The internationally acclaimed website is launching a unique global online learning platform designed to move the art of football refereeing into a new era.

The YATR Academy recognises that refereeing – irrespective of level – is an integral part of the world’s most popular sport and has been designed to encourage the beginner, to educate the experienced and to challenge the professional.

The Academy is the long-term project of some of world football’s most respected match officials and will provide expert analysis and advice on every aspect of refereeing.

“This really is a very exciting time for everyone involved with what we regard as a bold but absolutely vital initiative, “ said Director and former top-class Scot referee Jock Waugh who officiated in the English professional Leagues. “ Not only will the Academy promote supplementary education for match officials, it will help provide a framework for anyone with a vested interest in the laws of the game. Those who regularly comment on the standard of officiating simply have to ensure that their knowledge of a complex sport is not only infallible but is based upon facts and the rules of the game. Every game delivers a talking point – we just want people talking from a position of strength, backed up by knowledge.”

More than a year in the production, the YATR Academy went live on Wednesday 3rd May 2017.

YATR concentrates on embracing and educating anyone with a love of football by highlighting learning opportunities which will not only raise the standards of officiating but which will also dramatically increase levels of understanding across the world’s ever-expanding football community.

Former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland star Mark Lawrenson is a panellist for YATR and a leading advocate for meaningful change within a profession which is now attracting a new generation of devotees.

“An independent international refereeing platform run by top-quality match officials? Which referees, clubs or parents would not want to be part of that? This truly is a revolutionary – and most necessary – development, “ he said.

The ground-breaking Academy – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – will feature a members-only access point for all refereeing wants, needs and desires with membership set at 12 USD/EUR and 9.99 GBP.

The YATR Academy will provide a range of exclusive benefits including:

  • Access to webinars, downloads, blogs and presentations from former FIFA and EPL officials.
  • Advice and guidance on career progression.
  • Interactive scenario based referee e-learning tools.
  • Accredited external courses and qualifications to bolster your CV outside of the game.
  • Fitness plans and interactive Q&A section with former FIFA Sports Science experts.
  • Insight into the laws of the game
  • Applications and invitations to live events, training camps scholarship programmes and the Youdan Trophy Pro tournament in Sheffield, England.

YATR works closely with RefLIVE, an app which completely digitises the match-day role of soccer referees via a Smartwatch.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for us to be involved with such a great organisation, “ said Simon Murphy, CEO of RefLIVE. “ After meeting with Jock and then working directly with his team I was determined for us to be involved in their digital development academy for referees. I have no doubt that this Academy will prove to be revolutionary in terms of the growth and production of referees on a global scale.”

Waugh believes that the Academy will come to represent the “ go-to “ site for those who believe they could make refereeing either a profession or a pastime.

“This is a unique combination of first-class, online learning coupled with training camps across the world. It will be professional-standard training carried out by experts. It is open for everyone to join the debate – simply sign up and test your decision-making skills with our real-life scenario-based ‘Coach Call’. There are hundreds of on-pitch scenarios to challenge yourself with – and if we don’t have the answer you can call one of our coaches and get it!.” he said.

A special feature called ‘Ask Matt’ will give members the opportunity to ask former Head of Sports Science at the English Premier League Dr. Matthew Weston any fitness-related questions and to receive a cohesive and jargon-free insight into referee fitness.