Referees get new Zone structure

The USA Rugby Referee Department is pleased to announce a new Zone structure to assist in the continued growth and development of referees nationwide. The previous Zone structure – which utilized four Zones – has been modified to contain two Zone Managers: Mike Cobb (East) and Marc Nelson (West).

The objective of the Zone program is to facilitate developmental activities nationwide to improve the quality of referee performance across the board and to develop a more consistent application of Law. Zone managers will place a primary focus on supporting Local Referee Organizations. This new approach will no longer identify referees as having ‘Zone Status;’ instead, it will open up growth opportunities for referees. Referee performance greatly impacts the quality of rugby, thus the Zone program will continue to make improved referee quality a priority.

Cobb has been a member of the USA Rugby Referees High Performance Management Group for many years, as well as a National Performance Reviewer. Nelson has been a top National Referee since 2009 and his administrative experience (with the Eastern Rockies Referee Society) over the past three years includes Treasurer, Match Secretary and Recruitment Officer. Both bring a strong base of refereeing knowledge and understanding of processes to enhance and support development.

In addition, the Zone Managers will also assist in identifying and developing referees that could become National Pool referees, but this is not the only pathway to the top.

“We are excited to have Mike and Marc on board and look forward to working with them in supporting referee development,” USA Rugby High Performance Referee Manager Richard Every said. “They have a lot of experience and drive that should enable them to achieve success.”