Football official, Lorraine Watson, has become the first female referee in Senior Scottish Men’s football, and is hoping that her appointment will help other women follow their dreams of becoming football officials.
The Edinburgh City vs Berwick Rangers game took place on Saturday the 9th September at Ainslie Park in Edinburgh, and saw the city team beat the Rangers by 1-0 thanks to a goal by Ashley Grimes. Lorraine claims that the players treated her as they would have done a male referee which includes the usual shouting and disagreeing, which she feels is part and parcel of the role of being a football referee. Ms Watson is currently in development to become a Category One Referee, the highest you can be. There are seven ranks of officiator to work through before becoming a Category One Official.
Like most football officiators, Ms Watson has a full time job. She works as a building surveyor, but has been working up the ranks of football officiating for fifteen years. She started in the youth game and has worked her way up through the juniors, amateurs and now seniors. Notable moments in her career include being an assistant referee for a Rangers v Berwick Rangers game in the Scottish League Two in 2013 and then as the fourth official for four games during the the Women’s 2017 Euros.
Becoming a referee
If you’re interested in becoming a referee, either male or female, then head to the FA website to read through some FAQ’s and see if this is the right path for you. You’ll need to get started with a Basic Referees Course and most probably officiate a number of games for free.
You can pick up referee kits as well as football kits, from trusted online suppliers such as https://www.kitking.co.uk/football-kits, where you’ll also find some of the accessories you need to get started as a referee. This includes a good whistle, ref’s wallet with notebook and cards and a stopwatch.
Lorraine Watson has high hopes of completing her Category One assessment and one day being able to officiate in the Premier League. She also hopes that seeing her out there on the field will encourage and inspire young women to follow their dreams of becoming a football referee.