Refereeing is a family affair for the three Davis brothers.
This winter football season, Riley (16), Heath (15), and Will (13) will spend their weekends officiating matches in Canberra’s south, with the brothers excited for the return of football.
The siblings are at different stages of their refereeing journeys; Riley is in his third year and has completed his Level 4 accreditation, while Heath and Will will be Game Leaders for MiniRoos matches this season.
“I had been playing football for some time and I saw an ad to become a Game Leader, so I decided to take the next step and learn to become a referee and be involved in football in a different area,” Heath said. “I like mentoring some of the younger kids playing MiniRoos. I play centre back so I have to talk to my team constantly, which is similar to being a referee.”
Will’s favourite thing about refereeing is the pocket money, closely followed by the opportunity to help out his local club.
“I got into refereeing because my older brothers were doing it and it was a good way to earn some money,” Will said. “I normally have Saturdays free so it is good to come down to fields and help Tuggeranong’s MiniRoos. I like contributing to the club.”
Not only has refereeing helped all three brothers learn new skills, but it has also shown them a different perspective of football.
“Refereeing is more communication skills than anything,” Riley said. “Being a referee helps me to remember to not shout at the referee when I am playing.”
“Once you are a referee you get a different perspective of what it is like to referee,” Heath chimed in. “When you are playing, it’s easy to say the referee made the wrong call but once you actually referee, you think ‘poor referee’. He has to make a split-second decision and he is only a teenager.”
The brothers encouraged other young participants to join them and become referees.
“I tell my friends a couple of reasons why they should referee,” Heath said. “Firstly, it is a good opportunity to learn how to deal with people, not only children but adults as well. Secondly, it is a good opportunity to mentor younger kids and to help them have a good time playing football.”
“Refereeing is fun and it is a great way to meet new people,” Riley agreed. “Refereeing also teaches you life skills like leadership, communication and patience. The skills you learn by refereeing can be used at work and school and other things you do in life.”