The County FA delivered the Referee Development Day for referees of all ages and abilities at Belper Town on Sunday 28th August.
FA CORE Centre Leader – (Midlands Region), Rob Shoebridge, started the day by delivering a presentation on the IFAB Laws of the Game Changes. With genuine game footage accompanying each law change, the officials were able to see the changes in action.
Following the presentation the referees participated in three practical sessions:
• Fitness and Positioning (Outdoor)
• The Stepped Approach (Indoor)
• Free kick/Penalty kick management (Outdoor)
• Communication (Outdoor)
• Selling Decisions (Indoor)
Both the indoor and outdoor sessions were interactive and delivered by a number of experienced referees, allowing the referees to gain a number of tips and advice to improve their refereeing skills. The sessions were delivered by Martin Beard, Reece Davies, Gareth Davis, Tom Hales, James King and Danny Middleton.
Cameron, a 14 year old referee, said: "It's been good. I've picked up some things and learned of some new things that I need to work on."
David Barlow, an experienced referee, said: "Rob dissected the Laws of the Game changes down into manageable chunks which was great.
"It's always good as a referee, whatever your level, to refresh yourself. You're never too old to learn, I'm 65 but it's nice to see so many young people here too."
After lunch DCFA Disciplinary Officer, Alan Winfield, spoke to the referees about the procedures involved in disciplinary hearings. He then showed a video of a mock hearing to give the referees an idea of how they work. Following the video Alan reminded referees of their responsibilities before answering a number of questions.
The referees were then given an inspirational talk from Level 2B Referee Danny Middleton. Danny spoke about his refereeing journey and how for the first four years of his career he refereeing Under 18 football with limited ambition. At 27 Danny decided he was going to take refereeing seriously and wanted to go through the levels as quickly as he could. He finished by asking the referees: "How bad do you want it?"
Referee Development Officer Ryan Haynes then invited, Martin Beard, Danny Middleton, Rob Shoebridge and Alan Winfield to take part in 'Question Time'. Referees were given the chance to ask one of the panel a question of their choice on any topics associated with refereeing.
The Chairman of the Derbyshire County FA, Dave Heron, closed the day by thanking everyone for attending and for all of their hard work.
Ryan Haynes said: "It was great to see a mixture of ages, gender and abilities all taking part and learning together. I would like to thank everyone for attending and to the delivery team who helped to make the day a success."
For photos of the event, click here.