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.

Fall 2017 Fitness Testing

From Amanda Cox <>:

Any referee who wishes to be considered for National Assignments in Fall of 2017 should submit a passing fitness test score by September 1. The YoYo test is preferred, but the Beep test will be accepted until the 2018 cycle.

Please report scores using this Google form (LINK).

Fall 2017 Passing Fitness Scores
Grade   YoYo    Beep
Elite   18.5    12.6
NP      18      12
B       17      11
C1      17      11
C2      16      10

7s Laws Changes for 2017

USA Rugby has requested, from World Rugby, official permission to institute these new laws effective immediately (rather than wait until September 1st for the Northern Hemisphere), and USA Rugby has received the go- ahead from World Rugby. The new laws have been in effect for the entire current HSBC Sevens World Series, and will bring the USA in line with what you are all watching at the top level. The highlights include:

  • All matches are now 7 minute halves, no more 10 minute halves for Cup Finals (5.1)
  • Restart kicks must be taken within 30 seconds from the time a conversion has been taken or declined (13.2)
  • Restart kicks must be taken within 30 seconds from the time a penalty goal or drop goal is attempted, whether it is successful or goes dead (13.2)
  • Teams must form a line out within 15 seconds from the time the referee has indicated where the throw will take place (19.8)
  • Teams must be ready to form a scrum within 15 seconds from the time the referee has indicates the mark of the scrum (20.1)
  • A penalty or free kick must be taken within 30 seconds of being awarded (21)
  • If a penalty is kicked into touch after time has elapsed without touching another player, the referee allows the throw in to be taken and play continues until the next time the ball becomes dead (5.7)
  • When there are multiple infringements by the same team, the referee may allow the captain of the non-offending team to choose the most advantageous of the penalty marks (8.1)
  • Penalty try – If a player would probably have scored a try but for foul play by an opponent, a penalty try is awarded. No conversion is attempted – automatic 7 points (9.A.1)
  • A player who is attempting to bring the ball under control is deemed to be in possession of the ball (19)
  • If a player jumps and knocks the ball back into the playing area before landing in touch or touch-in-goal, play continues regardless of whether the ball reaches [crosses] the plane of touch (19)
  • If the ball carrier reaches [crosses] the plane of touch but returns the ball to the playing area without first landing in touch, play continues (19)
  • If the ball has not passed the plane of touch when it is caught or picked up [by a player standing in touch], then the catcher is deemed to have taken the ball into touch, regardless of whether the ball was in motion or stationary [no more catching the ball in the field of play, with a foot out to touch, and getting the throw in] (19)


From Rugby Virginia (but this applies equally to College and Club.):

Some parents have inquired about getting protective eyewear for their child. In an effort to allow people who need to wear corrective lenses to do so safely while playing rugby and to accommodate people with monocular vision or chronic eye conditions who wish to wear goggles while playing Rugby, World Rugby has developed specific goggles – “Rugby Goggles.” Rugby Goggles have been developed with a view to posing no additional risk to the wearer and other players.
Here is the link to order the goggles:

No other eyewear is permitted during play, so this is our one and only option.

Drone Policy

This is effective for the RSV-only until other bodies enact policy:

Aerial drones used during a rugby match are permitted over the playing enclosure IF BOTH match teams AND the referee agree to its presence.The device must be maintained at a minimum of 20 meters (approx 65.6 feet) above the playing surface. The agreement may be revoked by ANY of the parties during the match. In addition to the agreement between teams and the referee, there must not be an implicit or explicit restriction by the owner/renter of the field. As applicable, there must not be a prohibition by the competitive league, match organizer, or school district. The operator must follow any local, state, or federal laws, policies and/or regulations. The operator must follow FAA requirements for appropriate licensing and flight space approval.