Briefing and Up-date from Pre-season Meetings

  • August 30, 2019

This article summarises the briefing on a number of topics given by Andy McMillan (Chairman of Training and Development) at the recent pre-season meetings.

All Referees (and Referee Assessors and Coaches) are asked to familiarise themselves with the material below.


Mismatched scrums

Occasionally mismatched scrums become a danger to  the safety of players.  The key piece of advice is one of common sense: talk to the players, explain that if you as a referee consider that a mis-match has become unsafe, and if the threat to safety continues, that you will have little option but to order uncontested scrums on safety grounds. (Law 6 and Regulation 13).  (Remember: ask, tell, sanction.)



You are STRONGLY advised to revisit the RFU HEADCASE information to refresh your understanding of what is required of a referee in the case of a suspected head injury.


Management of Technical Areas 

The Society recognises that this is an area of growing difficulty for referees. Fred Howard has written a “Preferred Options” document to assist referees in the management of technical areas.


“Preferred Options” Documents

Preferred Options (PO) documents are a series of papers that (will) cover a range of topics of practical interest and will be available for download from the Society website. The papers will be developed with input from referees and advisers and will, in some form, be the basis of the Training and Development part of monthly meetings during the season.

The anticipated benefits of the PO model are:

  • Usable as guidance across a wide range of referee level, experience and ability.
  • Can be easily updated to take account of developments within the game.
  • Arises from criteria agreed within the society.
  • Acts as a guidance for both referees and advisers to encourage consistency of approach.
  • Addresses practical issues encountered by referees on a match-by-match level and provides tried and tested guidance.
  • Discourages personal strategies or preferences of both referees and assessors, which may lead to accusations of lack of understanding or inconsistency.
  • As the Society’s preferred options, the model still allows for a common sense approach to the unusual event or circumstance.  The word used is “preferred” not “absolute”.


Continuous Match Official Development (CMOD) Modules

The RFU want more officials to make use of the CMOD modules. To this end CMODs are being made freely available to all Societies to be delivered by any appropriately trained Society member.

The Society will maintain a register of attendance for all training events; however, Society members, particularly referees and ARs, should maintain up-to-date records of their own training. This will be possible on Who’s the Ref (WTR) in due course.