Are you looking for an opportunity to referee games, receive coaching and benefit from innovative and educational input in a professional but friendly and sociable environment at international tournaments? Are you highly ambitious and dedicated, ready to climb the referee ladder as a referee or specialised assistant referee? Are you convinced that the feedback of international Referee Coaches and Observers active in various National Associations and UEFA can help you achieve this?

Above all, you are keenly looking for ways to develop your soft skills, experience a high level of team cohesion and expand your personal horizon?

Then, the Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy is the right project for you!

‘Explore Your Refereeing World’ – this is the slogan, mission and deep conviction of Tournaments Abroad. It has always been our genuine aspiration to bring young and talented football referees together at international tournaments, making them take a first breath of what it means to referee the beautiful game in an intercultural environment, while building new lifetime friendships across the world.

In 2016, we have decided to add a second, integral perspective to this mission: ‘Making Referees More Complete’. Our goal has been to offer high potential referees a professional and safe environment in which they can learn and unfold their potential by receiving intensified coaching by coaches and observers active in UEFA or National Associations and their development feedback and educational advices before, during and after the tournament they attend. The educational advices our referees receive are always kept to the state of the art, i. e. what associations like FIFA or UEFA expects from their officials in today’s complex football. We aim at building on the good work done by the referees’ local associations, coaches and mentors and try to add a new, modern and international perspective for the benefit of the referees.

This is the goal behind the Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy!

Having been implemented in late 2016, the Academy’s first edition was successfully held at the Paris World Games and Norway Cup in July 2017. Following a revision of the organisational and structural concept, the 2nd edition of the Academy became an even bigger success at the Paris World Games and Donosti Cup in 2018.

2019 will mark the 3rd year of the TA Referee Academy. As we strive for continuous improvement in our program and processes, a new structure has been set up to ensure maximum benefit for our referees.

Information on the different Academy Levels, Academy Tournaments, the various aspects of the Academy as well as on the Application Phase and Selection Process can be found below.

Interested in how a week at an Academy tournament might look like? Check our 2018 schedule!

The TA Referee Academy 2019/20 Coaches will be announced in spring 2019.

For now, please have a look at last year’s Academy Coaches for the main group:

Niclas Erdmann
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Psychologist & Referee
Patrick Neuwirth
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Referee Coach & Mental Trainer (Austrian FA)
Sten Klaasen
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FIFA Assistant Referee
Adrian D. Casha
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UEFA Referee Observer (2011-17)
David Coote
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Premier League Referee
Andy Himsworth
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Referee Coach (Northriding FA)
Zdravko Jokić
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UEFA Referee Observer (1997-2017)
Leif Lindberg
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UEFA Assistant Referee Coach
Damian Picz
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Refereeing Development Manager (Polish FA)
Philipp Seemann
Technical Assistant
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IT Consultant & Former Referee

All referees applying for the TA Referee Academy 2019/20 will go through a multimethodical selection process described in the sections below. Those referees who will successfully make it into the Academy will – based on the quality of their application – be allocated to two different Academy Levels:

Core Level

Referees and Assistant Referees with a remarkable skillset and extra-ordinarily high potential will be allocated to the Core Level. This is the highest Academy Level possible and will feature intense development- and learning-oriented activities before, during and after the main tournament.

The participation in the Core Level will include video-based online sessions on various before the tournament and a high amount of educational sessions touching on more sophisticated topics (e. g. “Personality”, “Player-Management”, “Psychological Effects in Refereeing” or “Assistant Refereeing Skills”) during the tournament. Each game will be observed and debriefed by an Academy Coach. Feedback reports for the respective National Association are aspired as well. Moreover, those referees selected for the Core Level will be given the opportunity of a Personal Mentor for the period of 12 months following the main tournament. Follow-up tournaments for the best Core Level referees are possible (e.g. All Stars Cup Prague, Marveld Tournament, etc.).

A maximum of 20 Referees or Assistant Referees will be chosen for the Core Level.

The Core Level’s main tournament will be the Donosti Cup in San Sebastián, Spain, from 7 to 13 July 2019.

Development Level

Referees and Assistant Referees with a considerable skillset and considerable potential will be offered the opportunity to participate in the Development Level. While the Development Level features less coaching and mentoring elements than the Core Level, it may – in case of leaving a very good impression – be considered as the springboard to reach the Core Level in the following year.

The participation in the Development Level will aim at offering these referees a safe learning environment. At this level, the educational focus is clearly put on basic topics such as “Assessing Offences”, “Positioning & Movement” or “Offside”. Therefore, this level specially suits for referees with less experience who benefit from a safe learning environment in which they get advices on and coached in fundamental aspects of refereeing.

A maximum of 20 Referees and Assistant Referees will be chosen for the Development Level. This number is subject to change depending on the selection of the tournament.

The Development Level’s main tournament is not decided yet, but will be held in the period of July or August 2019.

As Tournaments Abroad’s activities are fully based on volunteering, non-profit work, we need to charge an Academy Fee to ensure we are able to compensate our expenses and can thus guarantee a professional coaching and learning environment.

The Academy Fees differ in their height depending on the Level you qualify for:

Core Level: €150

What is included and what you get for this:

+ The Tournament Fee obligatory to every referee joining the event is already included (€40)
+ Free accommodation at the tournament (breakfast, lunch, dinner; hotel occupancy)
+ Access to rental cars for the transport to the games
+ 2 Shirts with TA Academy Logo (1 polo-shirt for sessions, 1 T-Shirt for training)
+ Intense coaching and assessments at the tournament (detailed post-match-analyses)
+ Educational activities & practical sessions at the tournament
+ Online-based educational activities before the tournament
+ Participation in a mentoring programme for the period of 1 year after the tournament
+ Certificate of participation & memento
+ Feedback report to be submitted to the local referee department
+ and all other benefits outlined in the section “Contents”

Development Level: €120

What is included and what you get for this:

+ The Tournament Fee obligatory to every referee joining the event is already included (approx. €55)
+ Free accommodation at the tournament (breakfast, lunch, dinner; hostel or school occupancy depending on the tournament)
+ Depending on the tournament: Free access to public transport
+ 1 Shirt with TA Academy Logo (1 T-Shirt for Training)
+ Coaching and assessments at the tournament (basic post-match-analyses)
+ Educational activities & practical sessions at the tournament
+ Access to selected online-based educational activities before the tournament
+ Certificate of participation
+ and all other benefits outlined in the section “Contents”

The Academy fees will need to be paid before attending the tournament and is compulsory for every Academy Referee.

Our tip: Why not asking your local referee association or football club you are registered in for a grant? Most associations are happy to support and invest something into their referees.

The Main Requirements you need to fulfill are:

a) You were born between 1995 and 2001.
b) You are an active and registered referee or assistant referee at a local football association for minimum for.
c) You are passionate about refereeing or assistant refereeing and like to develop and learn!

The Selection Process will be split into different phases:

First Application Phase (until 31 December 2018): Submission of a document by your local association proving you are an active, registered football referee or assistant referee, submission of a motivational statement and submission of a video showing you in your role as a referee or assistant referee. How to apply for that: After registering your interest in joining the Academy (see the following section called “Apply Now!”), you will receive an e-mail with further information on this!

Depending on passing the First Application Phase, you will be invited into the Second Application Phase.

Second Application Phase (January 2019): Passing a written Laws of the Game Test and a Video Conformity Test.

Selection Decisions will then be taken in the middle of January.

The application window for the 2019 edition of the TA Referee Academy is closed. Applying was possible between 1st November and 31st December 2018.

We are currently revising all applications received. Thanks for your patience.


Experiences & Impressions

 The TA Referee Academy provided an amazing opportunity to experience something completely new to me: A very professional approach, great personalities of world refereeing in combination with challenging games helped me to improve my skills and to make myself “a more complete referee” as mentioned in the slogan. If you would like to get international experience, learn new things and make new friends all over the world, joining the TA Referee Academy is a must.

Milan Vyhnanovský (Czechia)

Academy Referee (2018/19)

A unique opportunity to meet and get exceptional and instructive advice from professional observers and coaches, not to mention the possibility to get dozens of new lifetime friends from all over the world!

Viktor Paulinen (Finland)

Academy Referee (2017)

An exciting opportunity to assist in the nurturing of young match officials by helping them identify their strengths and development areas, and giving them advice to fulfill their potential.

Adrian Casha (Malta)

Academy Referee Coach (since 2017)

The Academy raised my refereeing skills to a next level and I got new friends all over the world – an unbelievable experience!

Felix Hoffmann (Germany)

Academy Referee (2017-19)

My coaching experience at the TA Referee Academy was a very positive one. The learning was constant in the debriefs – joined by FIFA and UEFA Referee Observers and staff working on the mental and physical sides of the game to help the Officials progress even after the tournament.

Andy Himsworth (England)

Academy Referee Coach (since 2017)

Impressions from the Academy's 1st Edition in 2017

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