Referees are an essential part of the rugby family

You might be reading this for a number of reasons; perhaps you've decided your playing days are over due to injury or work; maybe you've decided you'd like to work towards a career in professional sport or it could be that you're simply interested in giving back to the rugby community by running out onto the pitch with a whistle. Whatever your reason, the opportunity to referee is open to everyone aged 14+ and the Hertfordshire Society of Referees is always open to new or returning members.

To start your refereeing journey, regardless of experience or ambition, you will need to complete the RFU's new "Refereeing the 15–a–side game" course. This is a course that introduces referee practices through a mixture of practical and classroom-based activity and costs £50.00 to attend. These courses run throughout the year and normally take place on two Sundays over three weeks. To see available RFU Refereeing Courses near you, click on the link: RFU course booking tool

Aged 16-24? There are various avenues of support which may be open. Contact the Herts Rugby Development Officer Tom Redfern for more details!

On completion of your "Refereeing the 15 a-side game" course you need to advise our Secretary, Tim Bartlett, by emailing him on He can then send you details on how to join the Hertfordshire Society of RFU referees (HSRFUR), get your first game and be signed off by an Assessor saying you are competent and safe. Tim will also explain the processes involved in making yourself available for future games. It's really important that you tell us when you're available for games otherwise we don't know you're ready to go out to clubs!

If you're interested in joining us and already have refereeing experience we'd love to hear from you. Again, Tim's your man and will be able to guide you through our joining process.

We run a New Joiners Development Group, led by Peter Brady, which aims to nurture those who are new to refereeing and ensures that people feel part of the Society as quickly as possible. HSFRUR is committed to developing all its referees by providing regular training opportunities in monthly meetings. These can be practical or theory-based, but are always aimed to be interactive and social. We also look to provide mentors for new referees who might prefer support in the early stages of their refereeing career. Within the Society we have a wealth of experience including referees who have officiated at the top end of the game who are crucial to the development of all our officials.

On joining the Society, it costs £20.00 per season to be a member and, once you've completed five games for us and you know you want to carry on, you will be provided with Society kit. As a recreation activity, we reckon it's one of the cheapest teams in Hertfordshire to join!

If you have any questions about membership please contact Peter Smith in the first instance. Alternatively, if you'd like to try refereeing more informally, perhaps by refereeing children, try our Rugby Development Officer Tom Redfern and he'll be able to direct you towards a friendly local club!

So, what's stopping you?