Why Referee?

There are many answers to this question. The most common reason for taking up refereeing is to remain active in the sport and to continue enjoying the game when no longer playing competitively.

 Other reasons given by those who have taken up the whistle involve after becoming injured, having to stop playing but still wishing to be on the field of play. Other referees start by being cajoled from being a spectator, bribed with promises of copious of ale as there is no one else to blow the whistle that afternoon!  These reasons, along with many others, are very valid but the key is, like playing, enjoyment.


What is there to enjoy about being a referee?

There is the opportunity to travel to new venues, both locally and nationally, and to make new friends in the game.

But no matter where you referee, you are the closest onlooker to the action. You can feel the atmosphere, the adrenaline still flows, and you get all the benefit of competitive exercise because you have to be where the play is at all times! You are sprinting along with the fast runners, thinking at speed, reading the game with the play-makers and outwitting those who like to test the referee. It could be described as three dimensional chess at pace!


It must be very difficult to referee…

Sometimes it can feel like that, especially at the start. However, there is a lot of help that is available from our Referee Society. If you have played the game, you will already have a rudimentary knowledge of what is required, together with an empathy with the players. As you become more experienced, the science and art of refereeing become easier. Nevertheless, every game presents you with a challenge as no two matches are the same.


What help can I get now?

First by joining SERRS you will receive a Law Book and begin working with a referee coach. You will also attend a Level 1 Referee Course. These courses are run 3-4 times during the year.  You may also want to attend a Touch Judge course so that you can be a touch judge for more experienced referees.

There are many resources available to help you understand and interpret the Laws of the Game. This includes a discussion forums and other resources available to members on this web site.

Once you have started refereeing, there is a development pathway for referees, touch judges, assessors and referee coaches.


As what age do I start to referee?

There have been many referees who have started in their early twenties. There are some referees who continue to referee and enjoy it into their sixties. If you wish to get to the very top then it is advisable to start refereeing as early as possible.


Is there any abuse of referees?

There are rare cases of abuse but USA Rugby, territorial and local unions penalize very heavily any player or club member shown to be abusive. 

As a referee concentrating on the match, you tend not to hear it at all. There are often humorous comments made by spectators that may amuse you. As a new referee, you are unlikely to have many spectators, and often not even a trained touch judge. So you can learn your craft quietly and observed only by players.


What do I need to do to get started?

Contact the SERRS President or one of the other Society Officers.

Who can I contact for more information?

Feel free to contact any of the SERRS Officers or just ask one of our referees on the pitch.