Steve, as a recently qualified level 2 referee (9 months ago) who referees both adult and youth local league I do agree with some of your points. There are some of us who turn up early, inspect the court, talk to the table and talk as a an officiating team. However having had the new BE level 2 course and then been left to get on with it I can see your point re support from BE for referees. The point I would like to make however is that coaches and players have no allowance or leeway for a referee learning their trade. I personally would referee for a smaller amount as it would help clubs survive but I would like to see coaches and players be open to giving constructive feedback to new referees. My son (17) is also a new level 2 referee and officiates local league youth and adult, at times the level of criticism and attitude of coaches and players towards him does nothing to encourage a referee to develop or want to stay within the game. I also believe the number of youth games (as you pointed out in a previous post) does nothing to help referees develop either as the only practice you can get is in league games where getting it right the majority of the time is vital as it affects clubs positions.
Is the answer in less competitive games at lower levels where coaches, referees and table officials can learn the intricacies of the game and ensure development of everyone within the game?
I’m not sure the BE development model will go far enough to allow the right development of referees as the current rules mean you have to get a qualification before you can referee. Maybe been allowed to officiate at lower levels prior to taking a qualification (where perhaps a minimum standard is required before applying) will see referees increase their level of skill and knowledge and allow clubs to survive in these financially difficult times?
Interested in your thoughts?