I was recently sent a link to a newspaper article about a charity being set up called Ref Support UK. The charity runs a helpline to support and give advice to referees who have been abused or assaulted. Click here to see the article.

Although such an organisation should be lauded and supported it seems to totally forget the important role of the Referee Societies that operate all across the country. It seems strange to phone a stranger when you can phone a 'local' experienced referee/friend that would be familiar with the teams, leagues and area association.

However on reflection it is always good to ask the question that as a Society are we doing enough to support and advise our less experienced members?

The first few years of refereeing are certainly the toughest and those members promoted to the higher leagues in the pyramid would certainly attest to the Society's version of the hotline/helpline.

The mentoring scheme offered by the Society is a great method to help with training and development as well as the BV Hinton Award.

Those not familiar with the Award, Mr B V Hinton was a long serving secretary of the Society and a trophy is awarded each season in recognition of him to the most improved Level 4 referee. Those members wishing to sign up for the award are assessed by senior referees during the course of the season. With the assessments being an invaluable tool to help improve refereeing performance.

The BV Hinton Award is co-ordinated by Roger Harpole - if you would like to sign-up then email Roger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or let him know at the next Society meeting (Thursday 19th October).

If you would like to be mentored by a senior member of the Society then send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

'Behind every successful referee there is an Association & Society who are happy to help them'