K League 1

K League opens Referee course for U-18 Youth players

6:25 PM WAT 16/12/2021
A special referee class was held for the K League youth players...

The K League has made an interesting attempt to help youth players better understand the rules of football and pay respect to referees. The "K League Youth Player Special Referee Class" was held at the Talent Education Training Institute in Cheonan, the Province of Chungnam, for five days from December 6.

Ten 18-year-old youth players from nine different K League teams participated in this special class. The lecture was conducted by a referee appointed by the Korea Football Association (KFA). The curriculum included the theories and practical skills, which are required to acquire the official license for KFA Grade 3 referee. Finally, all the participants received the final evaluation, and the curriculum was completed.

The theory included the law of the game and decision-making guidelines. In the practical skill lesson, one learnt the actions of the referee such as whistles, flags, and cues. Finally, a final evaluation of theory, practical skills, and physical fitness was conducted.

The first day started with a basic physical fitness test that is not difficult for youth athletes. That was followed with theoretical and practical lessons which were not very familiar to youth players. Participants who were a little awkward at first gradually got used to it and enjoyed taking lectures.

The participants commented that the class was very useful for understanding the rules and in terms of helping their professional career in the future. In addition, some of the participants showed the willingness to become a referee in the future. On the last day, all participants passed the final test and acquired the Grade 3 referee license. A Grade 3 referee license holder can become an official or assistant referee at the junior matches for middle and high school students.

In 2017, the K League conducted referee training for active K League players, wherein 22 K League players participated. Choi Jae-soo, who participated in the training at that time, has been a referee after retiring from Gyeongnam FC in 2019.

The K League explained that this course was planned for the ‘Future K Leaguers’ to deepen the understanding of the rules and get a multifaceted view of soccer by experiencing the work of an official referee. In addition, the participants will realise the difficulty from the referee's point of view. Not only for the knowledge and experience, but also to build more respect for the referees. The K League hopes that this program will be a new catalyst for youth career development.