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The WA Referees' Seminar

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Last weekend I attended the Referees' Seminar, a day that most societies around the world hold, be it called conference or seminar, to relate the way we will referee for this season to their members.

The Athletes that make up the WA Rugby Union Referees' Association assembled at RugbyWA headquarters. It was a fine bunch of looking men and a lady, who were all ready to kick off the season.

I gave in my availability form and parted way with $100 (in 15 years of refereeing this is the first time I have directly parted with money to become a referee, normally it comes out of match fees. Oh well, when in Perth...) and I was ready for the day.

The Agenda was read out, and the President of the Association, an English chap by the name of Brendan, gave his speech. A bit of humour was had at a few members, as is the norm, and we proceeded into the first presentation of the day. A Presentation about Myths & Pitfalls.

The session was presented by another English chap called Anthony, Anthony I believe is now one of the coaches (well at least I hope he is or my chances of doing well are dashed when he reads this!) and in the read out of his bio it was revealed that he had been an RFU panel referee in a past life.

He spoke very well, identifying a number (but not all) of the myths and pitfalls. He was very good at making sure we stayed on track. As all referees' know, lead the conversation into interpretation of law and you could be there for weeks!

Toward the end of his presentation he made reference to an article written by Brian Moore about scrummaging, as he was reading part of it, I thought it sounded a little familiar. Yes, it was the article that Brian wrote at my request for RugbyRefs.com. After he had read it I enlightened the group as to where they could read the whole article. A good samaritan thing to do. (And an easy plug!)

The next presentation was about how a referee portray's themself. The presenter, who's name I forget (apologies if you are reading this) was from South Africa (Are there any Aussies in this Association????). In the read out of his bio it was clear that he was a very good referee, having been the youngest member of the SARU panel, refereed a number of Currie Cup games and S10-12 games. This was quite surprising as he didn't look very old, probably mid 30's, like myself! (Who has refereed nothing near that quality!).

His presentation was excellent, how to interact with the players, how to ensure you come across as knowing what you are doing, and selling your decision,s even if they are wrong.

The way a referee walks is vitally important, head down signifies that you may have lost the game, or at least are struggling to hold on to it, walking backwards away from issues shows you may not know what just happened. He presented it really well, I look forward to more from this chap in the future.

We then moved into the Game Management Guidelines, this is the way that the ARU (& SANZAR) want us to referee the game at all levels this year. The big 5 were still there, and unchanged. Though more effort was placed on the scrum and beating the ruck.

The laws have not changed for this season, so business as usual that side.

Lastly we moved into SmartRugby, the ARU's Health & Safety Course for all referees & coaches. It lasts for 2 years so that's me all qualified up again.

All in all a great day, and very informative presentations. A great bunch of referees.

I'm still looking forward to my first game!
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