Hundreds of mums, dads and coaches each week grab a whistle, not because of a long-standing desire to be the best referee in the world, but simply because their kidís game will be more enjoyable and safer if a few simple rules are followed, that one person looking after that aspect of the game is the norm (ever seen refereeing by committee work?), or simply that it would not take place without someone doing the job.
The Club Based Referee (CBR) programme recognizes the importance of this level of involvement in the game Ė making it happen for 15,000 players under the age of 17 each weekend.
The programme sees nominated individuals go through a course (often run at their own club) to become registered as a CBR. They are then entitled to referee any Federation match at their own club, or at an opposition club if the opposition club does not have either an appointed official or their own CBR.
Successful candidates receive a certificate from New Zealand Football and an official CBR referee shirt from Auckland Football, which they are required to wear when officiating. In addition all CBRs must have a registration card which they must show to the opposition team prior to kick-off. A CBR has the same rights and obligations of an appointed official and any abuse of CBRs will be dealt with severely.
People interested in becoming a CBR should contact their club secretary or Auckland Football Federation Referee Development Officer Paul Smith.
If a club has sufficient numbers interested in a course it will be held at your own club. Courses are also held at Mt Smart Stadium, or candidates can link with a course being held at a nearby club.
The cost of the course for 2012 is $95 (GST inclusive) per person including course material and the shirt, itself worth half the course cost.
For more detail on what is covered in the CBR course, click here.