1. How do I get appointed to games within the Society?
Each year, prior to the beginning of the season, referees are asked to complete an Aspirations form indicating their aspirations and ambitions for the coming season. They also complete a Declaration form that indicates that they wish to continue as a member of the Society and which days of the week they are generally prepared to referee. It is at this point that annual subscriptions are due.
1.2 During the season, you must keep your availability up to date via your "Contact Availability Calendar" on ‘Who’s the Ref?’ (WTR). On your calendar, you can indicate specific days when you are (or not) and also whether you are available for an Exchange appointment. Appointments will be made in monthly blocks in advance. You will be emailed regular warnings of the deadlines for updating for the next appointments period. The appointments team will therefore use WTR as the accurate record of your availability. Obviously your availability changes either in a planned (e.g. holidays, business commitments) or an unplanned way (e.g. injury, sickness) but it is important that you update your availability immediately. If you already have an appointed game see 1.5
Early notification saves the Appointment Secretary and club contacts a good deal of valuable time and unnecessary 'phone calls
1.3 Normally appointments are made four weeks in advance using the most up to date information on availability supplied by each referee. In making appointments the Appointments Secretary has the complex task of matching the needs of the particular game and the ability, development and ambition of the referee. The Appointments Secretary will look at a number of aspects of the potential referee and the particular challenge of the game as well as the basics of the level of the referee and the game. For example a local derby may merit a more experienced, higher level referee or may be the opportunity for a newer referee with potential to show his ability and mettle! (see Grading). He is also trying to ‘localise’ appointments as far as possible, to cut down on travel for the referee and expenses for the club. However, the higher your level, the more likely you may need to travel further.
Undoubtedly being known by the Appointments Secretary as reliable and flexible is a positive mark when re-appointments are being made and good opportunities arise. Every game needs a referee and no game should be beneath the dignity of any referee. The Appointments Secretary does not like ‘prima donnas’. It is important that you build a reputation as a ‘go anywhere, do anything’ referee.
The Appointments Secretary is available to help with problems. He also has a life to live and although he is very flexible, forgiving and calm under pressure, do not ring after 9.30 p.m.
The grading system (see How do I get graded?) is there to help ensure that referees get appropriate games that they will enjoy refereeing. The ambitions and abilities of referees will vary but the Society values all its referees, whatever their level.
1.4 Appointments, Notification, Standby and Reappointments
Each game to which you are appointed will appear on WTR and you will receive an email form WTR informing you of your appointment. The notification will include details of the type of game (league, friendly, etc.). It is likely that for some of the time, there will be no fixture showing your name. This means that you are on ‘Standby’, not that you will not get a game. The Appointments Secretary tries to appoint equitably and aims for each referee to have two appointments in a four week period.
When you are on ‘Standby’ you will usually get an appointment closer to the date through the re-appointments process and often these games are of good quality. Obviously there are changes to accommodate – cancelled and rearranged games, new fixtures, referee unavailability etc. – so re-appointments are made up to and including Saturday mornings before the game in the afternoon. However, the bulk of the re-appointments are made and published on WTR on Thursday mornings.
Re-appointments continue to be made, even on the morning of a match due to new fixtures and late changes. Remember that if you are on Standby you still are assumed to be available to be allocated to a game up to 12 noon. If you have to withdraw from Standby let the Appointments Secretary know immediately and update your availability calendar accordingly, don't leave it until the last minute or when you are contacted by the club - this just causes unnecessary problems and additional work for all concerned.
The Appointments Secretary will use the principle that you are available up to 12 noon on Saturdays and Sundays unless they are advised to the contrary so please help them to get you the right appointments by keeping them informed. It is therefore important that you check your appointment late in the week for weekend appointments, as changes may have to be made for reasons beyond the Appointments Secretary’s control.
1.5 If you have already been appointed to a game and become unavailable immediately tell the club contact and the Appointments Secretary, similarly if you are moved from a game that has already been confirmed let the club contact know to ensure that games are not left without referees.
1.6 Late "cry-offs" are a headache for everyone, so if you have to cry-off because of injury, try to make the decision ideally before Wednesday lunchtime to give the Appointments Secretary sufficient time to make the necessary alterations. It is also important to note that assessors and coaches are appointed to observe referees and therefore last minute cry-offs might jeopardise an observation on your game.
1.7 Contact from clubs
Normally, the club contact should have confirmed with you early in the week of the game. (see 4 for the information you need from the Contact) If you do not receive confirmation try to contact them, you do not want to waste your time turning up for a game that doesn't happen. If you cannot make contact speak to the Appointments Secretary who will advise on the best course of action and who will then be "in the loop" to re-appoint you should the game be cancelled.