Top pre-match tips

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. Seek out the coaches and introduce yourself. Check the following by asking 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 ‘steward’ 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 team colours – no clash with each other or you: ensure that you will stand out.
  • Will they go back into the changing room after warm up.
  • Confirm kick off time.
  • Call in captains to do the toss.

Get changed – ideally be changed 30mins before KO. Check the pitch – are there the right number of flag posts and post protectors, and is the pitch in playable condition? Warm up well

Pre-Match Talks

Check studs and that soles are not cracked. No jewellery. You may wish to give a general team briefing about dissent/disputing before asking 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
  • The feed must be ‘credible’, i.e. not obviously crooked
  • Confirm when ‘the ball is out’ if asked
  • If they want to take a quick penalty let you know and make sure it’s 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


  • 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 choose 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


  • 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


Off the field arrive looking reasonably smart. On the pitch, you’ll need

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