Referee training for hockey and other sports


I am deciding between becoming an instructor in the ACF and ATC. :cheer:

When I went to see the ACF they said that they would put me through (or heavily subsidise) civilian hockey coaching courses/referee courses, which are prohibitively expensive for me at the moment outside the organisation. I’d like to get involved in youth sport, esp. hockey.

Would this be the case in the ATC too?



I’m not 100%, but there are sports courses that come up. I remember football ones especially. If you become a uniformed member of staff you will be able to claim pay for the courses, but otherwise they’ll be subsidised.


I wouldn’t bother with either! If you give your Community Sports Partnership a ring, they generally put on a whole host of different courses outside of the ATC/ACF system - all of which are heavily subsidised.

Whilst it sounds negative - and I wouldn’t want to be seen to be discouraging a potential member of staff - I’d would say if you’re interested in Youth Sport, go and do a voluntary thing which is 100% Youth Sport orientated! Sport - from a squadron point of view is something we do once a month for 1 evening. We have wing sports trials (as well as Regional & National Competitions) once a year with a day of each activities - even if you went and got qualified in it, there’s no guarantee that you’d be putting your specific training to use for any more than a couple of days per year!

I suspect the ACF may also feel the same way!

HOWEVER, if you moved your skills away from “Sport” and towards “Adventure Training” both offer roughly the same levels of training, and roughly the same opportunities - certainly more to practice your skills for more than a few days a year! That’s not to say, that you shouldn’t also consider volunteering at your local council’s outdoor pursuits centre (if you’re lucky enough to still have one!)


Thanks so much for the detailed reply. It wasn’t my main reason for joining and I also would like to get involved with the adventure training. I am quite an ‘all rounder’ type of person. I was just surprised they would be happy to put me through the courses.

I am the type of person who fancies a go at everything but sadly we all need to sleep and work - so realism is needed :slight_smile: Let’s face it, you have so much on offer even to adults (lets not forget the cadets :wink: )


To be honest I would be very wary of any promises to put you through this course, that course etc from either the ATC or ACF.

I could write a very long list of all the courses theoretically available to adults in the Corps. I could then write a much shorter list of those that i have actually been on, or have known people to be on.

Many of these are also run using spare capacity in the Forces and thus can be short notice, weekday courses as well.

I would suggest you try to get a feel for the organisations, and join the one you feel happiest with attending, then worry about what you can get out of it.

It may be unfair, but I would be very wary of a potential instructor rocking up, and wanting to know what they can get out of it straight away.

That said, well done to you for having the initiative to ask, and to seek out the mine of information that is ACC. Whichever Cadet force (or other youth group) you choose, good luck to you, and I am sure you will find it rewarding.



I’ve been involved in organisations (similar but not similar) to the ATC and I’d be wary of someone rocking up asking what they could have too!! Hence why I asked on here :slight_smile: Mind you, I can imagine volunteer’ing and getting involved and never getting around to the course any way… That’s the type of person I can be.


Free level 3 qualification for sports coaching in schools. I had more hours than the other adults but couldn’t face the paperwork and got signed off the course :frowning:

I think they have a serious shortage in the ACF in my area - they were pushing it and what you could ‘have’… To be honest, I had no idea any courses were available when I first came along. That said, if one organisation has more ‘on offer’ it is kind of tempting to hook up with that one.


Qualifications aside, roughly how does the hockey/similar sports work. Saying nobody plays at my squadron. Does it fall on me to apply to get involved in the region I am in, e.g. North? Or is that me out of hockey?!? Don’t worry if you don’t have time to answer. I can always ask in person


How it runs around here, there are Wing trials - so squadrons send 1 or 2 (or 3 or 4!) cadets along to a trials day. Sometimes there are enough people for it to be an actual selection - sometimes people are selected on the basis that without them there wouldn’t be a team! And that’s the Wing team done. They might - if they are lucky - do a practice date to get their heads in the whole “team work” thing, work out positions and run through some set pieces.

Then it’s off to the Regional competition which is a series of 5 matches run in a league. The top Wing then goes forward to the Corps finals.

And that’s it. So, potentially 2 days at a Wing level, a day at Regionals and, if you get through that, a day at Corps. Most sports follow a similar pattern.

As a staff member you could potentially volunteer yourself to your Wing/Regional Sports team straight off - which would give you a quick route into focusing on Sports - on top of squadron commitments - see how it goes really!


Reminds me of my college at Oxford and the college system hockey :slight_smile:


Yeah; it’s a lot like that. But less drinking.


B) That’s kind of good because I don’t drink much.

I am going with the ATC. I went and they were so welcoming and keen to have me. I even did the entire parade night. Plus I am starting now instead of waiting until after April - can’t be unsupervised until CRB comes through. Even so, definitely choose the right organisation. No doubt about that.

Really good night - they were doing first aid. Plus they need a ‘sports’ officer - even better.


Excellent news,

welcome to the ACC family


welcome to the Corps!



Good to hear you are going with the ATC. Myself & my ‘better half’ have just had our CI applications approved after having similar experiences to yourself.

We are both into Radio and used the Squadron as a base for a ‘Special Event Station’. Following the warm welcome for that and them being keen to have help on the Radio Comms side of things we attended several parade nights and duly applied to be CI’s.

We have been made very welcome by both Cadets & Staff and now looking forward to both training Cadets and being trained ourselves :slight_smile: