Pathway for Ungraded Match Officials


All referees are insured by the Rugby Football Union when appointed by the Society to a match. That being said Safety is paramount and referees should consider safety issues before and during the game.

Clubs have a responsibility to provide person(s) qualified in first aid at matches. If as a referee you feel that these requirements are not being met you may decline to play the game. Refer to the guidance on the Society web page for more information.

The following points are made as a guide to what is regarded as good practice when refereeing on behalf of the Society. Match officials tasked with supporting the referee should take the list below as issues they may wish to comment on and thus support the referee. Detailed directions are not required at this stage.

Pre & post match:

  • Timeliness of arrival at the ground
  • Pitch inspection to include posts, post protectors and pitch markings.
  • Confirming presence of first aider(s) and club marshal (may be completed at pre-match brief).
  • Captains brief – content secondary to liaison.
  • Able to deal with anomalies such as no touch judges, uneven numbers in the teams and late arriving players.
  • Stud and kit inspection. Particular attention must be paid to any safeguarding matters.
  • Willing and able to deal with constructive feedback from match official, players and coaches before and after the match. This will include comments on club cards

During the match:

  • Ensure the correct time is played for each half.
  • Recognises injury issues which includes stopping the game if appropriate and creating a safe environment for injured player(s).
  • Deal with any head injury as per Headcase protocol.
  • Recognised obvious foul play and penalised accordingly. The correct sanction at this level is secondary to recognition.
  • Able to control scrum engagement process using the correct terms.
  • Immediately stopped play in the event of a collapsed scrum.
  • At a line out showed awareness of the need for a gap between teams.
  • Showed by verbal comments or signals that they had some awareness of offside issues.
  • Whistle tone particularly noticeable for serious matters such as foul play and injury.
  • Is aware of any existing protocol re touchline behaviour
  • Adopted understandable positions at the breakdown.
  • The referee enjoyed the game and wishes to officiate again.

There is no limit to the number of games a referee needs to complete before moving to the next level.

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