Berks & Bucks FA have extended our trial of yellow armbands for U18 Match Officials by partnering with the Berkshire County Girls Football League.
Following the success of the introduction of yellow armbands for U18 Referees at Moretonville Juniors, Berks & Bucks FA have agreed to expand the pilot scheme by working with the Berkshire County Girls Football League. The aim is to increase visibility of U18 match officials and improve the behaviour of managers, coaches and spectators towards U18 referees.
Berks & Bucks have over 300 registered U18 referees with many of them trainees off the back of recent courses. Whilst it is important the we support all of our referees, it is imperative that our young officials are given the opportunity to learn and develop in a safe environment.
Berks & Bucks and the League have both been impressed with the number of referees who have come forward in support of the initiative and over 30 referees will now be proudly wearing their armband during all league fixtures.
Every U18 Referee within the club will be asked to wear the armband whenever they officiate with the armbands highlighting to all managers, coaches, parents and spectators that their referee is under 18 and they should refrain from making any remarks towards the young official.
The League arranged a meeting of their young referees, management committee and BBFA Referee Development Officer, Sam Myatt, where the introduction of the armbands was discussed and all were given the reasons behind the pilot. We hope this initiative will further support the work the league are already doing in supporting their young referees with mentoring opportunities.
The League’s Referee Co-Ordinator, Natasha Loughrey, has had the following to say on the introduction of Yellow Armbands: "We are keen to do what we can as a league to help protect our young referees from abuse, from players, coaches, and parents.
"We hope the armbands will remind everyone that these referees are still children and think twice before criticising their performance remembering that they are still learning too. We take this behaviour seriously and want to keep the referees loving the game of football."
Berks & Bucks will be working with the league for the remainder of the 2021-22 Season before sitting down with the young referees to gather their feedback on the initiative.
For more information about Yellow Armbands for U18 Match Officials, please contact Berks & Berks FA Referee Development Officer, Sam Myatt, via the contact details listed at the bottom of this article.
Alternatively, please visit the Referee section of our website.