In order to become a member of our Association prospective candidates have to complete a written and practical exam set by our Association and ratified by the English Pool Association. If you are interested there is a brief history of how the association was formed and a full explanation of the grade system.
The exam itself is one of the toughest you will find anywhere in sport. Candidates have to reach at least 85% correct answers to the exam before they will be accepted as a Referee. With such a high bench mark you may not be surprised to learn, of all the people who sit the exam, only a handful of people attain the pass mark and become regarded as recognised referees.
As if passing the exam wasn't hard enough we also expect our referees to conform to a national dress code whenever they are on duty. We enforce this dress code without exception. Our Referees are the public side of our association and almost certainly the only part the public will see of our association. It is therefore imperative that we project the right public image.
Why you might ask do we have an exam set so hard that only a handful of people ever pass. Our view is that we regard quality higher than quantity. Our referees are without doubt among the best in the refereeing world and they are the envy of the rest of the World.
Our Association classes all referees in bands according to experience and accumulated knowledge both of the rules and events, the bands are S and A through to E. E grade referees are the ones who have passed a short multiple choice exam. D grade referees are the ones who have just passed the main exam and are learning the ropes or have sat the exam just to say "I am a qualified referee". The next three grades relate to varying levels of ability. The pinnacle of a referee’s ambition is to be classed as an A grade referee. At this level you could well find yourself being asked the referee at the World Championships or a whole host of other professional events organised by the EPA.
All referees are constantly monitored to make sure they are at the top of the level to which they referee at, and to ensure that our Association's standards as a whole do no drop from the exceptionally high level we have set ourselves, be that level local league or the World Championships. If you would like to learn more about our Association or perhaps you are interested in becoming an EPRA recognised referee then have a look at our EPRA Examiners page. You may contact the examiner who is most local to you. They will explain in more detail what's involved and will be happy to tell you when there will be an examination in your area. If you are still wavering you can get an overview of what the exam consists of by reading the EPRA Exam Guidelines. You will not find any of the answers here but you will get a taste of what to expect when, or if, you sit the exam. We would like to hear from any other Pool referee's association with a view to exchanging thoughts and experiences.
Please feel free to contact any of our National Officers. If you are interested, you can take a look at the duties of our executive officers.