Update for 4th May 2020

Welcome to today’s update.

Club Cards

As mentioned recently, club cards are now being dispatched to your email address.

Please look at the totals and find areas where you have done well in comparison to your peers and likewise areas that possibly need looking at.

We take a great deal of notice of the cards, especially the comments. In recent seasons these comments, mixed with the scores, have enabled us to identify those referees who were refereeing well above their grade and similarly referees, particularly at the higher level, who have maintained their good overall performance.

Next season, whenever that is, the cards will be used again. If there are changes/improvements that you would like to see please let us know in the comments box for todays update. Your peers will not see the comments, but they will be forwarded to Ray Jones our Grading Officer.

Of course, some referees choose not to hand out the cards and that is their right. However, in taking that view please recognise, especially with our general shortage of watchers, that the Society will struggle to support you as the season progresses, just because we will not have the information.

A final comment re the cards to rebut a myth. Winning sides do not routinely score the referee higher than losing ones. In fact over the last two seasons, the losing sides have scored the referee slightly higher than the victors.

What can we do better for you?

Next Thursday 14th May, the Board are holding a virtual meeting. We will be discussing, amongst other issues, the future. How can we improve, what needs changing and


Please just use the comment box for this day to let us know or email me at chair@northmidsrefs.co.uk.

And as always stay safe

Update for 1st May 2020

A shorter update this morning.

Firstly, thank you for the last few days flurry of votes re the shirts. It means that we now have a more accurate idea of what referees want.

The result of the ballot for short or long sleeves (silent drum roll) – an overwhelming decision that short sleeves are preferred.

So the centenary shirt will be predominately green, including the collar and sleeves, with white side panels. The Society badge will be re-located for this special year to the centre of the chest and will have centenary  1920 – 2020 surrounding it. Our sponsor’s logo PSL will be moved to where the badge has been previously.

Sizes – We will be speaking to our suppliers to confirm what (L)arge actually means and then put a chart on the web page so you can order your size. We have not recorded sizes sent with the short/long sleeves email.

There will be option to buy a second shirt at a cost of about £30 – £35. Please tell us when giving us your size if want to buy one.

Watchers, coaches etc. we have not forgotten you. We are still finalising exactly what the design options we have and once resolved we will let you know and how to place your order.

Thank you to all those who gave an opinion as to what we could give to our social members. The two most recommended were an engraved whistle and a tankard. We will now start doing the sums etc and let you know later what the final decision is.

Please remember you can always respond to these updates by clicking on the Leave a Comment link just beneath the title. You will not see your comment appear straight away, it has to be ‘checked’ by the moderator, but once approved it does show up. It is a way of YOU telling the Board what you want from the Society

Is there a flicker of light at the end of the dark tunnel called Covid-19? We all hope so but in the meantime PLEASE BE SAFE

Update for 29th April 2020


As of today only 37 referees have said whether they want long or short sleeves on the Centenary Shirts. Does that mean the rest do not have an opinion? Tell us so we can choose the style the majority want. Closing date is tomorrow, the end of April, so please email me at chair@northmidsrefs.co.uk with your choice.

The next step will be to ask you for the size you want. Check this site regularly for size information so you get one that fits you!


None of us have real idea about the long term affects of the virus on the community game. Will some clubs not re-open? We just do not know, but to help in a small way the Society has decided not to charge clubs the usual expenses going back for the last financial period. This has not affected the expenses you can claim but it will mean a financial loss to the Society of about £4500

North Midlands RFU have allocated a pot of money to Clubs over this difficult period. If you do hear of any Club’s who need financial help give them please tell them to contact Roger Parsons from North Mids.


I do hope those of you who tuned into last night’s RFU training session enjoyed it as much as I did. Ian Tempest and Christophe Ridley talked about playing advantage, not just at the top level but also at our level.

A few comments made by them;

You have to understand the game in front of you.

No advantage should be played from dangerous play such as a high tackle unless a try is IMMEDIATELY about to be scored. If in doubt blow, safety is paramount.

Are you being consistent for both teams?

If a player says they do not want advantage DO NOT let them tap and go quickly, they can’t have it both ways!

Do you have a strategy in your mind if one side says before kick off that they do not want advantage?

The session finished with two clips of advantage from games done by Ian and Christophe. The first (Gloucester v Leicester) showed, Gloucester, with advantage, running the ball virtually from their own line going the length of the field and scoring under the posts. As was said, ordinarily, you wouldn’t play that much advantage from such a position but on the night Ian ‘got lucky’ – his words.

Christophe was not so lucky. Doing Harlequins v Exeter, a game that needed strong refereeing, he lost sight of the ball as it came out of a scrum on the attacking 5m line. He didn’t see it go to the backs and blew up before they touched it down. He got it wrong and immediately apologised.

The next referee-focused session is in three weeks time, Tuesday 19th May. They are well worth watching.

Update for 27th April 2020

Free Shirts

If you haven’t voted for short or long sleeves yet, time is running out, closing date is this coming Thursday. Once we have a decision, we can then start the order process by getting the sizes you need. A form will be posted either the end of this week or more likely the next showing you what the sizes actually mean i.e. our suppliers interpretation of medium, large etc.

Carrying on the theme of the shirts. We want to be able to ‘boast’ about this being the start of our centenary. We have a dinner planned for the end of the season, but what would YOU like to see us do as part of our celebrations? Let me know your thoughts chair@northmidsrefs.co.uk

Club Cards

Ray Jones has completed the analysis of the seasons club cards. Those referees who sent them in will be getting an email in the next few days so they can see how they performed against their peers.

Tuesday’s webinar

Professional Referees Ian Tempest and Christophe Ridley will be talking to about all things Advantage.

To register use: https://bit.ly/3cycokq or if you prefer Twitter https://twitter.com/RFU_GameDev/status/1252989069635858432?s=20

If it is as good as the last one on the tackle it will be very worth while.

Update for 24th April 2020

I hope you and your family are keeping well.

Rugby Talk

A couple of weeks ago I watched a webinar about the tackle, I’ll come back to this in a later posting but it was very good. Nothing ‘earth shattering’ but the questions were dealt with sensibly by Premiership Referees Tom Foley and Craig Maxwell-Keys with regular references to the Community Game.

The next similar session (and to keep our minds focused on some rugby) is this coming Tuesday 28th April at 7pm. The professional Referees are Ian Tempest and Christophe Ridley and they will be talking to us about all things Advantage.

To register use: https://bit.ly/3cycokq or

if you prefer Twitter https://twitter.com/RFU_GameDev/status/1252989069635858432?s=20

International Tickets (taken from a recent RFU Newsletter)

The teams involved in the Autumn Internationals are

New Zealand    Australia    Argentina    Tonga

Details of the dates and ticket prices have not yet been advised, hopefully this should be towards the end of June. As soon as we hear anything further we will let members know.

In spite of numerous protests I believe our allocation will be dramatically reduced. If his does happen the previous limit of two tickets per member will be strictly observed, unless demand from members allows otherwise.

Final League Tables

Just in case you have not heard about the final league tables;
This below information applies to all leagues in the English Clubs Championship (men’s levels 3-12) and Women’s RFU Leagues (levels 2-5).

Please note where there is a * in the Women’s league standings, this position/points total is pending a RFU Disputes case.

The tables for levels 4 to 7 only show promotion and relegation, they take no account of any potential level transfers.  These will be reviewed in the coming weeks in accordance with the normal end of season process.

(use ctrl + click) to follow the link you want).