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Referee pathway & Courses


The Welsh Rugby Union is responsible for recruiting, developing and producing referees and match officials to officiate over games and matches at all levels within Welsh Rugby and throughout the world.  Welsh Rugby Union match officials participate in a number of elite level test matches and in all elite tournaments including the World Cup, The Rugby Championship, Six Nations and the World Sevens series.  However it is at the grass roots level of the game that referees are recruited, trained and learn the game from a refereeing perspective.

The referee qualificaiton explanation and pyramid structure will guide you through the development process of your refereeing career.

Level 1:

In order to become a qualified referee candidates must attend a level 1 refereeing course.  The course consists of practical refereeing and knowledge of the laws.  Successful completion of the course allows individuals to referee club rugby up to the age of 16 and Schools rugby up to under 18.

Level 2:

Progression from Level 1 to Level 2 is achieved by means of a mentoring system.  Prospective level 2 referees are allocated a mentor who will accompany them to games in order to support them and give them advice and guidance.  Once deemed competent the referee will then be allocated a level 2 status.

Level 3:

Progression to level 3 is based on performance and invitation. Level 2 referees are regularly monitored and those showing promise are promoted to level 3. There are 9 grades within level 3 from 3P to Elite. Progression through the grades depends on performance.

Referees Academy:

The referee academy was officially formed in January 2011. It was formed to ensure that those referees that show potential to reach the upper tiers of officiating are provided with the necessary specialist support in a variety of areas ranging from fitness, diet and nutrition to game management and analysis. By providing these key elements referees have every opportunity of achieving that goal. 2 referees from the 1st cohort area are now professional referees, refereeing on a world scale.

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