The South African Football Association is demarcated in accordance to the Municipal Structures Act. There are 52 SAFA Regions and 341 Local Football Associations across the Republic of South Africa.

Recruitment is done in schools, clubs, etc. In order to become a referee one must join at the Local Football Association he/she is resident to. Without being discriminatory, reading and writing is compulsory due to the nature of the trade. This must be supplemented by a good understanding of English as well as the understanding of the Laws of the Game.

Referee Levels
1(Basic) to Level 7 (Highly experienced). There needs to be a period of time between writing the various levels of competence and understanding of the Laws of the Game in order to allow for practical, on-the-field experience to be obtained by the referee and a recommended time period for writing examination levels is suggested below.

The responsibility for administering and undertaking the examination sessions at the various levels is as follows:

Level responsibility recommended year of writing

1 Local Football Association Year 1

2 Local Football Association Year 1

3 Regional Year 1

4 Regional Year 2

5 Provincial Year 3

6 National Year 4

7 National Year 5

Age Considerations

It is the view of the Examination Board that all referee candidates, irrespective of age should have the opportunity to write Levels 1 to 6 (Level 7 by invitation from the National Referees Office). However, success at the various levels does not mean automatic invitation to the refereeing panels operating at Regional, Provincial or National levels.

The development of referees is of paramount importance and although older, experienced referees have a positive role to play in the refereeing fraternity; it is considered essential that age restrictions be put into place to ensure that the ‘cream’ of refereeing talent is allowed to permeate its way to the National Panel within an appropriate time span.

Referee age levels per league category:

Competition Entry age level Retirement age level

LFA leagues 13 years No age limit

Provincial 15 years No age limit

SAB League 18 years 35 years

ABCMotsepe League 20 years 35 years

NFD/PSL 23 years 47 years