Chairman’s Update – 4 November 2020

Dear Friends, members of York RA and all of you connected to Refereeing.

As the Season unfolds, we seem to be heading for a further ‘Footy Lockdown.’

Certainly, the Professional Game has been given the go ahead to continue, albeit in surreal circumstances with crowds not permitted, but what about our local football?

As I write, we all await the decision of government regarding local football and without being too despondent, I fear we will see the temporary postponement of many local games, both Saturday and Sunday (now confirmed)

So, what are we to do in these trying times?

Well, firstly, go along with the decisions of those in power and stay safe by looking after yourself and your families. For those of you active officials, I would encourage you to get out whenever and wherever you can to maintain a good state of fitness in readiness for the resumption, when safe to do so of course.

Our mental health is vital and keeping fit is one way to combat many issues which could have a negative effect upon our wellbeing.

For me, whilst a dodgy knee prevents my pursuit of an Olympic 10,000m Gold Medal, swimming has been my lifeline. For now, the walking boots are out and ready to roam our wonderful North Yorkshire countryside.

So, we here at York RA have been pondering how best to help and support you whilst in lockdown.

No easy answers other than to let you know that we are here and available to answer your calls and help in any way we can. We have a great wealth of experience on the committee with members willing and able to be at your disposal for help, advice and support. Our contact details can be found on the York RA website, do not hesitate to call. (

Nationally, the RA is still active via Zoom meetings and recently has put on some great sessions with high profile Referees and other athletes, Indeed the next Zoom will be a presentation with Howard Webb…..heard of that guy somewhere! Check out the National RA Website for details of this and forthcoming events which, due to demand you need to get in early and book your spot. (

Also, whilst in lockdown, membership of the National & Local RA covers you for Insurance purposes and there is a wide range of benefits to members some of which, particularly if you are furloughed or otherwise in some financial difficulty, may be of benefit.

We have considered further monthly Zoom/Teams Meetings but our scheduled meeting for this Thursday (5th) has unfortunately had to be cancelled.

I would invite you all to write to me personally or any member of the Committee with ideas on what you wish to see via Zoom/Teams sessions over the coming months. What can we do to stimulate and help keep you motivated and prepared to see the season to a conclusion?

Our hope is that once Christmas passes, there may be some return to normality and if so, we can get back to live monthly meetings and prepare for the annual dinner, which incidentally is a great event at the end of May and one which would give us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of all our Match Officials and those who offer support in other ways over the past 2 seasons.

So, get in touch, share your ideas, tell us how we can best support you but, more importantly, look after yourself, look after your families, stay safe and remain optimistic that we will beat this awful virus and although life as we knew it may never be the same, we can adapt and ‘get on with the game.’

I wish you all well.


Alan Kaye


York RA

07789 005327

COVID-19 update – further lockdown

The Football Association [The FA] has provided an update for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the UK Government’s announcement on new national Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

As a result of the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions, and subject to Members of Parliament voting tomorrow [Wednesday 4 November 2020] and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport [DCMS], the impact on ‘non elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:

• All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS];

• All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP];

• All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues;

• All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League;

• All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs;

• All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.

The FA’s aim is to ensure that the 2020/21 season is completed at these levels and will liaise with the relevant leagues in the NLS and WFP and the County Football Associations [CFAs] to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.

The UK Government has confirmed that school sport can continue as an exemption during this period.

In addition, the UK Government has confirmed that all Emirates FA Cup First Round fixtures will go ahead as planned this weekend between Friday 6 and Monday 9 November 2020. The ten ‘non-elite’ clubs that remain in the competition will be able to play their fixtures under ‘elite’ protocols. In line with the new national Covid-19 restrictions, these ‘non-elite’ teams are only permitted to train together until Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Further updates on fixtures and dates for the 2020/21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, The FA Youth Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase will follow in due course.

Re-starting football at these levels has taken substantial determination and commitment from stakeholders across the game and The FA would like to thank everyone for their vital contributions. However, health and wellbeing remain the priority, so it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the UK Government’s new national COVID-19 restrictions during this period.

The FA remains in dialogue with the DCMS, leagues, competitions and CFAs and will provide further clarification for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the House of Commons decision.

September 2020 meeting

Microsoft Teams meeting on 3 Sept 2020


An inaugural online meeting was held to start the new season, rather than our usual venue

The Chairman welcomed members to the event

Conor Ledgeway gave an update on COVID-19 protocols

David King then provided a brief summary of the new Law changes

James Unwin updated us on the local league scene for 2020-21

The presentation used was emailed to all members/referees for them to digest


The formal AGM took place and with no new proposals the existing officers / committee were re-elected (those wishing to stand)

The main change was that Conor Ledgeway is the new Vice Chairman

[see full list on officers/committee page at York RA tab]

COVID-19 Update for Referees

The FA has announced that Grassroots football is returning

From August – competitive matches will be allowed (friendlies, festivals, small-sided, etc.)

From September – grassroots leagues and FA Competitions

Obviously, risk assessments should be carried out prior to these commencing to ensure the safety of all

A useful Summary for match officials:

  • Self assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms; if in doubt DO NOT referee
  • Travel to/from games in a safe manner and follow best practice
  • Identify the home club COVID-19 Safety Officer and contact on arrival at the ground (if applicable)
  • Observe club rules in place to protect everyone, where these are in place
  • Sanitise your hands before and after games  (minimum)
  • Arrive changed for the game and shower at home
  • No pre-match handshakes
  • Discourage team pre-match huddles
  • Try to avoid handling the ball
  • Encourage spectators (when possible) not to handle the ball when retrieving it
  • Observe Social Distancing when addressing players, including substitutes
  • Goal celebrations should not be allowed
  • Set plays
    • Free kicks – encourage players to get on with the game, where possible
    • Corner kicks – to be taken promptly, where possible
  • No spitting allowed
  • Apply FA’s Code of Behaviour (spectators), eg. no excessive shouting

and remember practice SOCIAL DISTANCING at all times, wherever possible

The use of common sense may be required at times, but try to follow the guidelines

Remember, if you’re not comfortable returning to football there is no pressure to do so.
Everyone’s health, well-being and safety are the priorities…….it is entirely your call

NB. No indoor football or Futsal allowed at present

The full guides from the FA can be found here:


FA Statement regarding return of grassroots football.[61098]

Videos and Articles – 3 July 2020

Mal Davies newsletter

Videos and Articles – 3 July 2020


PREMIER LEAGUE : Appointments Saturday 4th to Monday 6th July 2020

SKY BET LEAGUE ONE SEMI-FINALS : Appointments of officials

FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP : Appointments Friday 3rd to Thursday 9th July 2020

ANTHONY TAYLOR : Part 2 of interview with National Young Development Team (Callum Jones)

KEITH HACKETT : Calls for FA action over lack of BAME referees

WHISTLE : Is this whistle the future of refereeing?

FITNESS TIPS : Summer holidays fitness tips for referees

AHMET GUVENER : Goal Line Technology and the National Anthem (log in using your email address)


STEVE BAINES : Scunthorpe Utd player becomes a Football League referee for 8 years.

THE RA : The Referees’ Association has secured discounts from many manufacturers – one of the good reasons for joining The RA

Chairman’s Letter – July 2020


Dear Friends, colleagues, past, present and future members of York Referees’ Association.

Well, what strange times we have endured these past few months. Just when we were looking forward to plum appointments, promotions and otherwise enjoying our Football Refereeing in all its forms, football was pulled out from under our feet.

However, there is some light at the end of the long tunnel and although watching professional football in empty stadiums barely compensates, it nevertheless helps to reignite our love and enthusiasm for the game.

I am optimistic that at local level, we can look forward to resuming and ‘getting on with the game, from September.

North Riding County FA are making preparations for the re commencement of Football in our area, the Club and Referee Registration process is now open and the Leagues can affiliate from 13th July.  The York Minster Engineering League Premier League will hopefully kick-off on Saturday 8th August with the other York Leagues planning to commence on the weekend of 5/6th September.

Here at York RA, we have kept abreast of developments within the National RA and our own dedicated Committee have met (Via Zoom) to prepare for next season and to look after all our best interests.

We have made a provisional date to hold our 1st Meeting of the new Season on Thursday 3rd September 2020 at the usual venue of the York Hospital Club (put that date in your diary now).    York NHS Social Club, Whitecross Road, YO31 8JR

If there are still social distancing rules to follow then we can accommodate that as the Club has ample space and facilities to do so.

Confirmation of that meeting will be published later but we intend to hold the Annual General Meeting as a first agenda item, keeping the time down to a minimum, followed by a key guest speaker from within the professional game.

In relation to the AGM, should anyone wish to stand on the Committee for next season then please either let me know personally or, turn up at the meeting and put yourself forward.

Due to the Codiv 19 pandemic, as our season ended prematurely, we had no opportunity to hold an AGM, the Annual Dinner or make presentation to our successful Match Officials.

We are in the process of recognising your past achievements and suitable mementoes will be presented at a future meeting.

Our Annual Dinner, which is a fantastic social occasion, was clearly cancelled at short notice but we have re booked for next season so put Friday 21st May 2021 into your diary as an event not to be missed.

FA Premier League Referee Andy Madley was to be our guest speaker at that event and he is still waiting in the wings for a future invite, such is our respect our Association holds within the Professional game.

Now, we need to get back to the real business of supporting you, our York & District based Referees, Observers, Mentors and supporters of all things Refereeing so, one of the initiatives for this coming season will be a significant reduction in our annual membership fees.

For full adult members, the fee for 2020/21 will be £15 if paid up before the end of October. After that the fee will increase to £20. That is a reduction of £8 & £3 respectively so please take advantage of this offer. For those of you who pay annually via direct debit, fear not the necessary arrangements have been made for the appropriate deduction.

Of course, 1st Year Referees and New Members signing up for the first time are welcome free of charge and for those members under 18, the membership fee is £6 only.

“What do I get for my Fifteen Quid?” you may ask. Well, you become a member of the National RA with all the benefits which they afford, for example, inclusion on the RA Insurance Policy and numerous discounts on items of Referee equipment and various other benefits which are well advertised on the National RA Website  In addition to that, you will be supported by the National RA should you require the services of a suitably qualified professional to represent you in any Refereeing matter that you may become involved.

Locally, you join a very well established and respected Association where we provide a social aspect to our in house training and development. You only have to trawl back through past meetings to see that the quality of guest speakers are second to none. From Martin Atkinson to Jon Moss, Andy Halliday (VAR Expert), Gary Kellett (Senior Match Observer), Liam Slack (PGMOL Sports scientist), Andy Madley, Mark Haywood and Paul Tierney to name but a few. Where else can you listen and learn from the experiences of these guys whilst at the same time being entertained.

We are recognised as being one of the top 10 Local Referee Associations in the Country and we intend to enhance that profile but, can only do so with your support.

All our top professional Match officials and I mean, all of them, joined there local RA at the start of their careers and ALL of them are still members today.

Just think what you could achieve when in the company of our Nation’s best, in a safe and enjoyable environment……worth the effort I can tell you.

For our younger Match officials, can I offer my encouragement for you to come along, in the knowledge that you are safe and will benefit from the experience of listening to others, who have all gone through the same processes and climbed the same ladders as you are doing right now.

I would encourage parents or adult family members to support their young Referee by also coming along to our meetings and can tell you that on our Committee we have an appointed Welfare officer who is held in very high regard within the North Riding County FA safeguarding community.

We welcome all those involved in Refereeing, whether you blow a whistle, hold a flag, work as an administrator, support our Referees through the mentoring or observing schemes or are simply a retired official in some Refereeing capacity who is able and would enjoy passing on valuable experience.

This message is designed to ignite your enthusiasm for the new season. Writing it has certainly set my pulse racing again and I look forward to meeting and teaming up with you all in the very near future.

Should you or the parents of young Referees have any queries, concerns or questions then please do not hesitate to contact me direct or any member of our Committee. My details are appended below and Committee details are included on our website

We will endeavour to keep you abreast of developments but for now, clean the boots, oil the whistle, iron the flag, sharpen the pencil, get fit and stay safe.

With my very Best Wishes.



Alan Kaye

Chairman, York RA

(H) 01653 648759

(M) 07789 005327

Refereeing Pyramid 2020-21

The FA has finalised the pyramid for referees for next season

The FA Referees’ Committee have approved the change of name for refereeing levels within the National League System in readiness for 2020/21.

These changes look to reflect terminology consistent with levels used in the National League System to allow greater understanding of the refereeing pyramid across the football community. One element of the current environment largely misunderstood are the names of refereeing levels across the referee pyramid.

Consequently, with immediate effect, the names of levels within the refereeing pyramid will be changed as follows:

Current Name New Name from 20/21 Referee Level Assistant Referee Level
Panel Select Step 1 List 2A 3E
Panel Step 2 List 2B 3F
Contributory Step 3/4 List 3A 4B
Supply Step 5/6 List 4A 5/6/7

Unfortunately, the York Minster Engineering FL did not make the Step 5/6 (Supply) list – place taken by W Yorks League

The full list can be found here…….20.21 Refereeing Pyramid – Competitions[56850]

National RA Event News

Latest Updates on Events:

  • Obviously the Eve of Final Rally did not take place 0n 22 May
  • Development weekend (July 2020) has been cancelled
  • National RA AGM will take place on 4 July 2020 (Zoom meeting

The email from the RA is detailed below:


I trust you are all keeping well during this unprecedented period of national lockdown.

At this time of the year, we are usually reflecting on the end of the current season and already preparing for the next one  –  but these are far from normal times.

Since March, we have sadly lost a number of RA Members to Covid-19, and we are aware of some others who are continuing to battle against this terrible disease.  During this extraordinary period, The RA has been supporting those of you who are in need, and will continue to do so.

On Friday 22nd May 2020 we were due to hold our annual Eve of Final Rally, but for obvious reasons this has now been postponed and is highly unlikely to be held in its current format this year.  If and when the 2020 FA Cup Final is played, we will work with our stakeholders to arrange a suitable presentation to the Match Officials involved.  We anticipate that the Rally will return to its normal format and venue in 2021.

Our flagship event, the annual Development Weekend, was due to be held over the weekend of Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th July 2020.  Because of continuing regulations affecting the venue at DeVere Staverton, the event has now been unavoidably postponed until 2021, details of which will be provided next season.  For those of you who have already paid to attend this year, our Events Team will be arranging all necessary refunds in due-course.  They can be contacted via , but we would ask you to please be patient whilst these repayments are activated.

The RA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will still take place as planned on Saturday 4th July 2020 at 3:00pm, but it will be held via the virtual platform of “Zoom”.  We will be sending out AGM papers, plus how to get involved, in the next few weeks.

I can confirm that postponement of the Eve of Final Rally and the Development Weekend comes without any financial impacts to the RA in any way.  In particular, I would like to take the opportunity to thank Reg Pullen and his Treasury Team for their diligence in overseeing the various contracts and negotiations involved, which for these 2020 events all began back in 2019.

During recent months, a number of LRAs have begun holding “virtual” Branch Meetings, which have been highly successful  –  please keep up the good work in showing what the RA can provide even in a period of football lockdown.

One final but important request!  Can all LRAs (and CRAs if appropriate) please ensure that Head Office has the correct current details for your principal Officers, such as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, ahead of important announcements going out shortly regarding reduced subscription rates for NRA membership in 2020-2021 season.

And to all those RA members who are doing great things within the NHS, working in Care Homes, or providing other essential services:

On behalf of the Association and the Nation:   THANK YOU


With kind regards

Paul Field, Chairman

The Referees’ Association


twitter – @refsassociation

Videos & Articles – 10 April 2020

Videos & Articles – 10 April 2020

from Mal Davies

IFAB LAW CHANGES 2020/21 explained by Keith Hackett

VAR could be ruled out when football returns because of cramped conditions

PREMIER LEAGUE :  Officials could be quarantined in hotels once the season resumes

REFEREEING DECISIONS : Fans name the worst decisions they’ve ever seen

MLS 25 YEARS OLD – referee Esfandiar ‘Esse’ Baharmast reflects on the first game


BRIBES alleged in voting for 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids

FIFA REFEREE tests positive for COVID-19

UEFA defends decision to play Atalanta v Valencia despite coronavirus pandemic

THE RA : The Referees’ Association has secured discounts from many manufacturers – one of the good reasons for joining The RA

COLOMBIA : Drug dynasty was boosted by football — led to referee’s murder

COSTA RICA : Referees request financial help

National RA AGM

AGM 2020

We previously advised you that (by the stipulated deadline of 1st February 2020) we had received just one Proposed Rule Change for 2020, and no Notices of Motion.

Rule Change 2020[52229]

By the stipulated deadline of 31/03/20, we had received no Amendments to that one Proposed Rule Change, which therefore now proceeds accordingly.

Please therefore find attached for your information and reference:

  • a further copy of the one Proposed Rule Change for AGM 2020;

which has already been uploaded to the RA Website for debate.

Voting papers will be sent out to Societies once the qualifying number of votes per LRA is known, based on their individual paid-up RA membership figure as at the end of April 2020.

For Life and Direct Members, you get one vote each, and (for convenience) your own voting paper will also be sent out simultaneously at the beginning of May 2020.

In all cases, full instructions on how to submit your vote will accompany the voting papers when these are sent out to you.

This year’s AGM is scheduled to take place on the afternoon of Saturday 4th July 2020 at the DeVere Hotel in Staverton, and we look forward to your participation.

Meanwhile:  Stay Safe & Keep Well.