USA Rugby Referee and Laws Committee Adopts New Pathway

The USA Rugby Referee & Laws Committee has restructured the requirements to be promoted to a B Grade (Territorial) referee and to retain that grade.

The changes allow a more realistic pathway to be promoted to B Grade and ensure that B Grade referees maintain the expected standards.

Previously, referees had to attain three Above Grade reports over a period of 18 months. One of the reports was required to be “out of territory.” Overall, it was difficult to achieve and proved to be a financial burden on referee societies. Once referees attained the B Grade, there have been no requirements in place to maintain that standard.

“It has been easier the past few years for referees to make the national panels (the lowest of which is achievable for a C1 referee), than it was for them to earn promotion to the B (Territorial) grade,” Referee & Laws Committee Chairman Bruce Carter said. “The main roadblock was that local referee societies have few if any Level 5 matches to assign and zero Level 4 matches. Reducing the requirement for such matches from three to two should make it feasible for referees with the ability to referee at the territorial level to earn the territorial grade.”

A public database will be created and maintained by USA Rugby Referees that will include all B Grade referees in the USA. This database will contain Name, Area, Report Status, Certification, Fitness Results. The database should be in place by the beginning of September.

B Grade Promotion criteria:

  • Two (2) Reports “At Grade” on a Level 4 match, OR
  • Two (2) Reports “Above Grade” on a Level 5 match, OR
  • One(1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 4 match AND One(1) Report “Above Grade” on a Level 5 match
  • Reports need to be from 2 Performance Reviewers (Territorial or National Performance Reviewers) on separate matches
  • One report needs to be on a Men’s Division 1 match
  • All matches need to be full 80 minute matches
  • The time period to achieve the requirements is 18 months
  • 1 Report “At Grade” on a Level 5 match is allowed but not a “Below Grade”.
  • Promoted referees are expected to have the L2 Referee course certification, or need to successfully complete the course within the next 12 months
  • Fitness requirements expected are 10.0 on the Multi Stage Fitness Test (Beep)
  • Promotion to B Grade will be the responsibility of the Local Referee Organization (LRO).

Once referees have been promoted they will need to retain their B Grade annually.

B Grade Annual criteria:

  • One (1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 4 match OR “Above Grade” on a Level 5 match
  • Video reviews are acceptable
  • Match needs to be a full 80 minute match
  • One (1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 5 match is allowed but not accepted for B Grade retention
  • A “Below Grade” Report on a Level 5 match results in a downgrade to C1
  • 10.0 on the Multi Stage Fitness Test (BeepTest) To download as MP3, right click and “save as”. 
  • L2 Referee course certification completed
  • Retention of the B Grade will be the responsibility of the Local Referee Organization (LRO)
  • The Referee & Laws Committee and the USA Rugby Referee Department will review the database annually to ensure that criteria are met

For referees that are injured or are out of the country for a season, a 12-month waiver form can be submitted to the Referee & Laws Committee Executive for review and approval.

Referees that are unable to retain their B Grade will be downgraded to C1. To regain the B Grade referees would need to complete the promotion criteria again.

“We congratulate the Referee & Laws Committee on this positive approach,” High Performance Referee Manager Richard Every said. “It allows for a smoother road to promotion and most importantly, maintains higher standards for match officials throughout the country. This should benefit the game greatly.”

USA Rugby Referees have also released the structure and pathways for Referees, Referee Coaches and Referee Performance Reviewers, from local to national. This includes education criteria, reporting formats, performance expectations, promotions, recruiting and funding responsibility. The document can be viewed here.

(article courtesy of USA Ruby)

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