Requirements for USA Rugby Referees National Panel

Requirements for USA Rugby Referees National Panel include:

  1. Demonstrates a degree of comfort, competence, capability and confidence in refereeing high level matches;
  2. Demonstrates a degree of comfort, competence, capability and confidence in assistant refereeing high level matches;
  3. Demonstrates long-term commitment as referee;
  4. Responds appropriately to referee coaching;
  5. Demonstrates self-motivation and willingness to self-review;
  6. Demonstrates high knowledge & understanding of Game;
  7. Demonstrates mental agility & adaptability;
  8. Benchmarks successful fitness requirements;
  9. Contributes positive energy to and operates well within the group and High Performance System;
  10. Demonstrates commitment to the Community, and contributes to the development of match officials;
  11. Demonstrates excellent Ambassadorial skills;
  12. Complies to the USARR Code of Conduct.

A question that is often asked is “How do you become a NP Referee?”. Ultimately, the USARR Selection Committee is responsible for selecting the Panel. We will be releasing a structured pathway by the Fall that presents clear steps and goals from C3 through to the top.

Referees who aspire to be NP Referees, can control a lot of their own pathway:

  1. Proactive involvement in the refereeing community
    1. Attend meetings.
    2. Support fellow referees.
    3. Be an ambassador for the game – network with referees, coaches, players. It raises your profile and support structure.
    4. Attend/participate in as many events/tournaments as possible.
    5. Be available and let everyone know you’re available (Don’t sit and wait for an email/call)
  1. Grade
    1. B1, 2, 3 / Territorial
    2. ADVANTAGE System – support your own development, upload and review videos, ask peers/reviewers to review your matches.
  1. Certifications (
    1. L1 and L2 courses completed, and hopefully L3
    2. CMO1 Course sets a good foundation for self-learning and understanding referee coaching
    3. Touch Judge and Assistant Referee Certified (Online)
  1. Laws
    1. Be a scholar of the game, know your Laws & Interpretations.
    2. Be an active participant in the ADVANTAGE Message Board
    3. USA Rugby Referees Facebook page is an active group that discusses a wide array of Laws & Interpretations.
  1. Fitness
    1. YoYo: Elite 18.5 NP 18, B 17
    2. Beep: Elite 12.6, NP 12, B 11.6
  1. Presentation
    1. How you present yourself, communication and body language, is vital in establishing credibility and trust.
    2. Signals & Whistle tone should be perfected. If you have a mirror, practice. Learn to blow your whistle properly.
    3. Self-perception should be explored. How we perceive ourselves is often not how others perceive us. It can make a huge difference if you can establish an honest approach here. Ask your peers for assistance, study video of NP referees and of yourself and compare how you are presenting yourself on the field, how you communicate, and is your body language, whistle tone and signaling exceptional? Do you run well – yes, you can be coached to run like an athlete. Another way to consider presentation is if you had a non–rugby person see you referee a game, they should think that the referee looks great. Sell yourself – if you get this right it creates an amazing foundation for being a successful referee and achieving your goals.

Categories: General