The Referee Abroad Academy
The Referee Abroad Academy (RAA) is heading for its fifth edition in 2023 and is remaining committed to its aim of preparing the next generation of refereeing excellence by identifying and developing young high-potential referees and assistant referees from across Europe.
The RAA programme marks the focus point of Referee Abroad’s development efforts and started in 2017. After two seasons subsequently held at the Paris World Games 2017 and 2018, the RAA has been successfully moved to the Donosti Cup held in San Sebastián, Spain, in the second week of July.
Each year, 16 match officials – twelve referees and four specialised assistant referees – are selected to join the RAA. Usually aged between 18 and 25 years, they are mostly officiating in advanced (youth) leagues in their respective national association and join the RAA to receive valuable impulses by international referee coaches.
“Our mission is to support and qualify aspiring referees and assistant referees in managing the crucial steps to their national associations’ top leagues by providing them with valuable advice in a unique learning environment. Moreover, we are committed to preparing these high potentials for the chances, challenges and spirit of international refereeing by carefully trickling down modern refereeing standards and requirements while respecting the referees’ individual learning background.”, RAA Director Niclas Erdmann says.
“Our vision is to add an essential part to the next generation of European top refereeing. If our referees and assistant referees advance to higher national leagues or even programmes like UEFA CORE in future – and maybe even thanks to the advice and learnings they have taken from the RAA – then our vision is met.”, he adds.
For this, the RAA combines a unique physical learning environment at the tournament including post-match-analyses and technical sessions with remote development opportunities such as video-based learning, personality profiling and 360°-feedback.
Participating in an international youth tournament marks the core of the RAA concept: The 12 referees and 4 assistant referees selected for the 2023 edition of the RAA will attend the Donosti Cup in San Sebastián, Spain (4 to 9 July 2023).
Separated into teams of four, all referees and assistant referees will officiate Under-16 and Under-18 games on a daily basis and encounter football teams from various countries. More information on the tournament can be found here
Besides fully focussing on the performances shown during the tournament, the RAA also offers our participants general input on relevant officiating topics.
Our educational sessions offer new perspectives on different aspects of refereeing, such as: “Game Management”, “Personality”, “Psychological Effects in Refereeing”, “Assistant Refereeing Skills”, and “Teamwork”. Moreover, we make use of interactive methods such as live votings on match incidents.
In order to promote transfer from theory to practice, some elements of our educational programme take place in practical sessions on football fields.
This offers the referees and assistant referees the possibility of learning and testing what has been learnt in the most credible and relevant environment possible. Topics such as fitness, positioning and movement or cooperation in the team usually are focused in these sessions.
Lead Referee Coach
Fifa Assistant Referee
Accommodation in a student residence (double rooms with private bathrooms) is fully included in the price.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are provided by the tournament and free for all referees and assistant referees.
All match officials are provided with sports nutrition during the days.
Bus transfer from and to the airport closest to the tournament (Bilbao Airport) is organised and fully included.
Transfer to and from the stadiums is organised by a free access to rental cars for each respective referee team.
Referees and assistant referees cover their flight (or train) costs themselves.
The RAA is a non-profit-project organised by a group of committed volunteers.
In order to cover arising costs, a participation fee is charged from all referees and assistant referees.