The Football Association of Wales will introduce yellow arm bands to be worn by all match officials aged under 18 years old for the 2022/2023 season.
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The arm bands are intended to reduce instances of disrespect towards referees who are under 18 by highlighting their age to players, coaches and spectators.
The FAW’s Match Officials Manager, Lee Evans, said: “The introduction of yellow arm bands for match officials aged under 18 is a great initiative. It will encourage people to show patience and respect to our young match officials who are the future of Welsh refereeing. The arm bands will enable our youngest referees to focus on the game and develop their skills.”
North East Wales FA, South Wales FA and West Wales FA have all used the arm bands in previous seasons but their use will now be expanded to also include Gwent County FA, North Wales Coast FA and Central Wales FA.
Jack Rea, the FAW's Match Officials Recruitment and Retention Executive, added: "The introduction of arm bands for under 18 match officials has already been a great success in several of our Area Associations. Expanding this policy across Wales is an important step towards developing a Welsh way of refereeing and retaining our next generation of match officials. No ref, no game."
The change has been introduced by the FAW’s Referees Committee, which sets the Referee Regulations ahead of each season.
The newly added regulation states: “Every referee and/or assistant referee under the age of 18 must wear a yellow arm band to indicate that they are under the age of 18. The yellow arm band must be supplied by the referee and/or assistant referee’s Area Association.”