The Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy

Tournaments Abroad is delighted to announce the start of a new, innovative project for Referee Education that will take place at tournaments starting from next year: the International Referee Academy. Over the last few years one of the main goals of our network has been to help referees develop their skills to the next level, and we have been thrilled in knowing that many officials have achieved great things after attending our events. When last summer we started working on the Referee Academy project our idea was to find a way to strenghten our vocation to referee development, in a way that young officials could benefit from it even more. And this is the idea we came up with. How will the Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy work?

What is the Referee Academy

The Referee Academy will be a summer educational program for young up-and-coming referees that will take place during our international tournaments. The idea is that of a “summer school” to which referees from different countries and background can take part in order to improve their refereeing and social skills.

While referees in the academy will referee like any other officials participating to the selected tournaments, an additional range of activities will be organized for them: from classroom to training sessions, from more detailed de-briefs by coaches and assessors to a daily evaluation of their performance.

It doesn’t aim at replacing any development activity organized by the national or local FAs, rather to build on the work they do every year for their officials. In short, it will be yet another opportunity for promising referees to strive and shine on the international refereeing stage.

Who can Participate

Every year Tournaments Abroad will select 25 referees for its academy. These officials will be evaluated through a detailed selection process consisting of more phases and levels.

Any referee between the ages of 17 (born in 2000) and 23 (born in 1994) will be able to apply. A few places may be offered for people born in 2001 or 1993, provided that their applications are considered to be “exceptional”.

The selection process will start with an application by the referee on our website (we expect to open applications around the end of November) and will continue throughout December with a range of different tests for all applicants. In January we will then hold the final one-to-one interview to select the final 25.

Where and When will it take place?

As mentioned above, the Referee Academy will be a summer project. Referees who apply for the academy will have to be available to attend two different tournaments with Tournaments Abroad in the same summer.

In the first tournament, the more intensive one, which will take place in July, referees will receive coaching throughout the event. At the end of the week they will then receive a “temporary scorecard” with development points on which to work on during the second tournament, which will instead take place in August.

At the end of the second tournament, a final referee scorecard will be published and released, as well as sent to each referee’s own national FA.

The names and dates of the selected tournaments will be announced just before the application process opens.

The Main Features

Referee in the academy will referee matches during the selected tournaments but will also take place to a number of other activities organized by their coaches and the special Tournament Abroad guests.

These people will work in close contact with the selected referees throughout the week, offering them advice and suggestions on how to improve their refereeing, their style, personality and so on.

In every tournament, referees will be able to count on the support of a minimum of three different coaches, all involved in refereeing at national or international level. Guests will instead be famous  referees and instructors who will be specially invited to the tournament in order to provide their feedback to all academy referees.

In short, an opportunity for young referees from all over Europe (and beyond) to work with the best of the best.

The names of all coaches and guests will be released starting in early December. To have an idea of the calibre of people we are talking about, just take a look to the guests who have taken place to our tournaments in previous years in the page below.

Can I apply for the academy if I have already applied for another tournament?

Yes, you can.

Should you then be selected and  academy activities clash with any of the other tournaments you have applied for, you’ll be asked to choose which one you prefer. If they don’t clash, you can choose whether to attend both or just one.

When will I hear back if my application is successful?

The final selection will be announced in January. Of all applicants though, just some of them will be pre-selected to take part to the tests that will lead to the selection. If you don’t hear back from us by mid-December you should regard your application as unsuccessful.

How much will the academy cost to me?

Referees will be asked to fund their own travel costs to the two tournaments. Nothing else as accommodation and activities will be offered free of charge.

What if I need to pull out?

During the application process you’ll be able to pull out at anytime, should you intend to do so. However, if you are ultimately selected to be part of the academy and then pull out, you’ll incur in penalties that may consist in the exclusion from future tournaments for quite some time.

The members of Staff of the TA Referee Academy

OUR GUESTS (opens in a new tab)

Check the guests who have attended our tournaments and activities in the past. Who knows, some of them may be coming back to be your Academy coaches !


The 3 best referees from the Academy will be rewarded with a place on the following year’s elite tournaments in the Netherlands and Czech Republic.