All posts by Barry Tantaris

The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART THREE

The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART THREE

The great thing about rugby is that it is forever changing. We are always growing, making better decisions and discovering new solutions. This is true for players, coaches, referees and administrators. Everyone.

As referees, we are often confronted from all angles. It makes it not so easy to always be confident and motivated. The key is listening. If you know how to listen, you may understand others’ perspectives and not become a victim of their thoughts. It’s all in your attitude. Identify the good bits and add it to your development and goals.

What we are here to talk about today,
is a greater solution for the game.

Continue reading The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART THREE

Team Coaches


Under no circumstances are team coaches allowed to approach the referee at half-time.

If they do, you ask them to convey all questions through their captain, but you absolutely do not discuss anything with the coach at half-time. If the coach persists the referee will EJECT the coach from the grounds. Zero tolerance approach should be applied and if the person refuses to leave the referee should request that team’s captain to assist. Failing compliance the referee may abandon the match.

RICHARD EVERY | High Performance Referee Manager | USA Rugby

Guidance from Richard Every


After reviewing many matches this week, it is great to see that some referees are steadily improving and stepping up.

Refereeing is an ongoing learning process, and here are a few areas that have been identified where we can improve:

  1. Rewarding dominance: A legally dominant scrum should be rewarded. This can have a huge affect on the outcome of a game if you eliminate a legally dominant scrum.
  2. Setting Standards vs Materiality: When establishing behavior early in the match, be certain that it is for infringements that have a material effect. Calling infringements that are too small to be of consequence sets standards that players are unable to attain or understand.
  3. Empathy: You’re constantly building trust and respect in the game. However, if you engage players early in the match with warnings and discussions, you open the door for constant debate, which blurs the lines of your expectations and diminishes your opportunity to Set Standards. Keeping it simple, making clear calls and minimizing communication allow you to influence the game and player behavior without it being about you.

All the best for this weekend!

RICHARD EVERY | High Performance Referee Manager | USA Rugby

The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART TWO

The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART TWO

In 1985, I was nineteen when I refereed my first match. It was a men’s division five game in Durban, South Africa. There were ZERO spectators and the penalty count was ZERO. I have yet to replicate that dubious “success”. Today, I am still learning about the intricacies of this amazing game called rugby.

In PART ONE, we shared that a combined TACTICAL and STRATEGICALrefereeing approach can reach the goal to provide teams a level playing field.

This second section can be a bit more challenging. We naturally want to be in control, and to be right. Being in control is NOT the same as controlling the game. Your performance is built on relationships with the game and players. I am sure you believe rugby is the greatest game, so it is worth noting that you get to be part of something you love. It’s an honor to be out there and that attitude can help you focus on the challenge and not the pressure or the concern of making mistakes. It maximizes your ability to succeed, reduces the need to be in control and allows you to integrate STRATEGICAL elements.
Continue reading The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART TWO

The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART ONE

The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART ONE

 I have been involved in rugby as a referee and manager for over 30 years, in both South Africa and the USA. As the professional game moves into its third decade, there are fundamental aspects of refereeing that could positively transform the game, enhancing its global appeal. Those concepts are detailed in this ten part series, “The Future of Refereeing”, sharing best practices to overcome the ongoing struggle of inconsistency amongst whistle blowers.

PRO Rugby launches in the USA this year. What a wonderful opportunity for coaches, players and of course, the officials.

Remember that book, “Laws of The Game, Rugby Union”? Well, Law 6.A.4 (a) states: “The referee is the sole judge of fact and of Law. The referee must apply fairly all the laws.”
Continue reading The Future of Rugby Refereeing: PART ONE

2016 AGM results

As of result of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) this weekend at the Referee Development Summit (RDS), the following Executive Board positions were voted on:
President – Barry Tantaris
Vice President – Rich Burrus
North Scheduler – Brian Kaiser
West Scheduler – Krista Kastler
East Scheduler – Chris Wroughton

In addition, the following Committee positions were appointed:
Treasurer – Rachel Pate
Referee Development Officer (RDO) – Calum Pender
Policies & Procedures – Stephen Glentzer
Exchanges – Pete Winklebauer
Promotions – Pete Winklebauer

More info to follow.

Barry Tantaris
President, Mid-America Rugby Referee Society

Referee Development Summit – Jan 30-31, 2016 – Columbia, MO

Fellow referees,

The Referee Development Summit (RDS) is on!!

The Mid-America Rugby Football Union board has approved the funding of this important event. It will be held on January 30th and 31st at Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center in Columbia, Missouri. MARRS referees traveling from outside of Columbia will have a hotel room provided by the society that they will share with one other member. In addition, all referees will be reimbursed for mileage (attendees should carpool wherever possible).

General information
We will start at noon on Saturday with registration and lunch from 11:30 am and work until 6:00 pm. We would then all enjoy a group dinner. We will resume again Sunday morning about 8:30 am, continue for another 90-120 minutes before winding up with a referee society Annual General Meeting (AGM) and then departing.

This agenda is currently being worked on. We will send it out when it is available.

Hotel rooms
The hotel rooms have already been booked. After we receive registrations from referees for the available slots we have available, that will be all that the hotel can accommodate – they are completely booked that weekend.

To register for this event, go this the RDS registration form. Please be sure to indicate your jersey size on the form.

This event is one month away. Many individuals have already put in a lot of effort to get this event off the ground. We need to maximize participation within the referee society. If you selected this weekend as your first choice on the earlier survey, we expect that you will make every effort to attend.

Barry Tantaris
Interim President, Mid-America Rugby Referee Society

Rugby referees serving Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and South Dakota