Young Match Officials (YMO)

To hear those golden words, ‘we have a ref’ is like winning the lottery for us, so thanks to the ‘young whistler’ who I thought had an excellent day.

U14’s Team Coach
One of our first crop of YMOs in action at the North Mids Junior Finals Day DK RFC 2019

The next generation of North Mids Rugby Refs

Big thanks to two of our YMO’s for acting as ARs at Sixways as I refereed a charity match between West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police. They gave great assistance and both teams were full of praise for their efforts!

James Ranford, North Midlands Referee

There currently is a small group of YMOs available in the north midlands, I am totally amazed at the amount of support they have, Saturday afternoons they turn up to help senior games as an AR then Sundays try to take what they have learned from their mentors at junior level with a senior referee on the side giving valuable advice. The parents of the YMOs help and support each other too. Just shows the spirit of the game is fantastic. Onwards and upwards..

Proud Dad of a North Midlands YMO

Upcoming YMO Opportunities

  • Sunday 27th October – Pitch Up & Play Walsall RFC, non-competitive low pressure games which are ideal training opportunities for newly qualified Young Match Officials. Please contact Leonie for more information or to register your interest in refereeing at this event.
  • Sunday 27th October – CPD Event at Shrewsbury RFC on the Principles of Scrummaging. Further details below.
  • Monday 28th to Wednesday 30th October – Young Match Official Course at Redditch RFC. An entry level course for people aged 14-18 years old, no previous experience necessary but spaces are limited. Online booking essential via the following RFU Link: https://gms.rfu.com/GMS/coursefinder
  • CANCELLED – Wednesday 30th October to Friday 1st November – Young Match Official Course at Newport Salop RFC. An entry level course for people aged 14-18 years old, no previous experience necessary but spaces are limited. Online booking essential via the following RFU Link: https://gms.rfu.com/GMS/coursefinder
  • Please find further event details below:
These events are ideal refereeing opportunities for newly qualified Young Match Officials

YMO Appointments Info

Paul Scott is our Sunday referee appointments secretary and below are some of his top tips to making sure you get a game:

Simply log in to the WHOSTHEREF (WTR) website and on the ‘Contact Availability’ calendar change the red cross to a green tick, or select AM/PM. From this I can see that you want a game and I can then try to find a local game for you that is a suitable age group and level for your current experience or grade. Once you have been allocated to a game, you will get an email asking you to ACCEPT or DECLINE the fixture. When you have accepted your appointment, WTR will automatically send an email to the home club inviting them to make contact with you to confirm arrangements (it is important that your contact information on WTR is accurate and that you ensure WTR emails don’t disappear in to your junk mail box).
Simply getting an email/text/voicemail is NOT confirmation, you must respond to the club (in effect confirming the confirmation!)
The club will confirm location, Kick Off time, changing facilities etc and you get the opportunity to ask questions, i.e. what colours will both sides be wearing.
If you do not hear from a club by 48 hours before kick off time, you must contact me to advise. Never turn up without confirmation. After that, just turn up and enjoy yourself!

YMOs “flying the flag” and putting their recent AR course in to practice.

Peter’s Pointers

One of our YMO Mentors Peter has put together the following lists of useful pointers:

Before the Match

Try to arrive at the venue 1 hour before kick off. Search out the coaches and introduce yourself. Check the following with the coaches:

  • Do they have a full squad.
  • Do they have a first aider – identify that person if possible and introduce yourself.
  • Do they have a designated mentor who will be responsible for controlling touch line behaviour.
  • Ask when it will be convenient to check studs and talk to the players. It is usually easier to do this on the field after you have changed.
  • Check colours – no clash with each other and ensure you will stand out.
  • Will they go back into the changing room after warm up.
  • Confirm kick off time.
  • Call in captaings to do the toss.

Get changed – ideally be changed 30mins before KO. Check the pitch – flag posts, post protectors, condition of pitch. Warm up


Pre-Match Talks

Check studs and that soles are not cracked. No jewellery. Ask to speak to the following:

  • Anyone likely to play front row
  • No.9
  • No.10
  • Captain
Front Row
  • Ask them to confirm they have been trained for front row.
  • Explain sequence – Crouch, Bind, Set and that you will expect a good bind with stable position.
  • Determine who will be front of line out and explain you will mark his position when defending. Ask him to be available for the toss when responsible for number checking.
  • Explain you will whistle sharply if something is not right and they must stop pushing immediately.
  • If conditions are difficult ask them to let you know if they can’t hear you at scrum time.
No. 9
  • Tell him to wait until the scrum has set and is stable
  • Credible feed
  • If he/she asks when the ball is out then confirm
  • If they want to take a quick penalty let you know and make sure its from the mark
No 10
  • Make him/her responsible for 5m at the scrum and 10m at the lineout and keep the others onside. You might suggest you will keep your arm up at the lineout until the ball has left the lineout
Captain
  • Any questions
  • Be available for the toss when you have spoken to the other team
  • Advise how long to kick off
The Toss
  • Make sure you have a coin!
  • Winner of the toss can either chose ends or kick off (not chose to receive)
  • Explain we will work together to keep discipline – they are responsible for discipline of their team and you only want to be talking to the captain, and front rows at scrum time
  • Make a note of who will kick off
Equipment
  • Watch with stop watch facility and elapsed time. You WILL forget to restart the time after a stoppage so elapsed time will give you a good back up. Casio make a good referee watch RFT-100
  • Whistle – Acme Thunderer
  • Wrist lanyard for whiste
  • Score card. The NMSFR website has downloadable score card. Card holder can be bought on Ebay for a couple of pounds
  • Sharp pencil x2
  • Flags
  • Drink
Kit

Off the field arrive looking reasonably smart. On the pitch:

  • Clean Kit
  • Shirt with North Mids logo if possible
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Enjoy!

This page is maintained by our YMO Co-ordinator, Leonie Pryor. You can contact Leonie using the form below.