FA Laws of the Game Guide

The FA’s Guide to the Laws of the Game

Online course is the official first step towards becoming a referee

The Football Association has launched its online Guide to the Laws of the Game course

This online course is now the official first step towards becoming a referee, but whatever your role in football, the Guide will help improve your understanding of the Laws of the Game (and the variations for youth football).

What’s more it’s open to anyone age 14+ and is completely free of charge.

There are five modules to work through and it will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Videos are used throughout to demonstrate how the Law should be applied and there are activities to reinforce all the key points. 

There are some questions at the end of each module, all of which must be answered correctly to successfully complete the learning.

If you want to become a referee, then you must complete this learning before booking the new face to face Referee Course.

The FA’s Guide to the Laws of the Game

This course must be completed on the relevant individual's own account (and not by a child using their parent's FAN for example). You will need to have an email address associated with your FAN to enable you to log in and complete the course. For those under 16 this can be added by a parent.

You can find further useful information regarding logging in to access this course by visiting the refereeing help centre.


What Does the Course Cover?

You’ll learn about fouls and challenges, offside, restarts and set pieces. You’ll also gain an understanding of the signals used by referees and assistant referees, and get an idea of what the referee has to do before a match.

Module 1 (‘Before the Match’) covers the referee’s pre-match responsibilities, including ensuring players’ kit is safe, how to carry out the coin toss and what a referee needs to take to a match with them.

Module 2 (‘Signals and Communication’) contains short video clips (GIFs) which show every signal the referee and assistant referee might give during a match.

Module 3 (‘Getting it Right’) deals with foul challenges, violent conduct, handball, unsporting behaviour, DOGSO offences and advantage. It uses video clips from football at different levels to show how the referee should manage common scenarios.

Module 4 (‘Offside’) also uses video clips, this time to demonstrate what is and isn’t offside and how the referee should manage offside offences. The clips, like those used in the ‘Getting it Right’ module, are voiced over to explain the decisions the referees make.

Module 5 (‘Managing Restarts and Set-Pieces’) covers restarts and set-pieces, including goal kicks, corner kicks, throw-ins, free kicks and penalty kicks. It uses both video and illustrations to clarify what players must do at each restart and set-piece and explains what the referee should do if players don’t comply with the Law.

Start Your Refereeing Journey

The course is available to anyone age 14+. It’s really simple and only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. All you need is a FAN and password before you visit. Just follow the link below.

The FA’s Guide to the Laws of the Game