Football Queensland’s (FQ) strategic investment into referees across Queensland has driven the development of more than a dozen new initiatives and appointments within the past 12 months.
Since publishing the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan in November 2019, FQ has committed resources towards raising standards, strengthening pathways, increasing support measures and boosting registration numbers of referees throughout the state.
“FQ recognises that the quality and number of referees we have at all levels in Queensland is imperative to the overall participation experience and growth of the game,” FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci said.
“The progressive initiatives implemented since last November have contributed to excellent progress, with an encouraging 9.6% increase in registrations already recorded in 2020, but we know there is more important work ahead to realise our Strategic Plan target of reaching 2,200 referees by 2022.
“With more development coordinators, appointment coordinators and quality coaches now supporting our match officials, particularly in regional areas, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Initiatives introduced before and during the 2020 season have benefited both new referees – through developments like the teal shirt, pink armband and first year referee pack – and those building towards professional careers, including the 33 named in the inaugural FQ Referee Academy in July.
New education and communication methods have also been established, with 16 referee coaching sessions already conducted online this year.
“It’s an exciting time to be a referee in Queensland,” FQ State Referee Manager Jacqui Hurford said.
“We have always produced top-quality referees and there are now more support measures than ever to keep everyone from the grassroots up fully engaged and passionate about what they do.
“FQ’s care for personal wellbeing and development with initiatives like RefLIVE and the e-learning platform is especially important at the moment.
“We look forward to that having a positive effect on retention and registration growth over the next couple of years.”