The Doncaster Sunday Alliance League is looking to cut down on the number of games postponed due to the lack of referees next season by recruiting more officials.
“We have up to 24 games most weekends and we’ve probably got around 30 referees on our list,” long-serving secretary John Steele told the Free Press.
“Unfortunately on any given weekend about ten of them are unavailable for a variety of reasons so we obviously need a bigger pool.
“Newly qualified referees are well looked after and they are given games we know that they can handle – basically involving well behaved teams. They also have the backing of both ourselves and the County FA.”
Steele admits that some people are put off refereeing by reports of problems both on and off the pitch.
“The situation is not nearly as bad as it used to be,” he said.
“I’m not saying it never happens but it is certainly a lot better than in the past.
“I think the message started to get through to players (and spectators) that we need to attract more referees when they realised that games were being called off due to a lack of officials.”
The league are running a two-day course (9am-5pm) at the Keepmoat Stadium complex next month.
“The cost of the course is £120 which admittedly is quite a bit of money,” said Steele.
“But those who pass will get 50 per cent of the course fee back from us after they’ve officiated at ten league games.
“They also pick up a £25 match fee and expenses of 22p a mile so it can be a rewarding job.
“Hopefully, we’ll pick up one or two new referees as a result of the course.”
Anyone interested in becoming a referee in the Alliance League, and for more details about the course, should email John on firstname.lastname@example.org.