Next time you’re watching a Football League match be sure to look out for Moulton College student, Ryan Adams, who may be part of the officiating team, having recently completed his Level 3 Refereeing qualification. This allows Ryan to referee in the Football League and run the line in the Premier League; although it might take some time to work his way up the system. Ryan said, “It works like a league table, if you want to progress up the levels your performance gets assessed and you move up and down against other referees depending on how you do. Being quite young, and only recently passing my Level 3 means that I’ve still go some way to go to get near the top of the table.”
When asked why he got into refereeing, Ryan was brutally honest, “I used to be one of those players who would always have a go at the referee when I was competing. So my parents suggested I take my first officiating qualification to see what they go through and I’ve never looked back since.” Ryan’s biggest game so far has been a Football Conference match between Forest Green and Halifax, although perhaps his most memorable game was under slightly different circumstances. “I was reffing a game between two Sunday league sides, the score was 22-0. Then the defender of the losing side cleared the ball, it hit me on the back and went in. It was the first goal they’d scored all season so they went pretty wild. Sadly for them the match ended 47-1.”
Ryan, who is currently completing a Level 3 Diploma in Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness, has also used his expertise within college life. Ryan often volunteers to take charge of the whistle during lessons and has also been asked to referee for the college football team. In addition, Ryan is also a qualified hockey umpire and has officiated both college matches and local league fixtures.
This summer Ryan will be completing his assessor’s qualification which will give him additional insight into how he is looked at during matches. “In order to progress and be awarded bigger matches the assessors look at a range of games I’ve refereed and grade me. The problem is, referees often don’t know exactly what they’re being graded on. The higher up you go, the bigger the consequence if you make an incorrect decision. So, this qualification will really help me with that.” With most assessors being retired referees it is a fantastic opportunity for Ryan, who is only 18, to gain further experience in the field.
There are currently nine refereeing levels within the English league and with only two more for Ryan to achieve he could one day realise his dream, “It sounds obvious but I’d love to referee regularly in the Premier League and do a World Cup final like Howard Webb.”