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hellboundrugger
17-05-06, 21:05
Can anyone tell me why referees can be excluded from advanced placement programs because of age? Should it not be based on mental and physical ability. As our average population ages and our ability to remain extremely fit well into our 60's is a reality. I believe we are excluding some very good potential referee candidates.:confused:

OB..
17-05-06, 23:05
I doubt if anyone in their 60s would be fit enough to referee a World Cup final. You can work back from there, because you have to build up experience and expertise.

Another factor is that at the top levels there is a lot of competition. Applying an age limit ensures that the successful referees get a decent run to build up experience.

Simon Thomas
18-05-06, 10:05
This is a constant topic worldwide. Have you asked Gerry Fitzergerald and others in the Florida Society what training is available to you ?
You say "excluded from advanced placement programs " I would turn it around and say "what criteria do you need to do to be INCLUDED on an advanced placement programme". Age is not a direct factor, but is indirectly an issue.

In England there is no barrier to referee advancement directly related to age - it might be illegal anyway now under the new 'age-ism' legislation brought in by our government. Anyone who is fit enough and 'safe' and has basic refereeing ability can find matches to meet their level - whatever that may be. All Society referees are carefully assessed and graded, and most think subjectively that they are better than they are when measured objectively by a formal assessment. We have no problems with new referees in their 50s or even 60s, but the reality is that they may not have the time or energy or drive to referee at the higher levels.

We have a number of Society referees in Hampshire in their 60s. They are ex-players of a good standard (one played for the Royal Navy v Army at Twickenham in the 1960s), and they have 15 years + referee-ing experience behind them. As such they use their experience and knowledge to minimise the running they have to do, and have excellent match management skills. However they mostly cover Ladies and younger youth levels matches now, as they do not have the pace to keep up any higher level matches (say levels 10 and above).

Approaching 50 yrs of age, I know I am not as fit or as fast as I was 10 years ago, but still good enough for level 7 but struggle at level 6 (London 2) and certainly my decision making ability is not as sharp, especially in the last 10 minutes if I have had a demanding match physically and mentally. Everyone is of course different and physical and mental 'degradation' happens at different ages and rates.

However with advanced placement programmes (I assume you refer to stuff beyond basic training updates - for example the development groups, exchanges, advanced courses etc) it is a fact, as OB says, that the higher you go in grade levels the more competitive it becomes (an inverse triangle) with finite resources (matches at those levels, advisers and referee coaches, and money for travel budgets / training materials, etc), plus there is a need for a lot of travel and meetings. It is estimated to 'cost' over £10,000 to get a referee to Panel level.

In England only a referee who has the potential to make the National Panel (top 50 out of 5,500 Society referees - levels 1-4) is considered for the Federation Development Squads and from there onto one of the four regional Groups - who do all level 5 matches. And to make National Panel the RFU are looking for referees who can committ 5+ years at that level (all these except the 6 Elite professionals are volunteer referees with daytime jobs !). So effectively it is a 10 yr commitment including Society, Federation and Group stages. For those who will not make the Panel each English Society has it's own development squad - but we are limited in how many we can have on the squad, but we have all ages. We choose those who have the interest and potential to rise to levels 7 and 8 mainly - not all referees have that potential. And for all other members our Society Referees (of whatever age) there are the RFU's Society and Development training programmes and finally the monthly Society Training meeting.

For Hampshire out of 112 active referees the 'triangle' numbers break down :

Panel 1 (4 Groups - North, Midlands, SW, and Londo&SE)
South West Group 1 (5 Federations)
Federation Development Squad 2 (3 other Societies in Federation)
Society Development Squad 10
Society Referees 98

jeff
18-05-06, 11:05
Can anyone tell me why referees can be excluded from advanced placement programs because of age? Should it not be based on mental and physical ability. As our average population ages and our ability to remain extremely fit well into our 60's is a reality. I believe we are excluding some very good potential referee candidates.:confused:

I totally agree with you on this matter age should not come into it. (but it does). I brought this up in a meeting i had back in wales at my then society, and was told that if your over 40 not to look going passed level 5/6 has my age was against me. i think what a load of rubbish.)
i was in my meeting only this week at my berkshire society meeting and asked ashley rowden who was there what he thought about it and he told me that age shouldnt be a barrier but the rfu only look to put ref's into the top level if they have the potential to stay there has the rfu will put a lot of money into that persons programme to keep him there and want him to last a long time and not to only last a couple of years. I myself find this a load of noncence has there are some good referee's out there who are fit physicaly and mentaly. and would show a few top level ref's a thing or to.

ExHookah
18-05-06, 12:05
Can anyone tell me why referees can be excluded from advanced placement programs because of age? Should it not be based on mental and physical ability. As our average population ages and our ability to remain extremely fit well into our 60's is a reality. I believe we are excluding some very good potential referee candidates.:confused:

Gavin,

I thought you were already on one of those development panels?

Cheers,

Nick

OB..
18-05-06, 12:05
there are some good referee's out there who are fit physicaly and mentaly. and would show a few top level ref's a thing or to.This perception is the problem. Personally I think it is misplaced. Those who reach the top have been graded many times by many different people. As Simon said, it makes sense to expect them to stay around for 5+ years. Add that to the time to get there (some make it in 4 or 5 years), and you have an age implication.

I very much doubt that there is a group of older referees who are better. The main problem is if there are too many good younger referees fighting for too few places (and too few matches at the right level for them to progress).

SimonSmith
18-05-06, 13:05
I might be wrong, but Gavin may be referencing the DRiP program over here.

It has guidelines that specify that you must be no older than a specific age at a certain grade in order to be considered for the program.

Is that right?

chef11
18-05-06, 13:05
You are correct about the DRiP panel.

ExHookah
18-05-06, 14:05
The age and fitness requirements laid out for DRiP when it was first setup are as follows:


Qualifications

Applicants need to meet the IRB fitness standards for international referees before they will be considered. These standards currently are either 11.5 on the Multistage Fitness Test ("beep test") or 3000 meters in 12:30. This level of fitness needs to be certified by a proctor that is mutually agreed upon.

Applicants need to be endorsed by their local referee society and by a national referee officer. This last endorsement can be obtained after application if the referee simply hasn’t had a chance to be seen yet.

Applicants also need a statement of support from either their Local or Territorial Referee Society. The statement carries with it a promise of a certain level of support, both financial and with respect to appointments. The Charter recognizes that local and territorial referee societies have varying abilities and desires to support a candidate, so a statement from either is sufficient.

C2 applicants must be no older than 33, C1 referees 34 or younger, B3 referees 35, and so on. These age criteria have been calculated to allow a realistic opportunity to reach A1 by age forty.

Applicants who meet these criteria will then be asked to submit a videotape of themselves in a challenging match and/or will have a match arranged so that one of the program officers can see them.

There have been very few qualified applicants in the two-plus years of the program’s existence. We are hoping that exposure in Rugby Magazine will encourage good, young referees to contact us directly.

If you are a young referee and have ambition, the first thing you should do is obtain a coach or a mentor. A good coach is an experienced referee who can watch you referee from time to time, provide feedback, and is willing and able to teach. Your coach does not have to reside near you – as long as you are committed to talking on the phone after every match and seeing each other as often as can be arranged.

The next thing you should do is train to the fitness standards. If you can meet the standards and want to try to get to the top, contact us. It will be our pleasure to help you realize your dream.



Source - http://www.rugbymag.com/archive/2003/october/devpanel.htm


From what I understand the development panel in the US is being revamped somewhat and there are some changes on the way. There are people involved (some on here) who know more about it and are better positioned to speak further about it so I'm not going to add any more speculation.

I am in agreement with OB on this. There are certainly some good referees out there in their 40's who are not currently in the top echelon but are capable of putting in a B1 or A grade performance. However the heads of the referee development panels need to have people that they can rely on putting in a performance like that consistently and for a long period of time.

The cost is huge to really train and develop someone so they need to see a potential payoff at the end of it. In something like this the payoff can be getting a referee to the stage where they are consistently putting in the top performances for a long period of time. The benefit there is a case of opportunity cost because for each year they have a developed referee performing is another year that they don't have to spend on developing another referee. It's basic mathematics, a 30 year old referee entering a development program and a 40 year old referee at the same level have totally different levels of potential simply because the younger guy has that time on his hands.

It is tough, and it is "age-ism" in some ways, but for a reason. This is why refs like Wayne Barnes and Steve Walsh are highlighted, because they started so early so they can reach a peak and maintain it for longer before the aging process robs them of some natural fitness. Yes there are people who are capable of remaining very fit into their 40's and 50's, and the guidelines are simply guides. If an unusual candidate presents him or herself then a committee would consider their case, but the overall guidelines indicate the age benchmarks and subsequent development potential.

jboulet4648
18-05-06, 14:05
The DRiP panel is no longer in existance from what I was told because teams do not want a "development" ref reffing their important match. There are currently two people on this panel currently. There is talk of a new "Development panel" being created with new and old members. The new panel ARP (Accelerated Referee Panel) or AARP (Accelerated and Advanced Referee Panel) or in Gavins case (American Association of Retired People...you old bugger!) will have a whole bunch of new restrictions. Not sire what they are yet, but the fitness restrictions are there, and the age restriction may be changed.

I was a candidate for the old DRiP panel, and am on a list for the ARP/AARP depending whether they go forward with it, I end up being in there age range, etc. Basically what it comes down to is the IRB a bunch of years back said they would not take any new refs at the top level who were over 40. So in order to get a ref to the top level, they need to have enough workable years to get there.

WHat the USA Rugby Referee is going to do is at the national level Referee & Laws do away with B1, B2 and B3 grades. He proposed that each territory designate appropriate referees as “territorial referees.” These referees would be B level referees. Each territory would then submit nominations to the R&L selection committee for persons to be considered as part of the National Developmental Panel, separate from DRIP/ARP/AARP. The next tier would be the National Panel (to be renamed the National Squad). The highest tier would be the International Panel.

In Gavins Case maybe they saw him with that big Yankees Head Condom he wore in NY and said YIKES! Missed seeing you in Florida. Was looking forward to a pint with you!

hellboundrugger
18-05-06, 19:05
Gavin,

I thought you were already on one of those development panels?

Cheers,

Nick

Hi Nick

No, thhrough the immense efforts of my coach and mentor Dave Metcalfe we have sort of created our own program out of necessity.

hellboundrugger
18-05-06, 19:05
This is a constant topic worldwide. Have you asked Gerry Fitzergerald and others in the Florida Society what training is available to you ?
You say "excluded from advanced placement programs " I would turn it around and say "what criteria do you need to do to be INCLUDED on an advanced placement programme". Age is not a direct factor, but is indirectly an issue.

In England there is no barrier to referee advancement directly related to age - it might be illegal anyway now under the new 'age-ism' legislation brought in by our government. Anyone who is fit enough and 'safe' and has basic refereeing ability can find matches to meet their level - whatever that may be. All Society referees are carefully assessed and graded, and most think subjectively that they are better than they are when measured objectively by a formal assessment. We have no problems with new referees in their 50s or even 60s, but the reality is that they may not have the time or energy or drive to referee at the higher levels.



Hi Simon and very nice to hear from you

I agree that in England there is more opportunity, but after talking to a couple of older panel refs, although there is no direct discrimination, it is still a big factor. I understant it takes a while to develope a panel ref, but a top level player who has played for may years and decides to take on reffing, usually has a much faster learning curve. I feel this is a potential pool that is not being fully taken advantage of.

Gavin

ExHookah
18-05-06, 19:05
Hi Nick

No, thhrough the immense efforts of my coach and mentor Dave Metcalfe we have sort of created our own program out of necessity.


Dave is a great guy, I worked with him in NY in the spring and he gave me some really helpful coaching.

hellboundrugger
18-05-06, 20:05
The DRiP panel is no longer in existance from what I was told because teams do not want a "development" ref reffing their important match. There are currently two people on this panel currently. There is talk of a new "Development panel" being created with new and old members. The new panel ARP (Accelerated Referee Panel) or AARP (Accelerated and Advanced Referee Panel) or in Gavins case (American Association of Retired People...you old bugger!) will have a whole bunch of new restrictions. Not sire what they are yet, but the fitness restrictions are there, and the age restriction may be changed.

I was a candidate for the old DRiP panel, and am on a list for the ARP/AARP depending whether they go forward with it, I end up being in there age range, etc. Basically what it comes down to is the IRB a bunch of years back said they would not take any new refs at the top level who were over 40. So in order to get a ref to the top level, they need to have enough workable years to get there.

WHat the USA Rugby Referee is going to do is at the national level Referee & Laws do away with B1, B2 and B3 grades. He proposed that each territory designate appropriate referees as “territorial referees.” These referees would be B level referees. Each territory would then submit nominations to the R&L selection committee for persons to be considered as part of the National Developmental Panel, separate from DRIP/ARP/AARP. The next tier would be the National Panel (to be renamed the National Squad). The highest tier would be the International Panel.

In Gavins Case maybe they saw him with that big Yankees Head Condom he wore in NY and said YIKES! Missed seeing you in Florida. Was looking forward to a pint with you!




I was a candidate for the old DRiP panel, and am on a list for the ARP/AARP depending whether they go forward with it, I end up being in there age range, etc. Basically what it comes down to is the IRB a bunch of years back said they would not take any new refs at the top level who were over 40. So in order to get a ref to the top level, they need to have enough workable years to get there.

WHat the USA Rugby Referee is going to do is at the national level Referee & Laws do away with B1, B2 and B3 grades. He proposed that each territory designate appropriate referees as “territorial referees.” These referees would be B level referees. Each territory would then submit nominations to the R&L selection committee for persons to be considered as part of the National Developmental Panel, separate from DRIP/ARP/AARP. The next tier would be the National Panel (to be renamed the National Squad). The highest tier would be the International Panel.

In Gavins Case maybe they saw him with that big Yankees Head Condom he wore in NY and said YIKES! Missed seeing you in Florida. Was looking forward to a pint with you!

The good news is that I fit really well into the AARP program. I did hear that a restructuring was going to happen in the US, and I think it will allow the refs with potential to move up.

As far as my NY condom hat I was told by several oversized NY women that it was quite sexy

Hope to see you soon. If there are any decent 7's tourneys in New England over the summer I would be interested in travelling if there was a reffing opportunity

Gavin

hellboundrugger
18-05-06, 20:05
Dave is a great guy, I worked with him in NY in the spring and he gave me some really helpful coaching.

Yes he is

Just a little bad news, David had a mild heart attack and had to be hospitalized and will be having surgery Friday or Monday, we are hoping the best for him

ExHookah
18-05-06, 22:05
Hope to see you soon. If there are any decent 7's tourneys in New England over the summer I would be interested in travelling if there was a reffing opportunity
Gavin

Judah's your man for that, there's a ton of 7's in NE this summer.

I'd also highly recommend the New England 10's, which is held in Acton, MA and organized by Old Gold RFC. They have a strong showing of teams from D1, D2 and D3 as well as college teams and a full womens bracket.

I enjoyed it last year despite one tough game that got away from me a bit. I did one of the D1 1/4 finals and to be honest I think I was a bit underprepared and inexperienced for the intensity of the game. It was two local rivals and I needed to be much clearer on a couple of management areas. I wasn't and I ended up with the losing team blaming me for their loss.

As my mentor had said to me very early on, you have to be prepared that at some point early in your refereeing career you'll have the "Nightmare Game". He said to be ready because everyone has them and it's important to be ready to bounce back from it. To give Judah some credit here, he was at the tournament and gave me some encouragement and helped me shake it off. I was also lucky that the nightmare game was the first of 5 games I did that day so by the end of the tournament I'd got my confidence back, although I also had a hamstring tear to go with it! :mad:

I think I just totally threadjacked this topic!

Simon Thomas
19-05-06, 13:05
Hi Gavin

Hope all goes well.

Having assessed you in England (and as an active level 7 myself and ex-senior level player form thr 1980s) I feel uniqely positioned to make comment. Based on the one match I saw you do (Brunel v Guys BUSA) I would grade you at 6/7 and have no hesitation recommending you for a Federation Squad with Panel potential. Your fitness levels, match management and decision making was excellent and I would see a number of years of high level referee-ing ahead.

As for your comments, very few recent top level players in England have shown any interest in referee-ing, preferring the coaching (or committee) routes.

The RFU does actively encourage ex-players to take up referee-ing and where they do, they are fast tracked through. Not all ex-quality players make good referees or coaches even - the main defect being a lack of the communication or management skills required.

ex-lucy
19-05-06, 16:05
it's the age old argument isnt it ... age or beauty ... as a player i would always encourage the selector/ coach to go with the 'best' player in that position ... when it's equal go for youth.

as a ref : there seems to be diff selection criteria nowadays ...
"Basically what it comes down to is the IRB a bunch of years back said they would not take any new refs at the top level who were over 40. So in order to get a ref to the top level, they need to have enough workable years to get there."

and that isnt fair ... equity anyone?

if you have, say, 10 refs @ level 6-8 ... in a county society .. maybe you should reserve 1 or 2 for Development .. i.e. young refs who may go places .. and encourage them/ fast track them etc .. but not all 10 places ..

Competition. Competition. Competition. That is the name of the game. At whatever level of the game. If a youngster is fast tracked and doesnt have to compete with old buggers how is he going to learn the hard stuff e.g. brawls, FR and their black art stuff, gobby 9s etc ?

Fast tracking can make a youngun come unstuck because he hasnt learnt about some wise old tricks ....
I am not against it per se .. just very 'for' competition on a fair and equal footing...

And to assume that advisors/ assessors know it all .... is a false premise ...

q: having not known failure/real compt because they are fast tracked ... what is the failure rate of fast trackers ? and how many continue once they have failed to make the 'grade' ? and for how long ?

hellboundrugger
19-05-06, 17:05
Hi Gavin

Hope all goes well.

Having assessed you in England (and as an active level 7 myself and ex-senior level player form thr 1980s) I feel uniqely positioned to make comment. Based on the one match I saw you do (Brunel v Guys BUSA) I would grade you at 6/7 and have no hesitation recommending you for a Federation Squad with Panel potential. Your fitness levels, match management and decision making was excellent and I would see a number of years of high level referee-ing ahead.

As for your comments, very few recent top level players in England have shown any interest in referee-ing, preferring the coaching (or committee) routes.

The RFU does actively encourage ex-players to take up referee-ing and where they do, they are fast tracked through. Not all ex-quality players make good referees or coaches even - the main defect being a lack of the communication or management skills required.

Thanks so much for your kind comments Simon

It would be nice to have an opportunity like that in England. I just wish there were more opportunities here in the US to do higher level matches. Every once in a while I consider making a jump move to England for a few years to be able to persue my dream of reffing higher level rugby, but there is the obvious reality of Citizenship, job, family.

Not too serious though, no matter what the level any rugby day is a good day

Gavin

Simon Thomas
19-05-06, 18:05
Gavin

If you ever consider it seriously, we would do all we could in Hampshire, and through RFU to facilitate matters and provide appropriate help.

jboulet4648
20-05-06, 11:05
it's the age old argument isnt it ... age or beauty ...

Its nice to have both....Gavin with the age, Myself of course with the Beauty!:D

I think with the way things are going, all new up and coming refs in the US may get ample opportunity.

As for thos oversized women Gavin, not sure if they would fit in the suitcase!:p

ex-lucy
21-05-06, 10:05
i wonder if reading between the lines there is a sense of missing out on something by the 'other' refs as opposed to the 'lucky' ones (those fortunate to be on development/ fast tracking schemes) ... i.e. the lucky ones get mentors, coaches, special training sessions/ courses, video analysis, extra special appointments above their normal stations ... etc.. They are seen as 'good' because they are on the fast track scheme, thus they are good.... luvly cyclical logic employed by rugby selectors ...
The others have to muddle on as best they can ..
this is just perception...
Having recently started (2 yrs) ... i have seen younger refs get all the above fast tracking perks ... and have seen them get promoted grade-wise and seen them referee ... me .. i ask a few officials how to become a B3 .. what am i doing right/ wrong.. because altho i had 5 advisors up to Jan 31st .. none since .... and i rcvd no info/ no advice/ no or little help.

so, what is the next option ? muddle on? beg for fast track perks like the youngsters bec of discrimination? move society to one that does provide better development? what ?

ex-lucy
21-05-06, 10:05
I watched Hertfordshire vs Gloucestershire. Referee: Rowan Kitt.
Anyone know if he is on the fast tracking scheme? He looks very young.

Simon Thomas
21-05-06, 11:05
ex-Lucy, it is a competitive world. I disagree with your accusal of cynical logic and others missing out - it just isn't the case. Not many fast-trackers / development refs make it all the way; if they aren't good enough they get dropped from the squads !

As I say in my post above, there are limited development resources available and limited higher level matches & development squad places. I have been reffing for 6 years, got to level 6/7 (B2 in Herts old currency), played at London 6 level in my 30s and for Harlequins and Esher in my 20s, as well as Cambridge Uni with a number of internationals in the 70s. No lack of experience there - but I started reffing at 42. Now I am nearly 50 - my realistic plateau has been reached - fitness is slowly going, more and more small injuries happening, etc. Yes I could probably handle higher level matches as a one off, but every week ? I have my doubts !
Can I offer 10 years service at National Panel level ? - NO WAY.
Can two 25 yr olds and one 19 yr old we have on the Federation Devlopment Group ? - if they are good enough YES.
Where is my Society and Federation going to get a better return on their investment of many 000s of pounds ?

In my experience the selection of fast-track / development referees is a pretty objective process using as much evidence as possible, but also the 'gut feel' of experienced assessors / coaches (many of whom have been on Panel or A list as it used to be called).

Grading, selection for Society / Federation Squads, nomination and selection for group and ultimately Panel are hightly detailed processes done by Committees of well-meaning volunteers (plus some professional RFU personnel).

You looking to step up to B3 from C1 after 2 seasons and having 5 assessment in one season is pretty good going compared to many Societies - maybe the feedback isn't there, but it strikes me you are doing pretty well ! Even for your advanced years (tingue in cheek) - hope to see you at next season's Autumn Internationals again.

ex-lucy
22-05-06, 11:05
i dont necessarily agree with what i posted myself .... it was an argument that i have heard before ... i was acting as a Devil's Advocate .... having been a 1st xv player for many years ... i know how competitive selection is as a player and can only imagine how much more compt it is as a referee ..

although ... 'gut feel' .. jeez i hope not!! how is that objective?

Ashley Rowden was at my club y'day for a charity match... reffed superbly .. of course... considering weatehr conds and lack of skills on show ... and i can report that he is now is a fully paid up member of the '22 Club' !!
Had a good chat with him about this issue ... (see title)
interesting to hear what he said ... the phrases .. 'it's all political', 'cliques', 'horse trading', 'membership of the IRB club and RFU club' etc .. were heard ...
We had a good chat about the Glaws v Orish match as well.
He is 47!!! unbelievable .... looking at him i would say he looks 35-ish ... how he manages to give away 20 years to his colleagues ..dunno ..
he never played rugby at senior level... only at school.
He also agreed that the new fast tracking etc is all down to IRB's "no international matches to refs 40+" ... he is now too old for Heineken and Challenge Cup etc where there is an age cap ... but ok for Premiership "as long as he keeps fit".

his parting shot on this issue ... "there is NO substitute for experience" ....

didds
22-05-06, 11:05
his parting shot on this issue ... "there is NO substitute for experience" ....


he is also on record as saying (I was present) that he doesn't particularly ref the law book, just the contact area.

Take that statement as you may...


didds

outofpuff
22-05-06, 18:05
Is it not the tale of life.
The young think they know how, and can do it now.
The old do know how to do it but take a little longer.
At least that's what i tell the wife.

Bryan
24-05-06, 07:05
The fast-tracking of referees to the top levels is an interesting topic. Clearly the words "40-year old" and "potential" are seldom heard in the same sentence, but is this a good idea? There is ageism involved at the higher echelons of referee selections, but where does it end? In a few years will we see a 35 year old Steve Walsh usurped by a 25 year old that comes along?

A stipulation to being selected for the RC National "Focus Group" is to still have 10 years of high level refereeing in you, so I suppose this is capped at around 35-38, but even that is pushing it. The 40 year olds on the Panel know full well they won't be going anywhere fast, but this is accepted and they enjoy the refereeing all the same. Certain Celtic League referees (and no doubt RFU ones) are in the same boat.

In the days where referees are fighting for professional contracts, age isn't taken likely. Unions will be less likely to invest in a 40 year old when a 30 year old is also available. I know of one NZRU referee who turned down a pro-contract b/c he felt he was too old, had a family, and didn't want to feel obligated to travel across the globe for most of the year at the whim of the NZRU. Be careful what you wish for, it's not all high society and brushing shoulders with the big boys and girls. High fitness regimes, a mercenary relationship with other referees when politics is involved, and all to be dropped on your arse at 35 b/c you're just not good enough, thanks for coming but have a nice life elsewhere!

However, if the best players deserve the best referees, why are older referees being passed over in order to give the younger referees a shot? Do those players not deserve the highest level of officiating, or are we in fact sacrificing now so that these young refs will be so much better a few years down the road?

In this country, potential high-level referees are now being asked whether they can move abroad to pursue a higher level of refereeing for 6-12 months so that the Tier 1 nations can have a look at them. This comes with finding a job, moving the wife and kids (if they're around), and taking huge sacrifices. Personal changes are equally as important with physical and match development.

-Bryan

ex-lucy
24-05-06, 10:05
Bryan: "However, if the best players deserve the best referees, why are older referees being passed over in order to give the younger referees a shot? Do those players not deserve the highest level of officiating, or are we in fact sacrificing now so that these young refs will be so much better a few years down the road?"
the crux of the argument for us oldies .... any system that ignores/ passes over a certain amount of selection for quotas/ positive discrimination etc ... is not a meritocracy ...
e.g. can anyone really tell me that Nigel Whitehouse is a better ref than Ashley Rowden ? but he is younger and is under the age cap for the Challenge Cup/ Heineken Cup.
but whatever... if the big wide picture is all that matters .... and in general this system works for what's best for 'rugby' ...despite an occasional good and better oldy being passed over for a lucky youngun..... then so be it .. i suppose any system will have its fair share of detractors ....
as long as most (nearly all) the best players get the best refs .... it can be classed as successful ...

SimonSmith
24-05-06, 13:05
In the days where referees are fighting for professional contracts, age isn't taken likely. Unions will be less likely to invest in a 40 year old when a 30 year old is also available. Bryan


Now, there's an interesting point raised there. Discrimination on the grounds of age alone is unlawful in UK, and certainly in the US; can't speak for Australasia.
The governing bodies will have to have other criteria for not advancing people, otherwise they are at risk of lawsuits.....

chef11
24-05-06, 13:05
My wife has been ranting about the age thing for years.She goes to games and see's a fast tracker,he has a stinker and seeyells at the Evals. about why a beter referee was not put there because the player do deserve the best possible referee.

Bryan
24-05-06, 14:05
The governing bodies will have to have other criteria for not advancing people, otherwise they are at risk of lawsuits.....

Fitness tests no doubt play a large role in helping this out. I'm not saying older referees are less fit, just that younger ones normally have more time to contribute to their fitness and have an easier time of maintaining it at the required level.

However, which snubbed referee would actually contest their rejection at a pro contract? Unless there is some serious amount of favouritism going on, I can't see that at the highest level the difference between A and B is that much. This is reflected by the new IRB policy that referees appointed to Tier 1 v. Tier 1 matches will not recieve Performance Evaluations but only referee coaching reports. When someone gets a 91 and the other gets a 93, is there really that much difference? Would a referee have a case to contest if this occured?


My wife has been ranting about the age thing for years.She goes to games and see's a fast tracker,he has a stinker and seeyells at the Evals. about why a beter referee was not put there because the player do deserve the best possible referee.

She should not yell at the evaluator, nor the referee. The Appointments committee obviously believed the referee was up to the standard of match and so the referee was appointed. Also note that if a young referee has a stinker, he/she will have more time to improve and re-evaluate their performance to hopefully improve to the next level. Then again, at the top levels, incoming referees normally only get one shot at making it.

-Bryan

jboulet4648
24-05-06, 15:05
Chef11, have you ever had a stinker of a match? Did someone's wife yell at you? How would that have made you feel? Don't you think the ref felt crappy enough about his performance, than to be taunted by a jealous fellow referee's spouse?

If you never have had a stinker of a match, you probably have not progressed as fast as those of us who have had a stinker of a match. I know from my experiences, I can distinctly point out two matches which were extreme stinkers , which were both over my head, which I got because the match would test me, because I am a potential "fast-track", and the society higher ups knew the best way to develop a ref was to watch him/her sink or swim. If I swam, great, If I sank, better. Why? Because what I learned from each of those matches helped me become ten times a better referee.

SimonSmith
24-05-06, 15:05
Fitness tests no doubt play a large role in helping this out. I'm not saying older referees are less fit, just that younger ones normally have more time to contribute to their fitness and have an easier time of maintaining it at the required level.

However, which snubbed referee would actually contest their rejection at a pro contract? Unless there is some serious amount of favouritism going on, I can't see that at the highest level the difference between A and B is that much. This is reflected by the new IRB policy that referees appointed to Tier 1 v. Tier 1 matches will not recieve Performance Evaluations but only referee coaching reports. When someone gets a 91 and the other gets a 93, is there really that much difference? Would a referee have a case to contest if this occured?-Bryan

If there is a consistent pattern of discrimination, then possibly, yes. I've seen cases won in more spurious circumstances (work in HR for my sins....)
Or if there is any kind of policy in existence which mandates any kind of age barrier/limitation....Unless the body can make a convincing case about the ability to do the job equating to age - which may be a stretch - then there could be a problem.

I don't really see the circumstances in which a passed-over referee would make a case, but you never know.
I'm in the USA - I've heard of crazier things!

OB..
24-05-06, 17:05
Age can easily be measured, and we all know how old we will be in 10 years time (we hope!). Unfortunately age is not in itself a measure of ability, even though it correlates fairly well with eg fitness.

The other criteria are less easy to measure and even harder to predict. I have certainly seen older referees at my level who compensate for waning fitness with greater experience. Higher up this is harder to achieve, and virtually impossible at the top levels.

Because it is easiest to measure, age tends to be used as shorthand for other criteria.

I really would like to see some evidence that better referees are being left behind purely on age grounds before I get too worked up about setting reasonable age guidelines.