For the last 7 years Leichhardt Saints has run a very successful Junior Referee Program. Learning to referee and leading junior games is a great skill. It also offers the kids a real opportunity to build confidence and take on responsibility. It is amazing how many skills a Game Leader needs that are incredibly useful life skills such as being decisive and learning how to make mistakes and move on.

Starting out as Game Leader for our Small Sided Football (SSF) games (Under 8-11 games) at King George Park and SSC Leichhardt is a great way to start developing these skills in a supported environment.

Note: The official for a SSF game is called the Game Leader. They don’t have a referee for their games


What does being a Game Leader involve?

Game Leaders (GLs) will act as referees for the U8, U9, U10 and U11 games played on Saturday mornings at King George Park and Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt. There are also U8-U11 Girls games on Sunday mornings that we can also cover.

  • Previously the U8 and U9 games had parent game leaders; and U10 and U11 games were covered by younger referees from the CRA (Canterbury Referees Association). These will now all be supported across the CDSFA through the Game Leaders program
  • Game Leaders will wear special bibs that say ‘Game Leader’. These pink vests are supplied by the CDSFA, and are issued when a Game Leader completes their training
  • During their training period, GLs will be supported by a trained mentor at the ground. After this, the GLs will be supported by the Ground Officer and team Duty Officer. This is not direct supervision, and parents of younger GLs may wish to accompany their child to games
  • Patience, self-reliance & initiative also come in handy

Being a Game Leader is a dual role. Not only do the GLs need to know the rules & keep the game going, they are also helping the MiniRoos who are still learning how to play. The GLs will also be expected to show players the correct way to do things when they are unsure.

How often GLs will be scheduled to ref a game will depend on how many sign up for the program. There are around 3-8 games each week at both KGP and SSCL. Depending on interest the GLs may or may not be allocated a game every weekend.

Training, Mentoring and Parents

  • A parent or carer must accompany their child/GL at all times during the initial training period, and is responsible for determining if they need to provide ongoing direct supervision. Parents can organise to cover a group of GLs, but this is not a club/organiser responsibility.
  • GLs will be supplied with written information outlining rules for MiniRoos and how to be a Game Leader.
  • Initial orientation and ongoing training will be provided by a trained Game Leader mentor. In the training period, GLs can watch MiniRoos games and discuss decisions and approach
  • Mentors will support the Game Leaders for the first few weeks until they are confident and competent. The Club provides an overall Ground Officer at King George Park and SSC Leichhardt and team officials will also be asked to support our young Game Leaders.
  • A program volunteer is required to coordinate activities for each year. This is usually the parent of a participant.


To be eligible, players must be at least 11 years old, registered with LSFC and be accompanied by a parent/carer.

Parents and other volunteers are also welcome to participate in the program to become accredited. Other juniors (i.e. not registered players at Saints) may be able to participate as the CDSFA program progresses.

Game Leaders must attend in suitable attire. This can be Saints shorts, socks and a black t-shirt, with football boots. A Game Leader must have watch to time the game (ideally with a timer/stopwatch). Use of their phone during the game is prohibited. Shorts or shirt with a pocket is useful to hold a notebook and pen (for recording scores).

The important stuff – a free snag & a drink from the canteen

In recognition of the important role Game Leaders will play, they will receive a free sausage on a roll and a drink from the canteen. Once they have been signed off as an approved Game Leader they will receive the agreed GL fee per game. Adult and other volunteers are also eligible to receive this fee if they have been approved by the program and are wearing the pink GL vest. The fee is likely to be $10-$15 per game, depending on the age group.

If you wish to nominate your child or other participant please email me –