Herefordshire FA is pleased to confirm details of a new initiative aimed to support young referees and promote respect.
Purple Referee shirts are being introduced for all trainee referees and those recently qualified who are under 18 from the 2019/20 season. After supporting the campaign, Herefordshire Junior Football League and Herefordshire Girls League will see referees wearing the Purple shirt on their matches this season.
The purpose of this is to remind everyone that the referee is learning, with the majority of trainee referees aged under 18 and still subject to children’s safeguarding legislation – and should therefore be protected, encouraged and treated with the utmost respect.
The Purple Shirts are being promoted using the tagline “See purple, Be Positive” to reinforce the importance of a more respectful and supportive environment both on the pitch and on the side-lines.
Herefordshire FA Referee Development Officer, Sean Dipple said:
“Nearly 40% of our current registered referees in Herefordshire are under the age of 18 and it is crucial to support and retain them so they can develop and prosper as Referees.
We have to understand that they will make mistakes, just like the young players they are refereeing, but this is all part of their development and I would ask that managers, coaches, parents and spectators respect this. If anyone has an issue with a new referee, they should contact the County FA.
The purple shirt acts as a visual aid to players, coaches, parents and spectators that the referee is still a child and should be treated with the same respect and level of safeguarding as any other child. We all have a collective responsibility to ensure the match experience is enjoyable for all participants so whenever you see purple, be positive!”
Whilst this scheme is aimed at supporting young officials, Herefordshire FA is proactively attempting to eliminate abuse of all referees. By ensuring young referees have a positive introduction to football, Herefordshire FA expect to increase retention into adult football and see more young people inspired to take up the whistle. Furthermore, with the new laws on temporary dismissals and bookings for team managers or coaches coming into effect this season, it is hoped dissent and disrespect will also be reduced in the adult game.
“There are some big changes taking place this season and we are confident these will lead to a more positive match day experience for our officials. Temporary dismissals have led to a 38% reduction in dissent offences across all the leagues they have so far been used. The impact of the purple shirt campaign should spread into the adult game too as the players, coaches and referees transition into senior football.”
Remember: See Purple, Be Positive