Do you feel that your active refereeing career may be coming to an end? Perhaps the mind is still willing but the flesh is not quite as able as it once was. There is a way to stay involved in rugby and refereeing that requires no more physical exertion than a keen eye and walking up and down the touch line.
Regardless of what level you refereed, you still can help other referees to improve. Your ability to see what a referee does in a game and to coach him/her in some way is invaluable to those who are still blowing the whistle. The fact that you did not make the International panel of referees does not impede your ability to analyse a referee’s performance and offer that nugget that he/she needs.
The game of Rugby Football Union has changed more in the last decade than anybody could have predicted. In England, leagues were introduced followed by the move to professional players and all that goes with that. We are now told that at the top level it is about providing a spectacle to entertain the paying public. During this period of change the approach of players and club officials has become much more professional with players’ coaches for all aspects of the game. Clubs are now demanding better referees and touch judges to facilitate the spectacle even to the extent of criticising the referees when things don’t quite go as they think they should. It is essential that referees receive a commensurate amount of coaching as the players. So, how can you contribute to the improvement in refereeing standards?