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How to become a referee

For those that have ambitions to officiate at the highest level, there's a structure in place to provide you with a platform to develop and give you support along the way. Navigate through the interactive image to understand more about the requirements of each level of referee.

How to become a referee

To start your journey and become a qualified referee you need to complete a World Squash Officiating (WSO) Level 1 online course. This has a cost of $15, approximate £12.

If you want to be invited to apply to referee at England Squash events, you'll need to be a member of England Squash which is updated annually, undertake an England Squash enhanced DBS check and complete an online Safeguarding course, both which must be renewed every 3 years. As you attend events you will work with more experienced referees and be able to progress through the pathway via practical appraisals and informal mentoring.

In recent years we have invested more resource into referee development via the Mission 2022 programme, a dedicated scheme committed to developing new and existing referees for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Mission 2022 was a home nations collaboration between England, Wales and Scotland which aims to develop and support new and existing referees.

The stages to become a referee

If you wish to become a referee you’ll need to undertake each of the following items. Once all are completed you’ll be a Level 1 Referee and able to be invited to attend England Squash events.

WSO Membership (Online Courses)

England Squash referees will need to register to World Squash Officiating (WSO) to become Level 1 referees. At Level 1 the membership cost for WSO is £12 per year and referees who attend at least four England Squash events each year will have their membership fee refunded. WSO online courses help to standardise referee training and provide specific knowledge and resources to help with in becoming a referee. There is a test to undertake at the end of each level.

You can access the WSO platform by clicking here, please note you'll need to create a new account.

DBS Check

An enhanced England Squash Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check is mandatory for all referees who wish to attend England Squash events. As a volunteer the DBS check is free but you will need to pay an administration fee of around £15. Check out our DBS FAQs for more info. This fee is refunded after you have attended four England Squash events.

Please email once you have your certificate so we can administer it to your referee profile.

Safeguarding Course (Online)

The Safeguarding and Protecting Children course is mandatory for all people working in an environment where children are present, and is a mandatory requirement for those wishing to referee at events. To check what level of training you require for your role please click here.

As a volunteer in our sport you must have an up-to-date online Safeguarding and Protecting Children certificate. This can be undertaken via the UK Coaching website and costs approx. £40. This fee is refunded after you have attended four England Squash events.

Certificates must be renewed every three years. Please email once you have your certificate so we can administer it to your referee profile.

Further Information

Tournament Referees

A Tournament Referee (TR) is appointed for all major tournaments (Platinum & Gold). They will be responsible for briefings, allocation of matches, liaising with the Events Desk and managing any issues raised by players, parents or coaches. They are also responsible for the welfare of every referee and will organise rest breaks. At smaller events and venues, the TR role is often performed by a Lead Referee. TR's are usually experienced Level 3 or higher referees who have attended numerous events.


By their nature referees are social and enjoy discussing events and supporting each other through the pathway and as such a large emphasis of the development of referees is placed upon mentoring from their peers. To support the development of referees we encourage regionalised and localised group, peer to peer and individual mentoring. As referees develop and attend events we naturally encourage those local to them to provide this support. There is also an opportunity during the appraisal debrief at all levels for this to be discussed and the 'matching service' initiated. More formal mentoring opportunities take place for identified talented referees and through some County Associations.

Appraisers & Appraisals

All referees are appraised and mentored by experienced referees, appraisers and mentors as part of their development. This helps to identify talented referees and aids progression through the different levels of the pathway. There is a specific route for appraisals and criteria set out to help referees understand how and when they should be ready to progress to the next grade.

Formal appraisal opportunities are only provided at events and undertaken by trained appraisers (usually Level 3 and higher referees). This is why it is important that if you wish to progress you ensure that your DBS check and safeguarding certificates are in place so that you can attend England Squash events where appraisers are present.

Under 16s

People under 16 are able to complete the WSO Player Certificate - Introductory Level but will be appointed as a junior referee. They can progress through the full pathway from age 16 and still require a DBS and Safeguarding course certificate.