Can I remind you please that if your game is cancelled you should email Mike Fielding ( – the Society’s Club Administration Manager besides bedsides advising the reappointments manager Fraser Colley (Saturday Matches) or Paul Scott (Sunday matches) Damian Hampton (mid week matches). Click here for appointment team contact details.

This will ensure that the information on WTR is up to date and correct.


With winter closing in and the potential for games to be cancelled at short notice I thought it prudent to remind you all of your responsibilities according to the ‘Laws of The Game’ and the position the Society will adopt.

Law 1.1 States (Extract)

The surface should be grass but may also be sand, clay, snow or artificial grass. The game may be played on snow, provided the snow and underlying surface are safe to play on. It shall not be a permanently hard ……….

Law 1.6 States

Objections to the ground: –

(a) If either team has objections about the ground or the way it is marked out they must tell the referee before the match starts.

(b) The referee will attempt to resolve the issues but must not start a match if any part of the ground is dangerous.

Therefore, if the game is in doubt due to bad weather, in the first instant it remains the home club’s responsibility to decide if the game should go ahead. If the referee turns up and finds that for safety reasons he / she feel that the pitch is unplayable the club who requested the referee will still be charged the match fee. 

When a game is cancelled (including on the day for such things as for bad weather or late cancellation by the away team) you FIRSTLY IMMEDIATELY TELEPHONE THE REFEREE and then contact the appropriate appointments / re-appointments officer (Fraser Colley / Mike Spencer) who will amend the fixture on the Society database. The latter may be done via email / text within 24 hours of the kick off time. Failure to do so might result in your club being charged.

Please note that if you do not advise the referee that the game has been cancelled and he/she travels, you will be charged a match fee irrespective of the game taking place or not.


Ian Moreton

Treasurer and NMSRFR WhosTheRef Admin Manager

Society Meetings

The Society hosts monthly meetings for members held at various clubs in our area. A speaker will usually be invited to present on a topic so as to educate and promote referee development.

The next society meeting is to be held on 17th January 2018.

Venue: West Midlands Police Training Centre, Tally Ho, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Guest Speaker – Tony Windo, Director of Rugby, Bromsgrove School, Ex Gloucester and Worcester Player

A buffet will be provided.


Future Meetings

7th February 2018 – Edwardians RFC (B90 3PE) – Topic ‘Assessments’

7th March 2018 – Camp Hill RFC (B90 2EF) – Topic ‘The Women’s Game’

11th April 2018 – Annual General Meeting at Tally Ho (B5 7RN)

Board Meetings

The Board for North Midlands Society of Rugby Football Referees Ltd meet bi-monthly, with meetings usually held at Stourbridge RFC.

The next four meetings are planned for:

Wednesday 18th October 2017

Wednesday 13th December 2017

Wednesday 21st February 2018

Wednesday 25th April 2018

Any member who has an item they wish raised at a Board Meeting should contact the Society Secretary.

Law Changes for 2017/2018 season

New laws effective from 1st August ’17

Those of you who are eagle eyed will have noticed that these laws were already being implemented during the recent Lions tour to New Zealand. As far as we are concerned they will apply from 1 August 2017 for any games North Midlands referees officiate in.

 3.6 (Uncontested Scrums) Law 3 Number of Players – The Team 

Add (h) Uncontested scrums as a result of a sending off, temporary suspension or injury must be played with eight players per side.
Reasoning: To discourage teams from going to uncontested scrums.

Law 5 Time 

Add to 5.7(e) If a penalty is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the referee allows the throw-in to be taken and play continues until the next time the ball becomes dead.
Reasoning: To discourage teams from infringing in the dying moments of the game.

Law 8 Advantage
Add to 8.1(a) When there are multiple penalty infringements by the same team, the referee may allow the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous of the penalty marks.
Reasoning: To discourage repeat offending when advantage is already being played and to reward teams against whom repeat offending has taken place.

Law 9 Method of Scoring
9.A.1 (points values)
Penalty Try. If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded. No conversion is attempted.
Value: 7 points
Reasoning: To discourage teams from illegally preventing a probable try from being scored while also saving time on the clock by negating the need for a conversion.

Law 19 Touch and Lineout
Add to definitions on page 117:
• A player who is attempting to bring the ball under control is deemed to be in possession of the ball.
Reasoning: This brings into law something that is already applied in practice. It means that a player “juggling” the ball does not have to be in contact with it at the exact moment of touching the touchline or the ground beyond it for the ball to be deemed to be in touch. This makes it easier for the match officials to adjudicate.

Amend eighth definition on page 117:
• If a player jumps and knocks the ball back into the playing area (or if that player catches the ball and throws it back into the playing area) before landing in touch or touch-in-goal, play continues regardless of whether the ball reaches the plane of touch.
Reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time.

Add to definitions on page 117:
• If the ball-carrier reaches the plane of touch but returns the ball to the playing area without first landing in touch, play continues.
Reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time. 

Add to sixth definition on page 117:
• In this case, if the ball has passed the plane of touch when it is caught, then the catcher is not deemed to have taken the ball into touch. If the ball has not passed the plane of touch when it is caught or picked up, then the catcher is deemed to have taken the ball into touch, regardless of whether the ball was in motion or stationary.
Reasoning: To simplify law and to increase ball-in-play time. 


Become A Referee

If you are interested in becoming a referee in the Midlands then in the first instance please contact Mike Vaughan who is our Development Officer – you can use the form below.

Training is provided in conjunction with the RFU and we can tell you when and where the next course will take place.

NMSRFR covers Greater Birmingham, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire. It is also federated to Staffordshire Society and often covers games there.

NMSRFR also operates exchanges with many of the other referee societies in the country giving developing referees the chance to experience games in other counties.