Courses | USA Rugby Referees

Level 1 Officiating

Approximate delivery time: 8 hours

Cost: $60

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership

Prior to course: Pass World Rugby Law Exam online law exam and complete IRB Rugby Ready program prior to course. Bring completion certificates to class

Requirements for Certification: Registration with USA Rugby as a referee and attend and participate in all course modules, and complete short safety quiz administered at course site.

Description: The purpose of this introductory course is to enable officials to acquire basic skills to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course certification is required for anyone who wishes to referee any match that could potentially lead to a National Championship.

Course Focus

  • Game knowledge
  • Role of the referee
  • Planning
  • Advantage
  • Touch
  • Principles of rugby
  • Positioning
  • Referee preparation
  • Open play
  • Lineout
  • Principles of refereeing
  • Communication
  • Technical
  • Contact
  • Foul play
  • Management
  • Risk management
  • Starting & restarting the game
  • Scrum

Level 2 Officiating

Approximate delivery time: 16 hours

Cost: $120

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee; Level 1 Officiating course certification or equivalent and one full season of refereeing.

Requirements for Certification: Attend and participate in all course modules.

Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, achieve satisfactory practical assessment (excellent or competent), pass IRB law exam (can be taken prior to the course), submit a 12-event officiating diary covering matches and training sessions and complete IRB Rugby Ready certification (can be completed prior to the course).

Description: The purpose of this course is to enable officials to develop further the skills acquired in the introductory course so as to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course accreditation is one requirement for promotion to the Territorial Panel.

Course Focus

  • Principles of attack & defense
  • Communication
  • Risk management
  • Foul play
  • Tackle
  • Key factor analysis of unit skills
  • Referee support
  • Consistent application
  • Open Play
  • Ruck
  • The representative game in your country
  • Fitness basics
  • Touch judging
  • Scrum
  • Maul
  • Refereeing principles
  • Responsibility & commitment
  • Advantage
  • Lineout

Level 3 Officiating

Approximate delivery time: 32 hours

Cost: INVITE ONLY

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee and Level 2 Officiating course certification or equivalent.

Requirements for Certification: Attend and participate in all course modules.

Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, achieve two satisfactory practical assessments (excellent or competent) not older than 12 months, pass take home open book law exam (can be taken prior to the course) and complete presentation of a season plan.

Description: The purpose of this course is to enable officials to analyze performance and prepare affectively to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. The course provides training for the elite level referee by providing an intense intellectual examination of the modern game of rugby. Course accreditation is one requirement for promotion to the National Panel or the National Focus Group. Course certification is one requirement for appointment as a National Evaluator.

Course Focus

  • Full management of game and officials
  • Communication with all match participants
  • Goal setting
  • Coach and assessor
  • Key factor analysis for scrums
  • Long-term
    development plan
  • Detailed fitness programs
  • Mental preparation
  • Application of laws in context of environment
  • Key factor analysis for mauls
  • Touch judge communication and positional play
  • Implementation of protocols and discipline
  • Materiality
  • Variations of positional play
  • Key factor analysis for rucks
  • Key factor analysis for lineouts
  • Key factor analysis for tackles

Officiating Sevens

Approximate delivery time: 8 hours

Cost: $60

Prerequisites: An IRB Level 1 Officiating (generic fifteens) certificate of attendance.

Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, attend and participate in all course modules.

Description: The Levels 1 and 2 Officiating Sevens courses are designed to provide referees with the skills and knowledge needed to referee Sevens Rugby in the national environment (in major Unions) and to international levels in less developed Unions and/or age grade international competitions. They build strongly on the IRB Levels 1-3 Officiating courses and seek to assist match officials who aim to referee or assist in Sevens.

The Level 1 Officiating Sevens course is a one day, attendance only program. The optional second portion of the course is a second day, accreditation program, giving Level 2 IRB Officiating 7s accreditation. To achieve this designation the participant must show competence in all competency transcript descriptors for all modules of the course.

Course Focus

  • The principles of attack and defense in 7s rugby
  • The time, space, and tolerance needed for officiating 7s rugby
  • How Assistant Referees and In-Goal Judges assist the referee

Coaching Officials Level 1

Approximate depvery time: 8 hours

Cost: $60

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership.

Requirements for Certification: Attend and participate in all course modules.

Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce the concept and role of referee coaching to enable assistance and guidance to develop the referee.

Coaching Officials Level 2

Approximate depvery time: 16 hours

Cost: $120

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, Level 2 Officiating course certification or equivalent and Level 1 CMO course certification. Also, at least five seasons of officiating experience and a desire to support other referees through the medium of coaching.

Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, complete and submit five approved Coaching reports within 12 months of completing all course modules.

Description: The purpose of this course is to develop further the concept and role of referee coaching, continuing from the Level 1 CMO course to a higher degree of learning. Course certification is a prerequisite for appointment as a National Panel Coach

Performance Reviewer Course

Approximate delivery time: 16 hours

Cost: $120

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, and Level 1 CMO course certification.

Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, complete and submit two approved Performance Reviewer reports.

Description: Provides training in the more advanced assessing and coaching of referees, including the writing of the Performance Reviewer report. This course is intended for Performance Reviewers of referees seeking to attain C1 and higher grade, including all B-panel referees. Course accreditation is one prerequisite for becoming a Territorial Performance Reviewer.

Course Focus

The Key elements of competence:
  • Continuity
  • Restart kicks/open play
  • Writing reports
  • Scoring criteria
  • Tackle
  • Scrum
  • Match Level Matrix
  • Comments
  • Advantage
  • Lineout
  • Match Type
  • Grading
  • Ruck/Maul
  • Management
  • Match Description
  • Match Grade Matrix
  • Restarts
  • Control
  • Coaching Hints
  • Game System Report

Assistant Referee

Approximate delivery time: 4 hours

Cost: $30

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee and Touch Judge course certification.

Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, attend and participate in all course modules, touch Judge course certification and Level 1 Officiating course certification (achieved within one year of Assistant Referee course completion, if not certified at time of taking the Assistant Referee course).

Description: Provides instruction on the secondary and tertiary responsibilities and tasks of the touch judge, including the adjudication of foul play. Course certification is one requirement for promotion to the grade of L1.

The course focuses on the following aspects of the game:

  • Foul play adjudication
  • Principal accountabilities
  • Signaling & reporting
  • Time & replacement
  • Positioning for detection
  • Positioning at kicks
  • Other roles of the assistant referee
  • Positioning at lineouts, scrums, rucks, mauls & stoppages
  • Communication systems

** Please note that no refunds will be considered for online courses unless the student contacts the educator prior to the course to indicate their inability to attend.

Touch Judge

Approximate delivery time: 4 hours

Cost: $30

Prerequisites: None

Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, attend and participate in all course modules, pass closed book exam administered at the course site.

Description: Provides instruction on the primary tasks of the touch judge in adjudicating touch, touch-in-goal, kicks at goal, and the roles of the touch judge in seven-a-side rugby. Course certification is one requirement for promotion to the grade of L1.

The course focuses on the following aspects of the game:

  • When is the ball in touch
  • Touch judge signals
  • Places of the throw in
  • Touch judge positioning
  • Seven-a-side variations

** Please note that no refunds will be considered for online courses unless the student contacts the educator prior to the course to indicate their inability to attend.

Host a Course

Prior to the Course:

Determine a location for the course. You will need both classroom space and gymnasium or field space.

  • If you plan to use field space, be sure to have a contingency plan for bad weather
  • You or the rental facility must provide AV equipment (projector, AV cords, etc.)

Determine a date/time for the course. Training courses run from two hours to two days, depending on the course. Be sure to reserve ample time at your course location.

  • Touch Judge Course: 4 hours (can be taught online)
  • Assistant Referee Course: 4 hours (can be taught online)
  • Level 1 (15s) Officiating Course: 8 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
  • Level 2 (15s) Officiating Course: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
  • Level 1 (7s) Officiating Course: 8 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
  • Level 2 (7s) Officiating Course: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
  • Coaching of Match Officials 1: 8 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
  • Coaching of Match Officials 2: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
  • Evaluator Course: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)

Determine if there will be any fees above and beyond the course registration fees

  • These administrative fees can be used to cover the cost of lunch or facilities
  • Administrative fees will be paid on site and are separate from USA Rugby course fees

Contact USA Rugby's accredited educators to determine their availability

  • To see a map of current educators and to retrieve their contact information, please click here.
  • If you are having trouble finding an available educator for your area, please contact USA Rugby Certification Coordinator Robert Crips at rcrips@usarugby.org.

Make Lunch Plans

  • We recommend that you make plans to provide lunch or have lunch delivered to the course if the course is scheduled for more than 4 hours.
  • Please be sure to offer vegetarian options for your participants
  • If you are not providing lunch please ensure that there are adequate food options within WALKING distance from the course site. 

Contact USA Rugby Certification Coordinator Robert Crips -- rcrips@usarugby.org -- to provide information about the course

He will need to know:

    • Course Location (full mailing address)
    • Course Date
    • Course Level
    • Start and end time for the course
    • Course Instructor's name and email address
    • Whether or not lunch is provided
    • What is the minimum and maximum number of attendees you require to host a course
    • Is there an extra administrative fee associated with the course to cover food and site expenses
      • If so, how much?
      • Who should the check be made out to?
    • He will post the course online, open registration, and send a notification to the pertinent groups

Day of the Course

You will need:

  • Balls
  • Cones
  • AV Equipment (if not provided by the site)
    • Laptop
    • Projector
    • Speakers (if laptop speakers are not loud enough)
    • Extension cords/ power strips
  • Level 1 Officiating

    Level 1 Officiating

    Approximate delivery time: 8 hours

    Cost: $60

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership

    Prior to course: Pass World Rugby Law Exam online law exam and complete IRB Rugby Ready program prior to course. Bring completion certificates to class

    Requirements for Certification: Registration with USA Rugby as a referee and attend and participate in all course modules, and complete short safety quiz administered at course site.

    Description: The purpose of this introductory course is to enable officials to acquire basic skills to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course certification is required for anyone who wishes to referee any match that could potentially lead to a National Championship.

    Course Focus

    • Game knowledge
    • Role of the referee
    • Planning
    • Advantage
    • Touch
    • Principles of rugby
    • Positioning
    • Referee preparation
    • Open play
    • Lineout
    • Principles of refereeing
    • Communication
    • Technical
    • Contact
    • Foul play
    • Management
    • Risk management
    • Starting & restarting the game
    • Scrum
  • Level 2 Officiating

    Level 2 Officiating

    Approximate delivery time: 16 hours

    Cost: $120

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee; Level 1 Officiating course certification or equivalent and one full season of refereeing.

    Requirements for Certification: Attend and participate in all course modules.

    Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, achieve satisfactory practical assessment (excellent or competent), pass IRB law exam (can be taken prior to the course), submit a 12-event officiating diary covering matches and training sessions and complete IRB Rugby Ready certification (can be completed prior to the course).

    Description: The purpose of this course is to enable officials to develop further the skills acquired in the introductory course so as to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. Course accreditation is one requirement for promotion to the Territorial Panel.

    Course Focus

    • Principles of attack & defense
    • Communication
    • Risk management
    • Foul play
    • Tackle
    • Key factor analysis of unit skills
    • Referee support
    • Consistent application
    • Open Play
    • Ruck
    • The representative game in your country
    • Fitness basics
    • Touch judging
    • Scrum
    • Maul
    • Refereeing principles
    • Responsibility & commitment
    • Advantage
    • Lineout
  • Level 3 Officiating

    Level 3 Officiating

    Approximate delivery time: 32 hours

    Cost: INVITE ONLY

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee and Level 2 Officiating course certification or equivalent.

    Requirements for Certification: Attend and participate in all course modules.

    Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, achieve two satisfactory practical assessments (excellent or competent) not older than 12 months, pass take home open book law exam (can be taken prior to the course) and complete presentation of a season plan.

    Description: The purpose of this course is to enable officials to analyze performance and prepare affectively to officiate safe, enjoyable competition. The course provides training for the elite level referee by providing an intense intellectual examination of the modern game of rugby. Course accreditation is one requirement for promotion to the National Panel or the National Focus Group. Course certification is one requirement for appointment as a National Evaluator.

    Course Focus

    • Full management of game and officials
    • Communication with all match participants
    • Goal setting
    • Coach and assessor
    • Key factor analysis for scrums
    • Long-term
      development plan
    • Detailed fitness programs
    • Mental preparation
    • Application of laws in context of environment
    • Key factor analysis for mauls
    • Touch judge communication and positional play
    • Implementation of protocols and discipline
    • Materiality
    • Variations of positional play
    • Key factor analysis for rucks
    • Key factor analysis for lineouts
    • Key factor analysis for tackles
  • Officiating Sevens

    Officiating Sevens

    Approximate delivery time: 8 hours

    Cost: $60

    Prerequisites: An IRB Level 1 Officiating (generic fifteens) certificate of attendance.

    Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, attend and participate in all course modules.

    Description: The Levels 1 and 2 Officiating Sevens courses are designed to provide referees with the skills and knowledge needed to referee Sevens Rugby in the national environment (in major Unions) and to international levels in less developed Unions and/or age grade international competitions. They build strongly on the IRB Levels 1-3 Officiating courses and seek to assist match officials who aim to referee or assist in Sevens.

    The Level 1 Officiating Sevens course is a one day, attendance only program. The optional second portion of the course is a second day, accreditation program, giving Level 2 IRB Officiating 7s accreditation. To achieve this designation the participant must show competence in all competency transcript descriptors for all modules of the course.

    Course Focus

    • The principles of attack and defense in 7s rugby
    • The time, space, and tolerance needed for officiating 7s rugby
    • How Assistant Referees and In-Goal Judges assist the referee
  • Coaching Officials Level 1

    Coaching Officials Level 1

    Approximate depvery time: 8 hours

    Cost: $60

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership.

    Requirements for Certification: Attend and participate in all course modules.

    Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce the concept and role of referee coaching to enable assistance and guidance to develop the referee.

  • Coaching Officials Level 2

    Coaching Officials Level 2

    Approximate depvery time: 16 hours

    Cost: $120

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, Level 2 Officiating course certification or equivalent and Level 1 CMO course certification. Also, at least five seasons of officiating experience and a desire to support other referees through the medium of coaching.

    Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, complete and submit five approved Coaching reports within 12 months of completing all course modules.

    Description: The purpose of this course is to develop further the concept and role of referee coaching, continuing from the Level 1 CMO course to a higher degree of learning. Course certification is a prerequisite for appointment as a National Panel Coach

  • Performance Reviewer Course

    Performance Reviewer Course

    Approximate delivery time: 16 hours

    Cost: $120

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, and Level 1 CMO course certification.

    Requirements for Accreditation: Attend and participate in all course modules, complete and submit two approved Performance Reviewer reports.

    Description: Provides training in the more advanced assessing and coaching of referees, including the writing of the Performance Reviewer report. This course is intended for Performance Reviewers of referees seeking to attain C1 and higher grade, including all B-panel referees. Course accreditation is one prerequisite for becoming a Territorial Performance Reviewer.

    Course Focus

    The Key elements of competence:
    • Continuity
    • Restart kicks/open play
    • Writing reports
    • Scoring criteria
    • Tackle
    • Scrum
    • Match Level Matrix
    • Comments
    • Advantage
    • Lineout
    • Match Type
    • Grading
    • Ruck/Maul
    • Management
    • Match Description
    • Match Grade Matrix
    • Restarts
    • Control
    • Coaching Hints
    • Game System Report
  • Assistant Referee

    Assistant Referee

    Approximate delivery time: 4 hours

    Cost: $30

    Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee and Touch Judge course certification.

    Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, attend and participate in all course modules, touch Judge course certification and Level 1 Officiating course certification (achieved within one year of Assistant Referee course completion, if not certified at time of taking the Assistant Referee course).

    Description: Provides instruction on the secondary and tertiary responsibilities and tasks of the touch judge, including the adjudication of foul play. Course certification is one requirement for promotion to the grade of L1.

    The course focuses on the following aspects of the game:

    • Foul play adjudication
    • Principal accountabilities
    • Signaling & reporting
    • Time & replacement
    • Positioning for detection
    • Positioning at kicks
    • Other roles of the assistant referee
    • Positioning at lineouts, scrums, rucks, mauls & stoppages
    • Communication systems

    ** Please note that no refunds will be considered for online courses unless the student contacts the educator prior to the course to indicate their inability to attend.

  • Touch Judge

    Touch Judge

    Approximate delivery time: 4 hours

    Cost: $30

    Prerequisites: None

    Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, attend and participate in all course modules, pass closed book exam administered at the course site.

    Description: Provides instruction on the primary tasks of the touch judge in adjudicating touch, touch-in-goal, kicks at goal, and the roles of the touch judge in seven-a-side rugby. Course certification is one requirement for promotion to the grade of L1.

    The course focuses on the following aspects of the game:

    • When is the ball in touch
    • Touch judge signals
    • Places of the throw in
    • Touch judge positioning
    • Seven-a-side variations

    ** Please note that no refunds will be considered for online courses unless the student contacts the educator prior to the course to indicate their inability to attend.

  • Host a Course

    Host a Course

    Prior to the Course:

    Determine a location for the course. You will need both classroom space and gymnasium or field space.

    • If you plan to use field space, be sure to have a contingency plan for bad weather
    • You or the rental facility must provide AV equipment (projector, AV cords, etc.)

    Determine a date/time for the course. Training courses run from two hours to two days, depending on the course. Be sure to reserve ample time at your course location.

    • Touch Judge Course: 4 hours (can be taught online)
    • Assistant Referee Course: 4 hours (can be taught online)
    • Level 1 (15s) Officiating Course: 8 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
    • Level 2 (15s) Officiating Course: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
    • Level 1 (7s) Officiating Course: 8 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
    • Level 2 (7s) Officiating Course: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
    • Coaching of Match Officials 1: 8 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
    • Coaching of Match Officials 2: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)
    • Evaluator Course: 16 hours (can be split into multiple sessions)

    Determine if there will be any fees above and beyond the course registration fees

    • These administrative fees can be used to cover the cost of lunch or facilities
    • Administrative fees will be paid on site and are separate from USA Rugby course fees

    Contact USA Rugby's accredited educators to determine their availability

    • To see a map of current educators and to retrieve their contact information, please click here.
    • If you are having trouble finding an available educator for your area, please contact USA Rugby Certification Coordinator Robert Crips at rcrips@usarugby.org.

    Make Lunch Plans

    • We recommend that you make plans to provide lunch or have lunch delivered to the course if the course is scheduled for more than 4 hours.
    • Please be sure to offer vegetarian options for your participants
    • If you are not providing lunch please ensure that there are adequate food options within WALKING distance from the course site. 

    Contact USA Rugby Certification Coordinator Robert Crips -- rcrips@usarugby.org -- to provide information about the course

    He will need to know:

      • Course Location (full mailing address)
      • Course Date
      • Course Level
      • Start and end time for the course
      • Course Instructor's name and email address
      • Whether or not lunch is provided
      • What is the minimum and maximum number of attendees you require to host a course
      • Is there an extra administrative fee associated with the course to cover food and site expenses
        • If so, how much?
        • Who should the check be made out to?
      • He will post the course online, open registration, and send a notification to the pertinent groups

    Day of the Course

    You will need:

    • Balls
    • Cones
    • AV Equipment (if not provided by the site)
      • Laptop
      • Projector
      • Speakers (if laptop speakers are not loud enough)
      • Extension cords/ power strips
  • Course Calendar