Northern Suburbs Football Referees Association FAQs

Northern Suburbs Football Referees Association FAQs

30 August 2023

You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers!

What is the NSFRA?

The NSFRA is the Northern Suburbs Football Referees Association. The Northern Suburbs Football Association (NSFA) announced on 10 August 2023 that they would be using the NSFRA exclusively to appoint match officials for NSFA competitions starting with 2023 Summer Football. 

Why has the NSFRA been established?

A key pillar of the NSFA strategy is the matchday experience of NSFA members. The NSFA Board has been reviewing key ways in which it can improve the matchday experience both for players and for referees. This has included a thorough review of how our referees are trained, coached, prepared and appointed to referee matches. This has resulted in the NSFA Board resolving to bring referees in-house. The growth of player numbers and the demands that places on the management of referee appointments have contributed to this decision. The NSFA Board envisages that the NSFRA will have access to more resources and provide increased opportunities to referees, including the provisioning of more courses, coaching, mentoring and training. 

Who can join the NSFRA?

Any referee can join NSFRA, including referees currently registered with Ku-ring-gai District Football Referees Association (KDFRA), former referees and new referees. Registrations are open now, ready for summer football, which commences the week of 18-22 September 2023. 2024 winter season registrations will open in early 2024. 

Will the NSFA be requesting the KDFRA to provide referees in future?

No. The NSFA would like to thank the KDFRA for providing match officials for so many years, particularly volunteers on the KDFRA Management Committee. The NSFA has asked the KDFRA to continue to provide referees for NSFA fixtures for the remainder of the 2023 winter season. 

Have any other Associations similarly in-housed Referees?

Yes – 12 Associations and Branches of Football NSW have in-housed referees over the past 20 years. The growth of football throughout the state has largely necessitated this change as Associations typically have access to full-time staff and greater resources relative to bespoke Referee Associations which are typically run by volunteers. 

Have the KDFRA been consulted by the NSFA?

Yes. For many years, NSFA Club Presidents and members have provided feedback on referees including suggestions of how the KDFRA can improve the supply and standard of referees. The NSFA Office + Board have passed this feedback on to the KDFRA Management Committee. This consultation has resulted in some improvements – including the NSFA request to pay referees fortnightly – however the lack of progress on important issues, including referee coverage and support for referees, has contributed to the need for the in-housing of referees within the NSFA. 

Will the NSFRA be a separate entity similar to the KDFRA?

No. The NSFRA will be an NSFA internal body. The NSFRA will have a separate Charter but not its own Constitution. The NSFRA will have its own Management Committee which will oversee the key coaching and technical roles. The NSFRA is calling for expressions of interest from anyone wanting to be considered for a coaching or technical position; please email

Do the NSFA Member Clubs support the decision to in-house referees within the NSFA?

This decision has been considered by our member clubs for several years and has the support of all NSFA Club Presidents and their Committees. 

Why have the NSFA not consulted directly with KDFRA Referees on the in-housing of Referees?

The NSFA are unable to directly communicate with referees as they are not NSFA members. The KDFRA is a separate entity with its own Constitution and Management Committee. The extent to which the KDFRA President and Management Committee have informed their referee members over the years on their communications to and from the NSFA is a matter for the KDFRA. The NSFA welcomes questions from all KDFRA referees. 

Will the qualifications of Referees who are KDFRA members be carried over to the NSFRA?

Yes – qualifications are with Football NSW and will be maintained for referees joining the NSFRA. 

Can I register as a referee if I am currently a KDFRA member?

Yes – unlike players, referees can be registered for multiple associations. 

When do I need to register for the NSFRA if I would like to referee NSFA competition matches?

Register now to referee NSFRA Summer Football matches for the 2023 season commencing the week 18-22 September, you can register at this link:

If you do not intend to register for Summer Football, registrations for the 2024 season open in January – you can register your interest here: 

How much does it cost to register as a referee with the NSFRA?

To register for 2023 Summer Football, the cost is $100 of which $50 will be reimbursed after 20 summer football matches have been officiated. This registration will be effective through to the end of 2023 and will include a new uniform of 3x shirts as well as shorts and socks. 
Similar to players, registration fees for referees are applied on an annual basis. In January 2024, registrations will open for referees who would like to register for the NSFRA for 2024. Registration fees for the 2024 season will be announced closer to the date of registrations opening

How will the NSFRA engage with its registered referees and potential new referees?

Information on the NSFRA has been set up on the NSFA website including registration information:

Follow NSFRA on Facebook and Instagram.

Expressions of interest to become a fully qualified referee for the 2024 Winter season and enable you to be updated on NSFRA news: 

Will the NSFRA be organising Referee Courses?

Yes. The first courses for new and existing referees will be announced shortly and included on the NSFRA website and will be held in coming months before the end of 2023. The NSFRA intend to run referee courses all year round including pre-season and early season of 2024. Please complete this link to register interest for these courses:

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