Why should I become a Futsal Referee?

On 3rd December the SFAR Edinburgh and District will hold a Futsal Conversion course at the Oriam, Heriot Watt. This course consists of some classroom learning for a couple hours and an exam. We are also going to host a local Futsal team so we can see officials in action. On the evening FIFA Futsal Referee Gordon McCabe will also be there to assist with the course. To sit the Futsal conversion course you just have to be a fully paid member within the Scottish FA. Why would you want to sit the course though and what would you gain?

We have asked Dominic Falconer about his experience as a Futsal Official…


Futsal Just five aside right? Not at all it’s a sport in its own right, think 11 aside laws, played on a court indoors with 5 players and you’re a little closer to understanding it. Don’t get me wrong that’s exactly what I thought it was before passing the conversion course back in 2015. Since then I’ve grown a far better understanding of the sport , played (well attempted) a couple of games and progressed to levels that never thought possible whilst sitting in a Tynecastle high classroom with around 20 other referees.
Futsal originated in Uruguay around the 1930s, with similar laws to association football, the main differences are:
• Smaller low bounce ball (usually size 4)
• Played indoors on a hard surfaced court delimited by lines
• 4 second count at restarts (goal clearance, corners and kick ins)
• 5 players 1 of which is the goalkeeper
• Unlimited substitutions
• Timeouts (1 per team per half)
• No Offside
I’ve officiated countless games at different venues in different cities all over Scotland. All in different situations you wish/want to be involved with whilst refereeing for example, promotion/relegation battles, top of the table clashes, semi finals, finals, Scottish cup the list is endless.

I’m thankful that Gordon McCabe (Scotland’s first FIFA Futsal Referee) and our fellow colleagues in Perth took me under their wing in the early stages of my futsal refereeing career, and actively encouraged me to cover games with them in the Perth league. Without their support and knowledge that early in my Futsal career I don’t think I’d be where I am today. With the help and support of colleagues from all over the country I’m delighted and honoured to say that I have been involved in some of the high profile matches within Scotland, also given the opportunity to officiate alongside them at the First ever SFL playoff event in the same season I started refereeing Futsal. I was then selected as Referee 2 for Scotland’s first ever Scottish Futsal Cup final and the same season standing alongside Gordon and our colleagues in a UEFA Sanctioned friendly between Scotland and Gibraltar as fourth official. I’ve been extremely lucky with the opportunities I have received, but it also goes to show that they are there if you work hard, show determination and willing to grasp them.

We are however short of qualified officials within the Edinburgh area, especially now the league runs from 2 venues. There is a conversion course coming up in Edinburgh on the 3rd December. I’d highly recommend it as personally it’s one of the greatest things I’ve done and the achievements are there to see and for anyone who wants them.

If you would like more information on the upcoming class or to register please get in touch secretary.edra@gmail.com

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