Are you interested in being a referee?

Mainland Football are looking to recruit referees. They understand that Referees come from participants in the game and it doesn’t mean that you need to give up playing if you decide to take up independent refereeing. They work that around your club playing or coaching schedule. It’s basically giving participants pathways in football.

It is a Mandatory requirement to have a Community Based Referee (CBR) for the 12th -15th grades (Div 1 teams) which has lifted the standard of officiating in those grades.

Please be aware that, for the Division 1 teams of these grades, a level 1 qualified CBR will referee the whole game home or away should the other team have a lesser qualified person.


Football is the world’s most played and most popular sport, and also one of New Zealand's. There are over 135,000 participants across all strands but, while coaches and players are key to the game, so is another group – referees.

Refereeing is for all ages and for both male and female. At the moment, we have referees that range from the teens to the 70s. The younger you start, the better as there are some great pathways as a referee and assistant referee. 


A short introduction to the Laws of the Game for those interested in the way the game is officiated and who wish to learn a little more. 


New referees go through this induction course before becoming available for appointments to a game. The course is essentially ‘Refereeing 101’, covering the basic requirements to referee a game. You can then officiate in youth and local senior football, and progress to Level 2 quite quickly.


This is achieved through a field-based assessment. Candidates must demonstrate competency in eight areas, particularly relevant to fair play and the safety of players. From here you will get the chance to be an Assistant Referee at the higher level, and based on your performance (and passing the fitness test), you may be appointed to the Mainland Premier League (MPL).


This is a more advanced accreditation course for those who wish to continue their development and referee at higher levels of the game.

There are opportunities for you to referee at Canterbury Championship League (CCL) level, and also, be in a Development Group, for referees with potential to the highest levels in our game. If you are selected into this group, you will likely be appointed to the CCL, Mainland Premier League, Southern League, Women’s National League or National Youth League. National Premiership officials are also there to provide a leadership roles.

There are paths for promotion both as a Referee and Assistant Referee. At the higher levels, this often requires a referee to choose on which direction he or she wants to pursue, with help from assessors of course. At this stage, you will have been selected to attend week-long National Referee Development Academies (RDA2 and RDA3), which will help you make the right choice.


This is a more extensive field-based assessment, which requires recommendation from assessors. You will be required to referee two games at CCL or MPL level, passing the mandatory requirements in both games. Candidates must also pass a fitness test. The next step here involves officiating in the National Premiership, National Women’s League, or National Youth League.

NOTE: those who passed any referee course in 2015 and earlier, need to re-qualify. Going through the CBR course again will do that.

So what are you waiting for?? Register for a course now or for more information on the referee courses - check out the link Click here ​​​​​​​

Sign up for either a Community Referee, Girls and Women's Only or Level One Referee course.

Contact Wayne Stapley for more information.

More information on these courses can be found here.