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Thread: Getting more people into become referees

      
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    Default Getting more people into become referees

    How can we get more young people to become referees?

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica Jane Cooper View Post
    How can we get more young people to become referees?
    For all those places where they get paid nothing or very little... pay them better.

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    Quote Originally Posted by leaguerefaus View Post
    For all those places where they get paid nothing or very little... pay them better.
    Good God no! Disaster. If you pay people to referee, you introduce the idea of value for money. Does a young referee provide value for his money compared to a 10-year veteran? If not, he can be abused, complained to, moaned at and made to feel miserable. He'll then decide that the money isn't worth the hassle and disappear to a leisure pursuit that is actually enjoyable.

    Jessica Jane Cooper - a warm welcome to the forums. Can you tell us why you asked the question, and provide a bit of background to your own rugby experience?
    Don't feed the pedant!

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    Stop the abuse in Junior games, simple. Provide a career path that is open and transparent? (please dont say it is at the moment, it isnt).
    Get married again??? No I am going to miss out the middle bit, Just find somebody I hate and buy them a house

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    Speaking from the experience of only starting to referee after retiring as a player, I think the best way to get young (16-25) people into refereeing is to start it within a club context (safety zone for many people), starting off with trainings (seniors) and moving up through the younger player ages.

    At trainings, players who can't run could still "ref" certain drills, players able to run but prefering non-contact are cut out for the job.

    To me, the ideal scenario for refereeing actual games for the first time is at a friendly pre-season tournament (or post-, of course). I would recommend anybody interested in giving it a go to do the IRB1 before this point, but if they are really solid on laws then safety > continuity of play / fair contest > laws explanation they should have had at very start plus training experience might be enough.

    My recommendation as to how to sell this to the young players concerned is to tell them it will add to their playing ability, rather than being a replacement for it.

    The first 10-20 games were hardest for me, and I'd recommend mentoring those players showing promise. Ten games over a three year period perhaps?

    In clubs with proper youth sections, have the 16-year-olds start off with U13 (or younger). After a year, give them a U15 game (this age group wants to play "by the laws", so make sure they have all the irb online stuff by then). Then at 18, if they show maturity, perhaps give them a U17 friendly game.

    Another important aspect is to monitor - as players - them as they grow older. Only a few will be so talented as to leave the club as professionals. However, however ambitious they are, not all will become 1st XV material as players, but that doesn't mean they can't become great referees at an early age.

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    Welcome to the site, Jessica. Your question is a very good one. I think we need to start by asking young players why they don't want to be referees. We may be surprised by their answers but I can offer a few that I'm aware of.

    1. Law complexity. 'Nuff said.

    2. Peer criticism. Even when there is no sideline harassment there will still be a reluctance to put themselves in a position to be criticized by their peers.

    3. Lack of a pathway. In my area of the US there aren't any "community" games (unlike soccer) where a budding referee can get to ref at a true entry level. All our games are inter-club and are refereed by a certified ref or coach.

    The answer lies more with the clubs than the referee societies. Here are my thoughts as a youth coach:

    1. Teach the Laws of the Game as an essential part of the rugby education.
    That may sound like a fundamental requirement but it's easily overlooked here as we have such a limited time to develop skill and tactical knowledge. My approach is to teach the laws in the context of the part of the game that is being practiced.

    2. Have players referee the games in practice.
    Much of our practices are small sided, limited rule set games. Naturally, coaches run these. Yet this is the best environment for players to step in and whistle. They get a short set of conditions to enforce and they get to rule on their peers.

    3. Create a pathway.
    Coaches are the best link to players but too often the coach/referee relationship is adversarial. This has to change if players are to be encouraged and recruited. One approach would be for societies or clubs to offer training in laws for the development of players and coaches. The laws tell us a. what we must not do, b. what we must do and c. what we may do. They "may" part is the hardest part as they can be explicit in law (ie. specifically stated options) or implied by omission. Not only do coaches need to know the law but they need to know how to teach it.

    Just my thoughts.

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    This is spooky. Rushforth and I are of the same opinion.

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica Jane Cooper View Post
    How can we get more young people to become referees?
    List the attractions, then list the downsides .....then compare.

    Aren't the RFU currently canvassing referee opinion on payments? Feedback via London refs via monkey survey or something similar?

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    There are 2 issues: 1. getting people to become referees and 2. retaining them once they're on board

    Over here we provide an incentive to the clubs to encourage their members to become officials. For junior games the team receives 1 extra competition point per game if they provide a trained AR. It is then hoped that these ARs get a taste for officiating and take up the whistle.

    I think incentives to clubs (whether it be competition points, tickets to elite games, signed merchandise, etc) is a good way to go.
    I, for one, like Roman numerals

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    Default Re: Getting more people into become referees

    This can be a bloody difficult thing to get going from scratch, but it's certainly helpful if "you can go to society meetings and discuss things with other referees and get guidance and become better!" doesn't translate in the real world to "you can go to a poky little room that stinks of stale beer with twenty blokes who are all over fifty and spend their time arguing about laws they never apply properly and telling old jokes about British Leyland!"

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