Football Federation Australia will introduce 5th and 6th officials to matches in the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League 2016 Finals Series after a successful two-year trial in the Westfield FFA Cup.
The two extra match officials will be positioned on the goal line at each end of the field to assist referees with decisions in and around the penalty area, including penalty calls and decisions about whether the ball has crossed the line for a goal.
The presence of the 5th and 6th officials in the Westfield FFA Cup offered great assistance to the referee with numerous correct decisions made by the referee after consultation with the 5th/6th officials.
“FFA will introduce 5th and 6th officials to assist the existing match officials during the upcoming Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League 2016 Finals Series,” said Head of the Hyundai A-League Damien de Bohun.
“The technical standard and speed of play in the A-League goes up every season and this places additional demands on match officials.
“Referees continue to improve as well thanks to additional coaching and fitness programs but in the split-second available to make decisions in and around the penalty area the extra set of eyes is extremely valuable.”
The 5th and 6th officials will be appointed from the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League referees panel, which consists of Chris Beath, Matthew Conger, Strebre Delovski, Shaun Evans, Adam Fielding,Jarred Gillett, Peter Green, Kris Griffith-Jones, Stephen Lucas, Alan Milliner and Ben Williams.
The introduction of the 5th and 6th officials for the Finals Series is the latest initiative aimed at assisting match officials, following the introduction of three full time professional referees for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 Season.
“FFA is constantly seeking improvements to enhance the A-League and is committed to giving the match officials as much assistance as possible to allow the referee to make correct decisions on the football field,” de Bohun said.
“FFA trialled the 5th and 6th officials during the Westfield FFA Cup and having an extra two match officials in the critical area around the penalty area and goal was crucial in the referees making a noticeable number of correct decisions. This trial will continue in the W-League Final Series, which gets underway next weekend.
“FFA has also made a submission to FIFA on a trial of video replays to assist match officials.”