The Department of Sport and Exercise Science has been enlisted for the 2016/17 season to support the association’s drive to provide an official referee for every affiliated match played under its jurisdiction.
Hampshire FA is encouraging the recruitment of referees at a grassroots level to meet demand for match officials as participation in the game increases, and to tackle a decline in the number of qualified and registered referees in Hampshire.
The University runs a well-established Referee Hub which gives students the chance to complete the FA Referees Course. From there they can further their development by refereeing in local leagues and at University’s fixtures.
The partnership with the University will help enhance learning for existing referees and those interested in becoming match officials.
It will also support the development of research into practice and student placements linked to the academic curriculum.
Hampshire FA will promote the University’s educational works, research, reports and more, educating and increasing awareness of how the game is developing for referees, from grassroots through to the elite level.
The partnership will also support an existing relationship with University’s Sport and Recreation department.
Dr Tom Webb, Senior Lecturer in Sports Management and Development, said: “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Hampshire FA. We have considerable expertise and experience in refereeing through the research that is conducted within the department, and we look forward to sharing and developing this research further as a part of this partnership.
“We are also excited about the possibilities for our students as a result of this partnership, and we look forward to the opportunities through placements and close working practices that this association will bring.”
Hampshire FA CEO Neil Cassar added: “Referees are paramount to the success of grassroots football and I am delighted to progress partnership opportunities with the University of Portsmouth, whose work in the county with the establishment of the Referees’ Hub has given thousands of students the opportunity to develop up the refereeing pathway.
“We also look forward to working more closely with the University to educate and enhance learning for all involved through promotion of their academic research and teachings.”