Keeping Youth refs in the game


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Losing great Youth refs.

There is a well defined path of becoming a ref via the ELRA programme and some excellent work from individual societies, however I believe we are creating a challange and potentially losing good refs.

There is a small army of Parents / Coaches who once played and now are happily working with thier kids on a Sunday in Youth Rugby. Some of them, like me, are brave enough to have a go at reffing because otherwise the kids wil not get a game.

The day comes when there kids are suddenly off to University / College and so these refs hopefully join societies. Here's the thing - all of that experience from reffing Colts / U17 / U16 games - fast and furious rugby, is potentially thrown away as they can no longer do these matches as they are ungraded - worse still they are effectively banned from Sundays until they have worked thier way up again through the grades - no recognition of thier previous experience or references from the club.

So - from Sunday Mornings being thier 'rugby day' they have to go to the bottom of the ladder on Saturdays and, with great respect to Vets and others, plod through the lower levels of rugby, which in my opinion takes them backwards - your reffing skills rapidly conform to the level of rugby you are reffing!

So - where is the grand plan - to accept that not everbody is an ex player but has come via another route - we need to keep hold of these people, there are some good ones that are simply walking away.