Proctor Park Challenge hits new heights for female referees

a young girl playing football on a field

The development of female match officials within Football NSW achieved a new milestone over the weekend, covering all 227 competition matches from the Proctor Park Challenge with all-female referee teams for the first time.

“Having Proctor Park Challenge refereed entirely by females is something that we have been working towards for a few years now,” commented Emma Kocbek, Football NSW Referees Development & Education manager.

“I’m so proud of all the referees and referee coaches involved over the weekend in making it happen.”

Over 80 referees and referee coaches took part in this incredible feat, ensuring that each game across the Under 12 to Under 16 age groups was assigned a referee, assistant referees and referee coach.

Referees from the weekend included community referees, Legacy scholarship referees and members of the Football NSW Referee Development Panel and Referee Academy.

For the 28 new referees from the NSW Football Legacy Program, the tournament provided them the opportunity to referee the first matches of their careers under the watchful eye of experienced mentors.

“For our Legacy Referees, their first matches define whether they continue refereeing or walk away from the game,” said Kocbek.

“The weekend was a huge success in giving our girls a safe environment to learn how to referee and build their confidence; I’m excited to see where they take their refereeing from here.”

Referee coaches for the weekend included members of FIFA, A-League Women’s and NPL New South Wales Women’s panels, as well as seven new Legacy Referee Coaches; existing referees who had undertaken their Referee Assessor qualification as part of a Legacy Scholarship.

“We put a senior referee coach on every match so the young females have support and guidance for the entire weekend,” explained Kocbek.

“The impact this has on their skills and confidence is huge and sets them up for the season.”

Football NSW would like to thank Bathurst District Football Inc for their ongoing support of the referees attending Proctor Park Challenge.

a group of football players posing for a photo

Photos thanks to Hugh Fenton-White.