We introduced the yellow armbands a number of seasons back as a way to support young up-and-coming referees in Kent.
We are keen to support all referees in the game, but it is important to remember that those who are under the age of 18 are still children. The yellow armband will aim to remind everyone that the referee is still subject to the children’s safeguarding legislation, and should therefore be protected, encouraged, and treated with the utmost respect.
Nick Dunn, Kent FA Referee Development Lead, said: “The idea of the yellow armband is to help identify those referees who are under the age of 18 and ensure they are supported; the concept is to ensure that managers, coaches, parents, and spectators think twice about making abusive or insulting comments to the young referees. Essentially, the armbands are to remind adults that the referee is still a child, learning to be the best official they can be; ultimately a reminder that these abusive comments can be detrimental to the retention of match officials.
"We have to understand that referees will make mistakes just like the young players they are refereeing; remember, they are human and have to make a quick decision in a split second. This is all part of their development, and I would ask that all managers, coaches, parents, and spectators respect this. If anyone has an issue with a young referee, they should contact the County FA directly and not take issue with the referee directly.”
So, let's create safe and positive environments to support these young, developing referees so they stay committed and passionate about the game for many years.
Are you a young referee without a yellow armband?
Contact the team at Referees@KentFA.com, and we will get one over to you. Once you receive your armband, wear it with pride during the matches you officiate to symbolise your dedication to the game.