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Man in the Middle: Scott Houghton

9 months ago By Daniel Woods

Meet the members of South Yorkshire Referee's. Scott here has made the smooth transition from player to whistle blower.......

“There is a likeness to former Premiership referee, Andrew Small - take from that what you will” Scott Houghton

Name: Scott(y) Houghton
Age: 29
Referee Level: 9
Seasons as a referee: 2nd Season

What made you pick up the whistle and start refereeing?

Like a lot of referees, we only pick up the whistle as a last resort, for me this is no exception - after a catalogue of shoulder injuries I decided it was time to listen to my body (and her indoors), and this way I get to stay involved in the game I love and hopefully give a little bit back to it as well.

What is the best part about being a referee?

For me its getting to see how big our county is, going from Skipton one week to Hessle the next, going to clubs that I never went to as a player and also meeting referees that I’ve not met before, and listening to their experiences of clubs and the games they’ve refereed or been involved in other ways as a match official etc.

What would you say to someone thinking about starting out as a rugby referee?

Get involved, I think now more than ever its apparent how much refereeing is for anyone and everyone. Its a great way to give something back to the game and hopefully inspire future referees.
Speak to the referee after the game and get the ball rolling

If you were to compare your refereeing style to one of the international or premiership referees - which would it be?

I’m not sure I have developed a ‘style’ as such yet but there is a likeness to former Premiership referee Andrew Small – take from that what you will, but I’ll put it down to running out in white boots from time to time (honest).

What sort of support have your received to help develop your refereeing?

Being watched by assessors and mentors has been a big help for me and I think we can all as referees put a big part of our progression down to them, also advice from other refs not just in South but within Yorkshire, and also the support I get from home too.

What is one of the highlights of your refereeing career so far?

I did a vets game at Castle Park, Doncaster last season it was a level 11 game, with a 40-10 score line so on paper nothing special, but one of the teams contained a former England 7’s international and former Rotherham greats such as John Dudley, Simon Bunting, Scott Wilson and Ben Wade, players that I grew up watching.

Who has influenced your refereeing career the most so far?

Personally, I’m influenced by success stories so people like Daniel Woods & Owen Taylor getting onto the North Group and the progression that Big Al Chandrachud and the other guys from South on development squad are making, so hopefully as my refereeing career develops I can have some of the same success as them

What are your aspirations for the coming season?

At the start of the season I wanted to get go level 9, and I’m pleased to say 2 games in to the new season I got there – so now that’s out of the way, I suppose the target for the end of this season is to get to level 8


What do you like best about being a member of South Yorkshire Society?

I’d say the best thing is the amount of depth and experience we have within South, only recently we had a referee involved in all levels of the game, from Premiership to level 12 which is something I’m really proud to have been a part of. Also, that those referees that are shaking hands with guys that were involved in the Lions tour over the summer are at our society meetings to offer words of advice and praise to new and progressing referees.

Updated 21:59 - 1 Dec 2017 by Daniel Woods

Where next?

Man in the Middle: James Gray As we kick off Season 2017-18 we continue to meet the members that make up South Yorkshire Society.
Be a Game Changer: Sue Jones Sue recently represented South YRS at the RFU's Female Referees Conference. Here we find out more about Sue & why she picked up the whistle

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