Referees teach scholars in Laws of the Game

Our first-year scholars were versed in the Laws of the Game at Cobham recently as Premier League officials visited the training ground to deliver a specialist refereeing course.

Darren Cann has been an assistant referee in the Premier League for 12 years and officiated at the finals of both the Champions League and FIFA World Cup in 2010, while Andre Marriner is a Premier League referee who recently took charge of our 4-0 FA Cup win against Hull City at Stamford Bridge.

The pair spent two days with our youth team players working through the various laws, from bookings and red cards to the offences that lead to the awarding of a direct free-kick and offsides. The latter allowed Cann to demonstrate how difficult the role of a linesman can be in real time, playing clips and challenging the players to either raise the flag or keep it down.

One element of the course was a practical session held in our indoor facility, in which each player picked up the whistle and acted as referee, while Marriner assessed their officiating skills.

‘We go through the 17 laws of the game and then put the players in charge of a small-sided game to see if they can put into practise what they’ve learned in the classroom,’ Marriner explained to Chelsea TV.

‘It’s massive for their learning and development because we’re trying to help them so they can use this knowledge in their own games. If players have a better understanding and empathy towards the referee’s job, it will hopefully help them stay out of trouble on the field and build better relationships with the officials during the game.’

All nine scholars passed the final exam to achieve qualified referee status at Level 7. Our Under-18s return to action with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion tomorrow (Friday), kick-off 7pm.