I have paid my £20.00 to register with Hampshire FA, should I join the RA too?

Yes! The affiliation fee you pay to Hampshire FA is your registration that allows you to referee matches. The Referees Association is a separate body working to develop and support referees. Many of the unique benefits that we offer are detailed below.

Should I join the RA?

There are many benefits of joining the RA that go well beyond what is listed here. Firstly and most importantly is the insurance that covers your matches, including kit and travel to and from the ground. Members will have access to the benevolent fund if they fall upon hard times. There is the opportunity to purchase RA kit at discounted prices and this is available at our meetings and can be ordered in advance to collect at the meeting. We have quality guest speakers throughout the season and meetings geared to offer lots of in-service training so we can all improve as referees and make our way up the refereeing ladder. There is Ken's corner, prior to the main meeting for new and younger referees to share experiences and learn from these. We hold a number of Social events throughout the year including Bowling, Skittles, Night at the Races, Golf Days, 5 & 6-a-side football. There is the opportunity to apply for FA Cup Final tickets and attend the RA Conference which is attended by most Select Group Referees. As a member of the RA you will be able to participate in the RA-FA Incentive Scheme membership where referee related items can be obtained in exchange for points gained from refereeing activities. We are currently offering fitness training too. If you encounter any problems in your refereeing then our Society will always be on hand to help and support you. All this and more for what is a little more than one match fee.

Where does my money go?

Your membership money is split four ways: 1) The National Referees Association fee is £12.00 per adult and £6.00 for U18's. This is the money they use to run the association, run the website, send out newsletters, represent us at the FA and cover all other costs. 2) Insurance is £4.00 per member (this does not apply to over 75's). This is also paid to The National RA. 3) The Hampshire Referees Association fee is £1.00 per adult & .50p per U18. This goes towards the running costs of the county association. 4) Southampton RA gets £8.00 per adult & £7.50 per U18. This covers the running costs of the society - meeting venue, stationary, speaker expenses, I.T. equipment, trophies etc.

Can I bring along a parent or relative with me to meetings?

Of course you can ! Parents or accompanying adults are most welcome to attend our meetings. They are also very welcome to join the Society as an Affiliated or Social Member for £6.00 for the season if they wish to come along every month.

When are the meetings held and where?

The meetings are normally held on the fourth (subject to change) Thursday of the month from August to April inclusive. Please check our website for dates. The venue is 'The Dell Cafe Bar' at St Mary's Stadium, Britannia Road, Southampton, SO14 5FP. For newly qualified and young members there is a pre-meeting get together at 7.00pm to help with problems and any issues you may have, prior to the main meeting starting at 7.30pm.

How will it benefit me attending meetings?

You will benefit in many ways by attending meetings. We aim to bring in an element of in-service training at every meeting to aid your development as a referee. There are quality guest speakers throughout the year to entertain us and provide insight into different areas, from FIFA referee, Football League manager or other sports related speakers. We have a match incident and open forum so you can share your problems and experiences and we can all learn from each other. You can also hear the latest news affecting the local leagues on which you officiate. Of course there is also a great element of fun, with a break to chat to and make friends with other referees plus the monthly raffle. If there is anything you would like to see improved about the meetings, then talk to a committee member and we can see what we can do.

What if I don't know anyone there?

We are a very friendly and social group covering all levels of the refereeing ladder. We will go out of our way to make you feel welcome and will encourage everyone to be involved as much or as little as they wish. If you approach or ask for a committee member they will take the time to make sure you are well looked after.

Where can I find out more information about the Society?

Our website www.southamptonra.com is constantly updated and contains useful news and information. We also have a Facebook page at facebook.com/southamptonra, there is also an iOS and Android application that you can download that gets update by the minute!

What is the Referees' Association?

1) National organisation of local societies, 2) Run by referees, for the benefit of referees, 3) Over 10,000 members across the country, 4) President - David Elleray.