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To register your interest for Season 1 2024, complete this form.

To find out more information, contact:

Lee Rossow

Referee Development & Programs Officer



Supporting the Development of Quality Officials

Program Structure

  1. To develop world-class touch football referee coaches who will operate at a grass roots / Affiliate level, and support the Region where possible

  2. Either transition referees from officiating to referee coaching, or further assist them in leading by example as referees on the field

  3. To create a culture of consistency in approach (PRO method), flexibility in delivery (appropriate coaching – oral and body language), continued coaching (consistent reinforcement into and across next game), game outcomes focus (areas impacted by referee performances and how to improve referees), educating a common language (use of correct terminology for all badge level referees), clear purpose and desire for positive influence/change (focus on the game and referees, not others nearby), developing stronger game awareness (situational awareness, game strategies/appropriate and alternative solutions).

Program Goals

  1. 2 x 2-hour Referee Coach Developer Series sessions (SQBD Office)​

  2. SQBD Director of Referees Support Sessions (at your Affiliate)

  3. SQBD Panel (Shadow) Experience (at an Event)

  4. Complete Referee Coach qualifications (Foundation: 20 April @ SQBD Office; Talent: 20 October @ SQBD Office)

  5. Debrief with SQBD Director of Referees (1:1)

  6. Commence Affiliate Referee Coach Develop Program (supported by SQBD Director of Referees)

  1. Hold, or be willing to become fully qualified over the next 12 months, a Foundation Referee Coach qualification (or higher)

  2. Commit to self-development and the overall improvement of the sport

  3. Commit to supporting referees at a local Affiliate (can be more than one)

  4. Attend both sessions in the Referee Coach Developer Series

    1. Season 1: Sunday 25 February 8am-10am and 11am-1pm (location Palm Beach Touch).

  5. Commit to at least one (1) SQBD Panel Experience opportunity during 2024: 24 March (SQ Small Affiliate Gala Day, Yarrabilba, 28 April (Gold Coast Cup, Southport), 19 May (Arthur Davis Cup, Redlands), 2 June (Struddy's Shield, Palm Beach), 7 August (SQ Primary All Schools, Southport), 8 August (SQ Secondary All Schools, Southport)

  6. Drive Referee & Referee Coach Development in your chosen Affiliate (this can be individually or as part of a team)

  7. Conduct regular Referee Coaching (on a minimum of 5 referees)

  8. Within 6 months of completing the program, commence your own Affiliate Referee Coach Developer Program (which can be supported by SQBD & QTF Staff)



  1. Statistics show that 80% of grass roots referees (levels 1 & 2) are leaving our game due to a lack of support structures in place.  This means that most Affiliates struggle each season to find enough referees.

  2. A very small amount of referee coaches receive opportunities to go through to higher levels (above Affiliate level).  Many referee coaches are left to their own devices to learn how to referee coach and hence don't last long (turnover is high).

  3. Coaches tend to coach the way they were coached, or do not have the technical skill, to be effective in identifying triggers for why there are issues or areas in need of further development, often highlighting incorrect issues and leading to these issues not being rectified by individuals.  This can build frustration in both parties.

  4. Research tells us that referee coaches, particularly at the community/Affiliate level, want personal support from an experienced referee coach.  This 'experiential' or on-the-job learning is important to both improving the quality of coaching and the motivation of coaches.

  5. The SQBD Referee Technical Panel, in conjunction with the ASC identify that referee coaching is critical to both recruitment and retention of quality participants.  Further, we understand that high quality referee coaching from grass roots to high performance is essential to the production of elite referees.  We also acknowledge that the referee coach has a vital role in the environment (or 'culture') of a club/affiliate/region/state/nation.

Underlying Philosophies



Referee Mentoring Systems must have an experienced referee on the same game as a junior referee with a positive mindset who is prepared to provide mentorship to the junior referee.  As part of this agreement, the mentor referee is required to not only demonstrate, but also provide guidance around, timing of interchanges (gradual release of authority and increasing expectation of leadership), positioning and proximity, transition and control, effective early communication, whistle tone, signals and penalty sequences.  All of this can be discussed during major breakdowns of play, stoppages, half-time and full-time.  Every opportunity, that does not negatively impact on the game, to provide strong mentorship should be taken.




Referee Coaching Systems must have quality operators and consistency in approach between referee coaches.  The most effective referee coaching systems adheres to the following guidelines:

  1. Head Referee Coach – is an Elite Referee Coach; facilitates the SQBD Referee Coach Developer Model under the guidance of the Director of Referees; facilitates Referee Coach briefing and debrief session every night of competition; requests, and provides opportunity for, ongoing feedback and identification of key trend / issues; feeds back to Referee Coordinator for presenting to all referees at the commencement of each round; coordinates dates for and delivers referee accreditation courses; coordinates dates for and facilitates or delivers regular training and education forums / sessions; is actively involved in the region (preferably on the SQBD Referee Management Team); is on or seeking State Panel inclusion; is committed to own education and development, as well as that of others; facilitates Referee Coach allocations to ensure opportunities for continual PD within the team and by inviting SQBD Director of Referees; has demonstrated leadership in the field of Referee Coaching (a bonus if also in Refereeing); is always looking to identify upcoming Referee Coaches and provide them with insight, support and training; ensures all resources required by Referee Coaches are accessible and in numbers; oversees Referee Profiles and ensures they are maintained (weekly input from Referee Coaches)

  2. Referee Coach Team – combination of Talent and Foundation Referee Coaches; committed to continual self-development and that of others; actively participate in weekly briefing and debrief sessions; ensures all resources are up-to-date and in plentiful numbers prior to Referee Coaching; updates relevant Referee Profiles weekly; is on or seeking Region Panel inclusion; provides support for accreditation course, training forum / session delivery


To create an effective referee coaching system, the following aspects must be included:

  • Engage with player coaches and development officers to assist us with ensuring we are across the latest in coaching styles, techniques and trends so that our referees are in touch with the game and the way it’s played in today’s environment.

  • An educational process that addresses a consistent approach to what we are seeing, how to coach it and moreover, why to coach that way.

  • Explanatory video sessions with engagement by all referee coaches with an understanding that while we have varying styles and an individual approach, we are all looking for and coaching the same thing within the game.

  • “Buy in” from Elite Referees through the same or similar process as above.

  • General dissemination to the whole referee group using the skillset of our Elite Referees combined with our Referee Coaches.

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