Do you think being a referee is easy? This is what it takes to become one

Referees are also a fundamental part of soccer. That's why from LatinAmerican Post we show you the conditions to become one 

Referees are also a fundamental part of soccer. That's why from LatinAmerican Post we show you the conditions to become one

Do you think being a referee is easy? This is what it takes to become one

Becoming a professional football referee is not as easy as it seems since, in addition to being a controversial and ungrateful task, it also involves overcoming physical, psychological and theoretical tests carried out through specialized courses dictated by a referee team that is endorsed by the Football Federation of each country, according to eMagister.

Leer en español: ¿Piensas que ser árbitro es fácil? Esto es lo que se necesita

The basic requirements - which may vary according to the Federation - to qualify for arbitration training consist, according to the same means:

  • Have an age ranging from 14 or 16 years of age, up to a maximum of 26 or 29 years.
  • Not having a record or registration document in any football team, to guarantee the impartiality of the candidate.
  • Pass all the tests carried out, which go from the theoretical,  physical and the psychological.



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Theoretical preparation

As for the theoretical part of the preparation, this involves learning all the rules of football, as well as experiencing the application of these rules during a stress situation similar to those of a game.

Likewise, you must learn the criteria of justice and ethics of an arbitrator and thus be prepared to make oral and written reports of facts related to your arbitration activity.

Likewise, some Federations demand that the referees must correctly handle the English language, according to the National Football Institute in Chile.

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Psychological tests

In the psychological field, as pointed out by the Madrid Soccer Referees Committee (CAFM), the candidate must complete a psychological test that evaluates three tests: the first consists of observing the ability to select and maintain the attention in a period of time while distracting stimuli are performed.

A second test deals with the way in which the person thinks and reacts in situations of disrespect or criticism against them in which their feelings, emotions or behavior are involved. Finally, a test is made of the ability to identify a specific stimulus among several stimuli in a limited period of time.



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Physical tests

The physical preparation is also a fundamental part of the process since they must be active during match time and travel the entire field of play at different speeds while keeping an eye on the plays, for this reason, the exercises performed are demanding.

According to the Conmebol arbitration instructions, physical tests are based on speed and resistance. In the first, they must run at full speed a flat section of 40 meters long a total of six times, with a maximum time of 60 seconds to rest between each repetition, to approve it, they can not fail more than once.

Followed by this, with 8 maximum rest minutes, you must start the endurance test, in which you must travel 4000 meters, divided into 40 intervals of 75 meters at full speed and 25 meters walking, the duration will depend on the category of the referee. In the case of the linear, to this is added a test skill consisting of the change of direction from left to right. All referees must repeat these tests once a year to check their physical condition.

Ascent and exercise

After a person approves the course and becomes a professional referee, he must start working in children's soccer, then he can ascend to youth soccer, followed by regional football until he reaches the national category (1st, 2nd, and 3rd Division), These promotions are according to eMagister.

However, referees usually accompany their arbitration career with other jobs or professions, for reasons of time availability and economic stability. According to figures from ComexMasters, in 2015 the arbitration body in a match of Copa Libertadores de América won $ 1400 per member, divided into 800 fees and 600 per diem, with the exception of the fourth referee who receives $ 400 in travel expenses and is paid the same fees you earn in your national league.


LatinAmerican Post | Juan Bacallado

Translated from: '¿No puedes ser futbolista? Quizá sea más fácil ser árbitro ¡Esto es lo que se necesita!'

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