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

Things to consider

A few things to consider this week:

    1. We are still not effectively refereeing the Tackler Assist. Mostly due to not being in the correct position quick enough. Work to get there. Waiting for attackers to clean out the TA allows them to slow down ball recycle.
    2. Attacking team forming a wall in front of the last line of feet. Ask them once to move onside, then penalize them. (Especially in WPL).
  2. SCRUM
    1. Set it up for success. Shoulders in line (LH right shoulder showing) and TH not to bind on the arm or twist LH’s arm down.
    1. Too often am seeing advantage under pressure. Play PK advantage when there’s a clear opportunity that it may accrue, otherwise you are wasting time and the players’ energy.
    1. Seeing a lot of late tackles/bumps etc. especially in the WPL. Taking out the passing player late to not allow them to support the new ball carrier is a deliberate infringement and should be dealt with accordingly.
    2. Deliberately slapping the ball out of the scrum half’s hands puts the player in the situation where they can receive a YC.
    3. When players deliberately infringe they may be carded without prior warning, especially when it is in the 22m area.
    1. Please review last week’s email below. Apparently coaches are not yet adhering to this and referees are not enforcing it effectively. Referees are to ensure their AR’s are not hindered and absolutely if a coach walks on the field without your permission it is grounds for WARNING then an ejection thereafter.


RICHARD EVERY  |  High Performance Referee Manager  |  USA Rugby

Referee abuse

If a coach walks onto the field during the game, unless the referee allows the coach to enter the field, the coach should be sent off the field and warned ONCE. If they repeat the offense or any form of abuse toward the officials, then EJECT them from the grounds. This is not acceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.
Please review the following and apply strictly:
Verbal abuse by team coaches, team staff or team substitutes directed at match officials or players should not be tolerated and the following process should be followed:
  1. The referee will ask the identified person to refrain from their behavior.
  2. On the second occasion the referee will EJECT the person from the grounds.
  3. Zero tolerance approach should be applied and if the person refuses to leave the referee should request that team’s captain to assist.
  4. Failing compliance the referee may abandon the match.
NOTE: The referee then restarts the game according to the latest stoppage and should NOT award a penalty due to the sideline behavior.


RICHARD EVERY  |  High Performance Referee Manager  |  USA Rugby

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