Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Lanarkshire Referees Association. I am an Honorary Member of the association but it is a few years since I last attended a meeting.

It was good to catch up with old friends but what impressed me most was the number of younger referees among the 60 plus who attended. The membership ranges from FIFA referees to those who have just passed their entrance examination.

The meeting was very professionally run. Information was given to new referees on the minor grade support scheme and how they could get assistance in writing reports on match incidents.

Arrangements were announced about the forthcoming regional training day, organised for all grades by the SFA Referee Development Department, to be held near Edinburgh.

The minutes of the last meeting had already been published on the association’s website and so little time was taken up on administrative matters.

The first and main item was a discussion on Offside, taken by two of the Scottish FA Class1 referees. The members analysed incidents from the 2010 FIFA World Cup which had been prepared on a DVD by the SFA and issued to all associations in Scotland.

There is always a danger in such sessions that after an excellent discussion with different opinions expressed, no definitive decision is given. Not so here. The SFA Referee Development Department had issued notes on each incident to ensure the same message was being issued all over Scotland.

The incidents had been discussed last week at the top SFA referees’ training camp in Marbella, Spain, – another sign of the professional approach being taken in Scottish refereeing.

This professionalism, however, goes unnoticed in the sensationalism and acrimony which comes from the professional game.

There have been major controversies in Scottish refereeing in the past three months but the extensive referee development plans continue and will produce a new generation of Scottish referees.

The sad thing is that those at the top of Scottish football don’t seem to realise the excellent work which is being done!

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