NMSRFR Appointment Policy

The Society’s policy is to provide a suitable referee to as many games as possible every week giving preference to games that are regarded as more senior or important where there are insufficient referees or insufficient referees of the right experience available. The Society relies on the availability of its unpaid volunteer referees and does not warrant to provide a referee for any given game but will use its best endeavours to do so. 

The Society appoints to games from Level 7 (Midlands League 2) and below. The Society also joins together with Staffordshire Referees to make appointments at Level 6 as the West Midlands Federation. Appointments to the National Leagues are usually made by the RFU and Midlands Group.

The Society also operates a referee exchange program, usually at level 7/8, with other Societies to give referees with potential to progress higher a greater breadth of experience.


Clubs should enter their home fixtures on the Society’s website no less than 7 days in advance of the fixture. Most clubs enter the whole season in advance as far as possible during July/August and amend later as necessary. Games that later transpire are not going ahead should be cancelled. PLEASE NOTE that games to which a referee has been appointed or that are 7 days or less ahead cannot be deleted by a club and the fixtures secretary should telephone the relevant appointments / reappointments officer as soon as possible. Likewise referees required for games less than 7 days ahead must be telephoned through.

For the purposes of assessing future billing a game to which a referee had been appointed and then cancelled less than 7 days in advance will be counted as an appointment made.

Appointments are posted on the Society’s website. For Saturdays this is usually done on the Sunday/Monday before the game however certain appointments, particularly for Exchange Referees, may be made several weeks in advance. For Sundays and midweek this is often done on a monthly basis but will generally be no later than the weekend before.

Inevitable things change. If games are cancelled or rearranged then this will be dealt with by the Re-appointments Officer for Saturday games or the Appointments Officer for Sunday/Wednesday games.


It is the club’s responsibility to confirm the appointment direct with the referee. Clubs must also contact both the referee and the appointments officer where there is a cancellation.

The approved method is to telephone the referee and actually speak to him. If you leave a message, use text messaging or email then it is the club’s responsibility to follow it up if the referee does not reply to confirm receipt. For league games the RFU and Midlands Leagues Organising Committee have issued rules and guidance. (see MLOC)

Wasted travelling costs incurred by the referee will be charged together with a fine of £25.


As an entirely voluntary and non-profit making organisation the Society does NOT guarantee the provision of a referee to any game. The Society will however use it’s best endeavours to provide a referee to as many games as possible.

The primary consideration is to try and allocate an appropriate level of referee to any particular game. As clubs move up and down the leagues we do not always have the right number of referees at the right level in our region. This often means referees officiating at games below their level or it means bringing in or sending out referees on exchange with other areas.

Referee grades are not exactly equal to the game level but in general referees will not normally be appointed to a game any more than 2 levels above their own level, in practice many referee at a lower level because of the mismatch between the level of games and the level of referees.

The are also geographical considerations as the Society cover a much larger area than most others which could involve referees doing return trips of over 150 miles and staying within the region. Where possible we try and keep referees relatively local to keep down costs for everyone.

Appointments Officers will have regard to when the fixture was entered on the system. Fixtures entered 7 days or less before the due date will rank lower than those posted in good time and may no be covered at all. FIXTURES ENTERED 7 DAYS OR LESS BEFORE THE DATE TO BE PLAYED MUST BE TELEPHONED THROUGH TO THE APPROPRIATE APPOINTMENTS OFFICER.

Subject to the above considerations, referees will ordinarily be allocated to games in the following order of priority:-

  • National Cup competition games
  • National (RFU) League games
  • County and other representative games (seniors & juniors)
  • Local Cup games
  • Colts competition games
  • School First XV games
  • Local merit table games
  • Other games based on level of game and seniority of team (e.g. 2nds before 3rds)

For Sunday Morning (Junior) games in this order:-

  • Colts competitions
  • Under 17 NM & National League & Cup games
  • Under 16, 15 , 14 N M Cup games
  • Other U19, U18 & U17 games
  • Other U16 games
  • Other U15 games
  • Other U14 games
  • Other junior games

For Midweek (Universities & Schools)

  • BUSA Premier League games (where not covered by RFU)
  • Daily Mail Cup & Vase school games
  • Men’s first teams in BUSA league
  • Women’s first teams in BUSA league
  • Other school first XV games
  • Other men’s teams in BUSA league
  • Other women’s teams in BUSA league
  • Other men’s games
  • Other women’s games
  • Other school games

For Sunday PM games (Women)

  • Premiership League games
  • Other RFU League games
  • Cup competitions
  • Other league/merit table games
  • Other games

Where there are insufficient referees the Society may also , at its discretion, give consideration to the conduct of the home club in complying with Society’s appointment procedures over the season in deciding whether a referee is appointed where resources are limited . Factors such as late payment or non payment of fees or fines, the number of late cry-offs, late entry of fixtures, late confirmation of referee may be taken into consideration.

Clubs are reminded that fees are payable by 1st September in each season and fines and exchange fees within 28 days of the request.