Assistant Referee, or the Additional Assistant Referee celebrates a Bedford Town goal.
If you are successful, and play a role in this historic change in the way the game is officiated, you will be reimbursed for travelling and expenses incurred.
Applicants have until April 30th to apply. Starting with today’s game at home to Hanwell Town, you can ask for details in the Supporters Club Shop or click on the document below.
Updated 17:22 - 24 Apr 2017 by James Smiles