Become a Referee

Date: 19 October 2021

You all know the Laws so why not become a Referee?

As you may well be aware there is a shortage of referees at the moment, which is making it difficult to appoint match officials to all the teams who need them. So, if your playing days are coming to an end or you would like a change of direction why not try refereeing?

What are the benefits?

  • Camaraderie
  • You may be on your own on the field but you are not alone in the Society.

  • You will have a mentor, meet like minded people and discuss issues discuss issues of common


  • We have a very successful WhatsApp group where questions and ideas are thrown back and


  • The monthly Society meetings enable you to meet up with colleagues and talk over your

    experiences and make friends with like-minded people.

Keeping Fit

  • If you aren’t fit, you will be found out by the players very quickly!

  • You have to concentrate for the whole match and can never let it slip so you need to be mentally


Stay involved with the Game

  • You will get to know the Laws far better than the players and you will never stop learning how to interpret them.

  • At each Society meeting the greater part is a presentation by our Training Manager with a discussion forum on various aspects of the game.


  • To walk off the park with the players and spectators saying thanks after a particularly close, hard- fought match is a great feeling and what we all aspire to.

  • Working hard to gain the respect of the players, it doesn’t come easily.

  • The pleasure of putting something back into the game you love.

  • Being welcomed back to clubs you have refereed at many times.

New Referee Members will be entitled to the following:

  • Upon Grading – the current season’s shirt and an initial digital voucher

  • After completion of 10 games post-grading – a second, alternative shirt and a second (lower value) digital voucher.


There is a straightforward route to becoming a referee

Having a look at the website is a great start
There you will find plenty of useful information and there are a few things you could look at under referees’ documentation – the PO (preferred options) for various passages of play together with the Characteristics of a Manchester Referee.
The Preferred Options (PO) are of great benefit Preferred Options

I also suggest that you look at the England Rugby website Go to England
Have a look at the webinars

All new referees need to undertake the English Rugby Refereeing Award (ERRA) course. This comprises a one-day course in October/November with 4 monthly webinars from January to April, then a further one day course in May/June. The local one-day courses are at Chester and at Sedgley Park in November. The course costs £75 and we shall reimburse you after you have refereed 10 games.

After the first day you can get experience refereeing with the Society so that you will better understand and be able to interact more in the second part.
The course is listed in the booklet on the English Rugby website Training Courses
The course booking is via

Prior to booking and undertaking the course you will need to undertake and pass the online courses

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Do please take a screenshot at the end of each confirming that you have passed as you will need this when you undertake your course

Once you have completed the first part of the ERRA course, please complete the Application Form on M&DREFS website and return it to me
When your application has been accepted and you have paid the necessary subscription,

  • You will be graded as a Provisional Referee.
  • You will be inducted into the Society by one of our members who will go into more detail about the procedures.
  • You will be appointed to a mentor who will be your first line of communication.
  • You will be registered on the “Who’s The Ref” website which will allow you to enter your details and fill in your dates of availability. We can then appoint you to games.
  • As with every new referee in their first game you will be watched.
  • You will be offered advice and guidance on your refereeing.
  • We shall then be able to assess your ability and potential which will allow us to appoint you to the correct level of game.

You are welcome to attend our meetings which are listed on our website, where you will be welcomed by the Duty Officer who will be with you for the evening.

I hope that this helps in becoming a referee and I look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Houston

Hon Secretary
Manchester & District Referees’ Society Ltd
07983 260999
01204 303228

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