Referee Education Pathways

Referee Certification Courses

Level 1 Officiating

Level 1 Officiating - Introduction to Officiating

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.

Prerequisites: Player Protection Package

The Player Protection Package is a regular requirement and consists of two free online courses revolving around player safety.

Please send a copy of the downloaded certificate of completion to education@usarugby.

NOTE: Please register for these courses using the same spelling of your full name as it appears in our USA Rugby Membership Database. This will help minimize any certification upload errors.

The two required courses are (click on each to reveal completion instructions):

  • World Rugby Concussion

    Complete the World Rugby Concussion Management Course for the General Public


    1. Go to World Rugby's Player Welfare webiste
    2. Click Log In in the upper right hand corner. If you do not have an World Rugby Account, follow the prompts to register.
    3. Click on Start Module
  • SafeSport Course

    Complete the SafeSport Course


    1. Click Here
    2. Read the instructions provided.
    3. Click the first module.
    4. You will be asked to sign in with your USA Rugby log-in if you are not already logged-in.
    5. You will be directed to the SafeSport site. No other log-in will be required.
    6. Follow the directions to complete the module.
    7. The certificates will be sent to USA Rugby automatically.
    8. No need to send them to us.

Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, attend and participate in all course modules, pass online law exam and rugby ready exam prior to course, and complete short safety quiz administered at course site.

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Level 2 Officiating

Level 2 Officiating - Developing Officiating Skills

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.

Prerequisites: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, Level 1 Officiating course certification, 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, achieve satisfactory practical assessment (excellent or competent), pass take home open book law exam (can be taken prior to the course), submit a 12-event officiating diary covering matches and training sessions and complete World Rugby Ready certification (can be completed prior to the course).

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Level 3 Officiating

Level 3 Officiating - Analysis & Preparation

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.

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.

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Level 1 Sevens

Level 1 Officiating Sevens

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 World Rugby Levels 1-3 Officiating courses and seek to assist match officials who aim to referee or assist in Sevens.

Prerequisites: A World Rugby 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.

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Level 2 Sevens

Level 2 Officiating Sevens

The Level 2 Officiating Sevens course is a two day accreditation program which incorporates and expands on the Level 1 Officiating Sevens course, while adding a module covering the preparation, both physical demands and planning, required to referee Sevens.

Prerequisites: A World Rugby Level 2 Officiating (generic fifteens) certificate of accreditation. It is beneficial, however, if participants have advanced understanding of Sevens Rugby from their experience as a player, coach, or match official.

Requirements for Certification: Current USA Rugby membership, including registration as a referee, attend and participate in all course modules, and show competence in all competency transcript descriptors for all modules of the course.

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