Match Day Procedures

The MWFRA expects high standards of its referees and demands adherence to a number of important match day policies and procedures.

Referee Uniform

Referees must wear a MWFRA approved uniform when officiating MWFA matches. The approved uniform is a black or yellow Kanga Sport or Team Rhino shirt, black shorts and socks, and boots that are mainly black. The adidas uniform is approved for men’s and women’s premier league, men’s amateur league one, and the MWFA FA Cup only.

It is acceptable (though not preferred) for referees officiating on the same match to wear shirts of a different colour but only if the assistant referees wear shirts of the same colour. Referees are permitted to wear additional items but only compression shirts, shorts and socks that are black, MWFRA-sold hats and/or black sports jackets.

Pre-Match Procedures

Referees should arrive at the ground at least 30 minutes before the match to which they have been appointed to referee. Shortly after arriving, referees should inspect the field and ensure that it is set up correctly and introduce themselves to the managers and/or coaches of the competing teams.

Ten minutes before the scheduled kick-off time, referees should blow their whistle and assemble the teams inside the centre circle on opposite sides of the halfway line. Proceed with equipment and jewellery checks as the managers verify the identity of their respective teams with the use of MWFA photo ID cards and the MWFA match card. Once both team managers sign the MWFA match card for identity, referees should take possession of it and either keep it on their person or place it in their bag.

Finally, referees should ask both teams to supply a match ball. FNSW ball licensing rights have been awarded to eight companies so the ball must be made by adidas, Calibre, Derbystar, Errea, hummel, Lotto, Nike or Patrick.

Minimum Number of Players

Referees must allow a team with fewer than the minimum required number of seven players to begin a match a period of five minutes from the scheduled kick-off time to field the seven players required to begin a match. If the team cannot field seven players at the end of this period of five minutes, referees must abandon the match.

Teams which begin a match with fewer than the maximum allowable number of players (sixteen or eighteen) may supplement their team with players up to the maximum allowable number after the match has commenced provided those supplemental players were listed on the match card prior to kick-off and the team manager of the opposing team checks the identity of these players.

If a team becomes unable to field seven players during the course of a match, referees must abandon the match.

Delays to the Start of the Match

If a match begins after the scheduled kick-off time, referees must equally shorten the halves of the match to ensure that the match finishes no later than five minutes before the scheduled kick-off time of the following match (if there is a scheduled match on the same field following the delayed match.)

Jewellery

Players are not allowed to wear any kind of jewellery, regardless of material. This includes body piercings. The taping of jewellery does not mean that a player is no longer wearing that taped jewellery. Plaster or fibreglass casts are not permitted in any circumstance.

The only exception is where a player is required, for health and safety reasons, to wear a medical alert bracelet and/or necklace. These items are permitted to be worn provided that they are taped securely to prevent injury to the wearer and to other players.

Sports Glasses

Players are permitted to wear sports glasses provided that their sports glasses pose no danger to the player wearing them and to other players.

The MWFRA Floor Member checks and approves all sports glasses for players registered with the MWFA. Players who have had their sports glasses approved as safe will have MWFA identity cards which feature a photo of them wearing those sports goggles.

The final decision on whether a player is allowed to play with sports glasses remains with the match referee.

Hot Weather

Referees must suspend senior matches when the temperature reaches 37°C and junior matches (U16 and below) when the temperature reaches 32°c. Depending on the specific conditions at the time, such as humidity levels, suspension at lower temperatures may be necessary.

FNSW Hot Weather Policy (Effective February 19, 2016)

Thunderstorms and Lightning

Referees should use the ‘30-30’ rule to determine the danger of thunderstorms by noting the period of time between instances of lightning and thunder. If this period of time is less than 30 seconds, this means that the thunderstorm is within 10 kilometres. In these cases, referees must suspend play until the danger passes.

FNSW Lightning Policy (Effective February 22, 2016)

Wet Weather

In cases of wet weather, whether the ground is wet from rain from previous days or from rain prior to or during the match, the following procedures apply.

Senior referees have the sole power to decide whether the playing field and weather conditions are suitable and safe for play and thus whether the match will be played or abandoned. However, it is advisable that this be decision be made in consultation with the team managers of the competing teams.

Junior referees must consult with the team managers of the competing teams and the decision to abandon the match must have unanimous agreement.

Match Abandonment

If a match is abandoned because of insufficient players, extreme weather, excessive delays (e.g. cases of serious injury where the player cannot be moved from the field of play), broken goal posts or crossbars that cannot be fixed or for any other reason, referees must briefly note the reasons for abandonment on the match card and additionally submit an incident report to the MWFA.

Post-Match Procedures

Referees are responsible for completing all necessary paperwork associated with a match. This includes noting the final score in words, fair play points, team uniform adequacy, brand of match balls supplied, and any other applicable field that may appear on the match card. Referees are reminded to note their name and their MWFRA PIN on the match card, otherwise match fee payment will not be made.

Team managers of the competing teams must sign it for result or otherwise indicate STA. The team manager of the team listed as the home team is responsible for submitting the match card to the MWFA.

Caution Reporting

Cautions are able to be reported on the MWFA match card without the submission of a further electronic report form.

If using a double-sided card, referees should indicate the offence code of cautioned players and note the total number of cautioned players from each team.

If using a triplicate pad, referees should note the name, identity number and offence code of cautioned players, as well as strike through any unused spaces and note the total number of cautioned players from each team.

Send Off and Citation Reporting

Red cards and citations must be reported using an electronic send off or citation report form, even though such sanctions can be noted on MWFA match cards.

Referees are reminded to note down the details of sent off players or cited individuals so that they will be able to submit an electronic send off or citation report.

These electronic report forms are accessible on the MWFRA website.

Emergency Contact

In cases of emergency, referees should contact their respective MWFRA Vice President. If either cannot be contacted immediately, referees should contact other members of the MWFRA committee.