“Refereeing offers many challenges, but it also gives you the best seat in the house. Whether you are in the middle of an Under 9 game at your school or a full house at Twickenham, no-one is closer to the action than you!”
Wayne Barnes, RFU Referee and honorary WYR
England Rugby's vision is to have a qualified referee for all 15 a side games (U14 upwards), to cope with the growth of Junior, Women's, Mixed Ability, Student and 7s alongside the traditional teams, the game needs more refs! Put simply our sport must find, train, mentor and retain referees aged 14 to 24.
Initially, the Young Match Official (YMO) scheme in West will target referees 14-17 but is open to all up to Age 24, the scheme launches with a first draft picked from across the District, with a target to attract more over the second half of this season. Starting in 2018, a full launch across West Yorkshire secondary schools with Community Rugby Coaches partnering with Schools to deliver "Old Mutual Wealth Kids First Refereeing Children" (rugby for ages 5-12) and for those identified by their school, places (funded by RFU & WYRS) will be offered on the 2 day "England Rugby Refereeing Award" course and an invitation to develop further on the West YMO Programme.
The West YMO programme will be the first of its kind in Yorkshire and one of the first batch in the North.
The scheme will only appoint YMOs to games they are comfortable with, and the Society agrees they are ready for that level. England Rugby recommends that initially, once trained, YMOs take charge of games 2 school years below, YMOs may decide to stick with this. For those looking to develop further, we will progress through School matches, Club Junior games, progress to 1 school year below & same year, possibly school year above, with a very few progressing to Open Age before their 18th Birthday (when all officials can referee adult rugby). To gain further 'hands-on' experience, once or twice a season they will be miked up to act as Assistant Referees as a team of 3 with one of the County's top experienced referees.
Ask one of your parents (if you are aged 14 - 17 years old) to email email@example.com or Telephone our Young Match Officials Co-ordinator Fran Hellawell 07521 705314 (if aged 18 – 24) get in touch with Fran directly as above.
Updated 22:00 - 8 Dec 2017 by Fran Hellawell