Referee Development

The Referee tract will encompass be comprised of several avenues of education from non-contact to contact and a touch judge/assistant referee. 
The Foundations courses  will be required for all areas. 

Rugby Ready

Concussion Awareness

Safe Sport

Laws of the Game

Referee Contact


Level 1 Contact
– World Rugby Level 1 
 Level 1 Professional Development:
– Ref the Tackle
– The Scrum
– Lineout and Maul
– Managing Space

Level 2 Contact
World Rugby Level 2Level  2
 Level 2 Professional Development
– Foul Play
– Advantage
– Big Decisions
– Empathy and Materiality
– Shadow/Upscaling of higher level referee program

Level 3 Contact
 World Rugby Level 3
 Level  3  Professional Development 
-High Performance Camp
– International/Pro level shadowing program
– Attaining Balance
– Contextual Refereeing

Level 4/HighPerformance Contact
– Determined by performance and selection process
– Continued ongoing education including shadow/upscaling to highest level programs
– Feedback and Evaluation by High Performance Management Group

Non-Contact Levels will take participants from basic flag rugby for children to adult non-conact and contact development. 
Introduction to Referee Non-contact
Referee Adult Non-Contact 

The 7’s Pathway is for referees who want higher level training in the 7’s game and would like to access in that area. The first level will follow the normal contact curriculum. 
7’s Referee Foundations
Level 1 7’s Referee
World Rugby/USA Rugby Level 1 Referee for 15’s and 7’s
 World Rugby/USA Rugby Level 1 7’s Referee
Level 2 7’s Referee
 World Rugby/USA Rugby Level 2 Referee for Developing Match Officials 15’s and 7’s
  World Rugby/USA Rugby Level 2 7’s Referee
Level 3 7’s Referee
 World Rugby/USA Rugby Level 3 The Advancing Match Official 7’s
Level 4 7’s Referee
High Performance- Determined by on-field performance and by assignment by High Performance Referee Management Group.

The Coach of Match Officials tract is one for individuals who wish to develop referees at all levels. 
Foundations- Participant should also be well versed in laws of the game and have experience in coaching and/or the referee field. Both are preferable but not required.
Level 1 Coach of Match Officials
 Level 1 Coach of Match Officials
Level 2 Coach of Match Officials
 Level 2 Coach of Match Officials
Level 3 Coach of Match Officials
 Ongoing education from High Performance Referee Management Group. Regional level assignments
Level 4/High Performance Coach of Match Officials
 By assignment only of the High Performance Referee Management Group


Courses in your area

Click to begin the Referee Development pathway, or pick up where you’ve left off:

Foundations of Refereeing

Level 1 Referee for 15’s and 7’sLevel 2- the Developing Match Official for 15’s and 7’s Level 3

High Performance


Three National Panel Referees to Retire

Three of top referees in the country have announced they will be hanging up the whistle.

A Typical Day at the South Africa Referee Academy

The 2018 USA Rugby Shanagher Morrison Fund awardees share what it is like studying at the South Africa Referee Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Refereeing: the best seat in the house

Lee Bryant explains why refereeing is a great way to stay involved in the game, challenge yourself and grow your rugby family.

Emily Hsieh Named As Referee on HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series

Emily Hsieh will become the third American woman to referee on the international sevens circuit, after World Rugby announced their appointments for the 2018-2019 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

USA Rugby and WPL Announce new Match Official Pathway

A new pathway aimed at driving a more sustained professional approach to referees in the women’s game has been created in association with the top level of women's domestic rugby in America.

Two referee societies celebrate 20 year exchange program

The New England Rugby Referee Society, based in Massachusetts, and the Gloucester UK Referee Society, based in England, are celebrating 20 years of a successful international referee exchange program.

USA Rugby and working together

WhosTheRef (WTR) and USA Rugby are excited to be working together to make the referee management and development system available for all Referee Organizations across the USA.

USA Rugby Referee Mike O’Brien Selected for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018

O'Brien is only the third referee to ever represent the United States in a World Cup event

Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund Scholarship Recipients Announced

LAFAYETTE, CO. – USA Rugby announced Friday the two recipients of the Shanagher Morrison Referee Fund scholarship, named after two of USA Rugby’s most accomplished referees – Denis Shanagher and Don Morrison. Alex Cattermole and Joya Clark will attend the South African Referee Rugby Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa, for two months, honing their officiating skills in […]

Coach and Referee of the Year Awards Announced

Denver, CO.- At the National Development Summit (NDS) in Denver USA Rugby announced its annual awards for the coaches and referees of the year. In total there were ten award recipients. Awards were handed out for the Senior Club Coach, College Coach, Youth and High School, Referee Coach and Community Referee. The award winners are […]