Becoming a Referee 3 of 4

3. New Ref Advice


You will be provided with a mentor who will be someone you can discuss problems with in confidence. Remember – There are rarely new problems, just new referees!

The following notes are intended to provide further guidance:-

  1. The referee is a part of the game – not apart from it
  2. Be fair, firm and friendly, make the players your allies, particularly the captains
  3. Take control right from the start and keep it
  4. Make your decisions clear, so that the players know exactly why you have blown your whistle
  5. Make your requirements known to the players early in the game and apply them consistently
  6. Be physically fit and mentally alert


Before the game: Check the medical facilities and ascertain who will deal with the medical situation in the case of injury. If no person is available the referee should leave the issue to the captain of the relevant side.
During the game: Make sure that any injured player receives attention.

Unless you are medically trained, or are a registered first aider, do not get involved with injuries. Make brief notes, including times, of serious injuries particularly with regard to foul play.

After the game: If a serious injury has occurred, you should notify your Member Society Secretary as soon as possible. Make a contemporaneous record immediately after the game. Be concise, precise and factual. This record of events could be particularly important if the player tries to seek compensation from the referee at a later stage.


If a club wishes to cancel the match for pitch or weather conditions, it must try to obtain an opinion of a member of the Club’s local referees’ society as to whether the match is likely to be played or cancelled. A match should not be cancelled because of pitch or weather conditions without an inspection of the pitch by a referee or the agreement of the league secretary (or relevant organising committee in the case of cup competitions.)

When a late decision (i.e. within 3hrs of kick-off) as to the fitness of the pitch for playing a match is necessary, the decision shall be made by the captains of the teams involved. If the captains agree for the match to proceed, the referee is still entitled to decline to referee any match on safety grounds or other substantial reason. If one or both of the captains do not agree for the match to proceed, the match will not be played and the matter referred to the organising committee to decide upon what action shall be taken. Any match that is not played on the grounds that the pitch was unfit and for any other substantial reason, shall be notified by the home club to the league Secretary (or relevant organising committee) within 48hrs of the decision not to play the match together with the of the referee of the fitness of the pitch and the provisions of RFU regulation 13.6.11 shall apply.

Abandoned matches – weather conditions (to include bad light in the sole opinion of the referee).

Less than 60mins played – match to be re-played

60 or more minutes played – the score at the time of the abandonment shall stand. The referee’s decision as to the necessity for abandonment and the number of minutes played at the moment of abandonment shall be final.

Other reasons – irrespective of the number of minutes played, if possible move the game to another pitch, unless the referee deems it to be unsuitable or it is inappropriate to reconvene the match.