More exposure and game time for young rugby referees?
Starting to referee at a young age has many advantages. The earlier you start, the more experience and exposure you will get to the game and the people involved in it, both on and off the field. The officials for the upcoming Nashua UR7s Schools Invitational will mainly be school boy refs, with the focus on the development of young refs.
We chatted to the Head of Refereeing, Michael Sutton, who will be leading the officials for the upcoming tournament. He has recently finished High School and is looking to become a professional ref as soon as possible.
He said, “It is extremely advantageous to start reffing while you are young for many reasons. These reasons include being able to learn how to deal with difficult players, coaches and spectators, this helps you to develop a mental block to negative comments that are passed your way. You will learn how to execute the laws, learn how to position yourself correctly on the field as a referee for the different disciplines of the game as well as learn how to manage the game effectively. By the time you reach senior refereeing level all of these “reasons” to start refereeing young will have become second nature and all you will need to do is stay up to date with the laws and keep practicing. When I reflect back on the past 6 years of reffing I realize that I have seen the sport evolve and grow and as such this has enriched my knowledge and given me more perspective about the game as a player, spectator and a referee.”
Sevens rugby is growing at a rapid rate and as a result there is a definite demand for more referees. Tournaments run a number of games simultaneously requiring a quick turnover of referees. There are many boys and girls whom have a love for the game of rugby but due to various circumstances do not, or are unable to play. But reffing is an opportunity to get involved.
Michael noted the importance of tournaments like these in the development of refs.
He said, “The refs getting an opportunity to get more game time under their belt, especially with it being Sevens, is important. There are not huge amounts of opportunity to practice reffing the different style and it’s great that more opportunities are opening up. I am really looking forward to this tournament both as a ref and a spectator.”
All youngsters who have an interest in the game of rugby, whether you are a player or a spectator, should do a referees course. You may only learn a bit more about the game or you may find you have a passion for refereeing and what to find yourself officiating for many years to come.
For further information about refereeing courses: http://www.sareferees.co.za/recruitment/