Friday Bulletin 8 April: it’s ‘reminder week!’

AGM Reminder

A reminder that the AGM will take place at Five Ways Old Edwardians RFC, Ash Ln, Alvechurch, Hopwood, Birmingham B48 7BD, at 19.00hrs Wednesday 27th April 2022. Food will be available from 6.30pm (including meat-free options), but in order to gauge catering numbers please RSVP completing the form on this link by Friday 15th April 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Patz by emailing admin@northmidsrefs.co.uk

Society Website Reminder

A reminder that we need your ideas and photographs, for an update/refresh of your Society website in the off-season. Please submit any thoughts and ideas to Julian by 14th April, by emailing webmaster@northmidsrefs.co.uk

Win a whistle!

The ACME whistle company are running a photo competition to win a personalised engraved ACME Thunderer whistle. Simply post a selfie of you and your whistle on your chosen social media, with this text: “I nominate (tag a minimum of 2 fellow refs but the more the merrier) to take part in the @acme_whistles selfie competition to be in with a chance of winning a personalised ACME Thunderer. @acme_whistles @RFU_refs #BEPARTOFTHETEAM (tag NMRefs and the club where you are)”

League structure reminder

A reminder that the local league structure will be changing for the season 2022-23, which will have an effect on the way the Society appoints referees, especially at level 6, and also on the grading and level allocation of current referees. Full details will be discussed at the AGM, but in summary:

Level 3 will have 1 league (National 1) / Level 4 will have 3 leagues (National 2 – was 2 leagues). Referee appointments for these two levels will be handled at National level by the RFU

Level 5 will have 6 leagues (regional ‘Premier’ – was 4). Referee appointments for level 5 matches will be handled by a group of Societies, dependent upon which clubs from any given Society area are in which league.

Level 6 will have 12 leagues (‘Div 1’ leagues – was 6). Referee appointments for level 6 may be handled by local Societies as now, or may be handled by federations, dependent again upon which clubs are in which leagues

Level 7 will have approx 16, Level 8 approx 20, and Level 9 a number to be confirmed. These are dependent on the allocation of teams to each league, which will take place in June once final standings from the current season are known

If you would like further information before the AGM, please email chair@northmidsrefs.co.uk

Friday Bulletin 1 April

AGM Venue confirmed

Our Society AGM venue has been confirmed as Five Ways Old Edwardians RFC, Ash Ln, Alvechurch, Hopwood, Birmingham B48 7BD, at 19.00hrs Wednesday 27th April 2022. There will be the usual society AGM business followed by an opportunity for a Q&A session and a catch up with colleagues over a bite to eat. In order to allow for catering please RSVP completing the form on this link by Friday 15th April 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Patz via the contact form, or by emailing admin@northmidsrefs.co.uk

Society Website

The Society website last underwent an overhaul during the first half of 2020, and plans are underway for another refresh of the extensive content on the site.

We’d like to hear your opinions on what you think works, what you’d change/add/remove, and how you’d like to see the website work better for you! Please take a good look over the site at www.northmidsrefs.co.uk and if you have some ideas, please submit a maximum of 3 to Julian at webmaster@northmidsrefs.co.uk no later than Thursday 14 April.

We’re also calling for all kinds of refereeing photos: they can be formal/posed, active, funny; the site needs more photos! Again, these can be emailed to webmaster@northmidsrefs.co.uk as .jpeg files, or by sending a file transfer link (e.g Dropbox, WeTransfer etc) – please ensure that you have the permission of the subject/s and/or photographer for them to be reproduced on the website!

North Mids referees on TV

Once again our refs have been involved in high profile live-streamed games: on Wednesday this week Fiona Brunt was in the middle for the U18 Girls Showcase match between Hartpury College and Exeter College, followed by Will Hemming officiating in the inaugural RFU England Colleges final between Hereford VI Form College and USP College. You can watch both matches in full by clicking here

Ask the Expert

The Ask the Expert page has been updated, with a recent question about choosing the side for the put-in at the scrum. The updated page can be viewed here

Abandoned Matches

A reminder that if a match is abandoned for any reason (whether by you or any other individual/team/official involved), you need to complete an official match abandonment form which can be found on our useful documents page

Peter ‘Taff’ Evans

Longer-standing members of the Society will wish to remember our former member Peter ‘Taff’ Evans, who passed away this week. Peter was a very active member of the Society a few years ago and he was part of the team that helped us transfer a lot of our data from paper to digital. He was also involved in helping us to produce a membership booklet that gave all the contact details of clubs. At the time Peter was an active referee and a member of Kidderminster RFC. RIP Peter

Friday bulletin 25 March

League Restructure Season 2022-23

Many of you will have heard about the league restructure for next season. Here is a brief summary from our Chair, based on what information is available.

The RFU will manage referee appointments to matches down to and including level 4 (National League 2). New cross-regional Federations will be expected to manage level 5 leaving the traditional local federations to manage level 6 and below

In brief:

  • There will be 6 level-5 leagues across England (our current local equivalent is Midlands Premier)
  • A ‘Midland league’ i.e. the region where the Society has traditionally covered the most territory, will potentially include teams from Gloucester and/or possibly Leicestershire and one from further north. This is dependent on final league standings at level 4 at the end of the current season, and therefore which teams are promoted from and relegated into this new ‘Midland League.’
  • If a Society/Federation has a level 5 team in a particular league they are expected to be involved in the organisation of that league from a referee point of view. So if a North Midlands club is placed into a South West league, we or a West Midlands Federation would be expected to be part of that league’s structure
  • Because of delays and an extended season, it is expected that the level 4 leagues will not be completed until the last week of May. This means that the most significant planning and allocation work for the Society and West Midlands Federation cannot be completed until early June at the best.
  • The Society will be involved in forming the new Midland Federation (name to be confirmed).

In the interest of openness the Society has a 29 page RFU document which gives a global view of what is proposed.  If any member would like a copy of this and/or would like to ask questions or give their views please contact Kelvin by emailing chair@northmidsrefs.co.uk

Rosslyn Park Representation!

Two of our referees represented the Society this week at the Rosslyn Park National 7s tournaments, the largest schools rugby event in the world, refereeing at U18 and U16 boys, and U18 and U15 girls tournaments, as part of a contingent of over 300 referees!

Global Law Variations: have your say!

Now that we’re almost at the end of the season, World rugby are inviting views from the entire rugby community on the Global Law Variations which have been in place since the summer of 2021, and how they have impacted your refereeing at your level. You can take the short survey by clicking here, the form is open for responses until 28th March only

Girls age grade revisions

There have been some revisions and simplifications to the Age Grade boundaries and playing regulations for girls’ rugby ready for the 2022-23 season. The explanation can be viewed here , and the infographic can be viewed here

Community update

The latest RFU Community update can be viewed here

Training cancelled 24 March

The proposed training session on Thursday 24th March has unfortunately been cancelled. Watch this space for a revised date and venue!