What does it take to be a top flight rugby referee?

What does it take to be a top flight rugby referee? In the video below you’ll see how top referees train for their games, so they’re able to run 7 to 10k per game. “And you also need to be robust”, says RFU referee JP Doyle. “Be able to go week after week after week. And be able to tolerate the training loads as well.

Top flight rugby referee lifting weights.

 Proud of how fit you look

And pride to look fit is also important. “You wanna look like you’re fit out there. These guys are so big and massive. They’re in their young twenties and the best shape of their life. You have a personal sense of pride that you want to look fit.”

Analysing games as top flight rugby referee

The video also will give you an idea of how top flight rugby referees analyse their strenghts and weaknesses. “We all have different strenghts and weeknesses”, says RFU referee Luke Pearce. “We need to work on those weaknesses and advance in those things that we’re very good at.”

And then he says something important: “And share them with other members of the group”. It shows that your road to the top as referee is not a route you have to take on your own. But it’s a route where you need others to improve. Other referees can help you and tell you how to deal with certain situations.

Homework excercise

For example, take a look at the homework excercise I wrote last month, which is about about the strenghts and weaknesses: “Get a paper sheet and write down your strenghts and skills that you can improve in these categories (and others). In the latter you’ll see things you can improve (and set goals for). Have no clue? Check your recent assessments for positives and negatives.”

Please review your games every weekend and write a few positives and negatives on a sheet of paper for yourself. They’ll help you see a pattern and that will make you be able to reach your goals and improve as a referee.

One thought on “What does it take to be a top flight rugby referee?

  1. Jan,
    Thanks for the great work. Tip from my side:
    I always tell referees they should watch and play other group sports and talk to other sports’ referees then football as there are situations and solutions they could learn from and apply in football game.
    Just an example of football vs basketball referees:
    sometimes football referees tend to be too close to the ball and incidents which prevent them from having a full picture of situations before, during and after the incident.
    basketball referees need to see just a slight touch of arms and we shall hardly see them positioned closer than 2-3 meters from the incident…
    Regards

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