Shortage of football referees

Steven Goodlad, one of the 15 remaining qualified referees.

A RECRUITMENT drive is underway for new referees to come forward with Shetland Football Partnership warning that there are currently only enough men in black to fulfil around three-quarters of senior fixtures in 2016.

Football partnership secretary Michael Duncan said a few referees had decided to call it a day at the end of last season either through injury, retirement or other reasons.


Having had 19 referees to cover senior A team, B team and Works League football last year, there are now only 15 left.

Those who remain have indicated that they should be able to cope with around 300 fixtures this summer, but the fixture list usually includes around 400 matches.

A referee-training course is to take place over two weekends at the end of February and beginning of March, and Michael is urging anyone interested in getting involved to get in touch with referee Steven Goodlad.

He said that if ten new referees could be trained, they would be able to fill the shortfall by taking charge of only one game every fortnight during the summer season.


“It keeps you semi-fit, allows you to put something back into the game, you get reimbursed for it, and you’re supporting football development,” Michael said.

“It is really quite critical that we recruit and train new qualified refs that can referee games. The course is over two weekends, the first weekend learning the laws of the game, the second is an assessment you sit, then a local referee would supervise at least one game to see that you’re managing okay.” 

  • The referee training course takes place at Islesburgh Community Centre in Lerwick on 26-28 February and 4-5 March. For more information contact Steven Goodlad by phoning 07776 180472 or emailing stevenandalison@hotmail.co.uk. To book a place on the workshop please contact sportandleisure@shetland.gov.uk