UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Germany: the year of the referee

About UEFA Members

The German Football Association (DFB) has launched the 'Pro mentors' campaign to help newly qualified referees find their feet in the game.

Getty Images for DFB

The DFB and its 21 regional associations have launched a new referee mentor campaign this season, 'Pro mentors', to help newly qualified officials adjust to the demands of the game.

All referees officiating in the men's Bundesliga, 2. Bundesliga and 3. Liga, the Women's Bundesliga and the 2. Women's Bundesliga will be deployed at least once to mentor newcomers refereeing in the amateur game.

Top official Katrin Rafalski kicked off the campaign at the end of September as a mentor in a youth game, with other top-league referees to follow suit before the end of the season.

A pilot mentoring programme was trialled in the 2017/18 season and since then, mentors have been deployed in all state associations. They are expected to help reduce the sometimes large number of new younger referees quitting the game, and encourage them to stick with it instead.

The mentors support the newcomers in at least three of their first games. They assist with administrative procedures such as checking the pitch and players' licences, or the match report, and make suggestions on where the new referees can improve. The mentors are also available to discuss issues between games.

Ronny Zimmerman, the DFB vice-president in charge of refereeing:

'All too often, young refs hand in their whistle soon after they've finished training. The main reason given is the shock of what actual refereeing is like, so the DFB mentor programme is intended to solve this issue. The 'Pro mentor campaign will raise awareness of the support we provide for inexperienced refs. I'd like to thank all the top-level refs for everything they do to support grassroots referees.'

This article was first issued in UEFA Direct #203.

Be a referee!

At a European level, UEFA's "Be a Referee!" campaign wants to inspire young people to become a match official. The campaign is part of a wider UEFA programme to support member national associations in their activities to recruit new referees.

Find out more

Selected for you