One week in to the new season, please comply


North Midlands RFU and the North Midlands Referees Society have collaborated and whole heartedly agreed that the referee has full responsibility for behaviour on the pitch and within the playing boundaries but poor behaviour off the pitch can be an issue and this is the responsibility of and within the remit of the hosting Club to monitor and control this.

To this end, referees at the pre-match briefing time will ask the home captain to identify the Club’s pitch side steward (orange hi viz?) – in addition to and a modest extension to confirming the availability of touch judges – and request them to meet with the referee before the game starts.

The pitch side steward is the Referees readily identifiable point of contact if he considers that there are behavioural issues that need to be addressed outside the playing perimeter.

NB If the captain is unable to identify the pitch side steward by kick off time this should be reported to the Society in a brief note to Dave Thomas (DLT) as should incidents of poor behaviour not adequately dealt with on the day


The Board has been working with the North Midlands RFU to develop a common approach to First Aid cover.

The Society stance is: 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 a game.

Clubs have a responsibility to provide person(s) qualified in first aid at matches. If referees feel that these requirements are not being met they may decline to play the game.

The North Midlands RFU have sent the following message to their clubs:

North Midlands RFU have confirmed and agreed with North Midlands Society of Rugby Football Referees that First Aid is the club’s responsibility overall. However, it was also agreed that if a referee is concerned about the lack of first aid cover they could just not play the game.

In the event that a match does not continue due to concerns surrounding the lack of first aid cover the referee will report the matter to Kelvin Roberts, NMSRFR Chair, and he will forward it to the information to Clive Hayley who will endeavour to help resolve the issue with the Clubs concerned.

Should a situation be reached where one team is happy to play without first aid whilst the other team is not, the referee should not proffer an opinion although the game will not be played i.e. the same scenario as an ‘iffy’ pitch. Referees are insured but obviously if they act without ‘common sense’ that insurance could be tested.

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