Referee Advancement

Society Guidelines for Promotion of Referees

CIPP registration with USA Rugby is a prerequisite for all referee grades.

Grades
C4: A referee obtains the C4 rating by joining the Society and accepting referee assignments. The Level I Officiating certification course is not a prerequisite but the new referee will be encouraged to take the course at the first opportunity. The C4 referee may continue to play rugby and does not have to referee ‘full time’.

Associate: An honorary member of the Society who is Level I Officiating course certified, belongs to a club, and usually only referees at that club’s venues. These are the only referees not required to pay Society dues, but CIPP membership remains a requirement (through the club).

C3: A referee obtains the C3 rating by demonstrating the ability to referee second and third side matches of lower divisions and achieving IRB Level I Officiating course certification.

C2: A referee obtains the C2 rating by demonstrating ability to referee and the willingness to improve. Key recommendations, although not requirements, for promotion to this grade and higher are refereeing instead of playing or coaching and participating in the feedback/focused improvement effort. The referee will need to achieve USA Rugby Touch Judge and Assistant Referee course certification before advancing beyond this grade.

C1: A referee obtains the C1 rating after demonstrating the ability to control all but the most challenging matches within the Northern California Rugby Union. Lack of fitness cannot compromise positioning or mental alertness. Errors in applying the Law should be infrequent. Offside, Tackle, and Advantage should all be consistently refereed to allow teams to express their skills. The referee will need to achieve IRB Level II accreditation before advancing beyond this grade.

Local Grade Promotion Procedures: The Board of Directors appoints the Referee Promotion Committee which meets monthly during the season and less often out-of-season.

Promotions to C3 and C2 are by consensus. There needs to be at least two members of the committee that actively favor promotion and no more than one member who opposes the promotion. Should anyone oppose the motion, a thorough discussion of all reasons for which promotion is opposed shall be conducted among the committee members before a final decision to promote or not is reached.

Promotion to C3: Based on a reported observation, preferably a coaching report, by a Pelican Coach or Evaluator, and circulated among the committee members by an e-mail confirming the referee met each of the key elements required of a C3 referee, managing a “game that was safe and looked like rugby.” Those key elements desired of an C3 referee are as follows:

  • Observed trampling of players
  • Protected safety of players on the ground
  • Recognized distinctions of advantage for penalty kick infringements versus scrummage infringements
  • Did not return play to the original infringement after advantage had been gained
  • Awarded scrum put-in to the correct side when the ball became unplayable at a ruck or maul
  • Did not permit static mauls to move again
  • Observed kick offs and drop outs that were taken incorrectly (method and place)
  • Observed offside players at kick offs and drop outs
  • Awarded scrum at the correct position
  • Ensured fair competition for the ball in the scrum
  • Awarded the lineouts at the correct place
  • Established and maintained a one-meter gap until the ball was thrown in
  • Ensured fair competition for the ball in the lineout
  • Arrived early enough to ensure players, touch judges and playing enclosure were properly prepared
  • Observed dangerous tackles
  • Protected safety of players
  • Whistle tone was distinctive according to decision
  • Primary signal (penalty kick, free kick, or scrum) was clear and given simultaneously with whistle.

Promotion to C2: Based on a minimum of two reported observations in games suitable for promotion, preferably coaching reports, by a Pelican Coach or Evaluator or a recognized Coach or Evaluator from other than the Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society, and circulated among the committee members by an e-mail confirming the referee met each of the key elements required of a C2 referee by USA Rugby as published annually in the USAR Referee Grading Manual.

Promotion to C1: Barring any of the reasons stated below, based on one above grade evaluation report in a game of a match grade suitable for or higher than the grade of the referee as established in the Match Level Grading Table published in the USAR Referee Grading Manual, supported by at least one coaching report that also recommends promotion. The evaluation reports shall be written by accredited Pelican Evaluators or other USAR accredited Evaluators or recognized evaluator / coaches from outside the United States and circulated among the committee members by an e-mail confirming the referee met each of the key elements required of a C1 referee by USA Rugby as published annually in the USAR Referee Grading Manual.

The promotion of a referee to C1, regardless of the existence of two above grade evaluation/coaching reports, will not occur should any of the following reasons exist:

  • The referee has attained a Unit Score of 1 in any of the key elements of competency. The evaluation report in question will be considered to be no higher than an at grade evaluation.
  • A committee member objects to the promotion for reasons outside of the referee’s skills evinced by two or more above grade reports, those reasons being based on the referee’s lack of fitness for promotion due to such factors as misconduct, demeanor unbecoming of a member of the Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society, or other such conduct drawing into disrepute the game of rugby union. Should a committee member make such an objection to a referee’s promotion, promotion can then only go forward by consensus of the committee members, where at least two members of the committee actively favor promotion and no more than one member continues to oppose the promotion.
  • A committee member challenges the efficacy and/or accuracy of any report upon which the promotion will be based. That committee member will cite the report’s perceived deficiency, which will then be reviewed by the Committee chairman. Should the report be found not to meet the standards required by USA Rugby due to lack of supporting data, the author of the report will be given the opportunity to amend the report with the required supporting data. Otherwise, the evaluation report in question will not be considered a viable report for use in the promotion of the referee.

B Panel Referee Promotion and Retention Standards as adopted by the R&L July 2013
B Grade Promotion criteria:
1. Two (2) Reports “At Grade” on a Level 4 match, OR
2. Two (2) Reports “Above Grade” on a Level 5 match, OR
3. One (1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 4 match AND One (1) Report “Above Grade” on a Level 5 match

• Reports need to be from 2 Performance Reviewers (Territorial or National Performance Reviewers) on separate matches
• One report needs to be on a Men’s Division 1 match
• All matches need to be full 80 minute matches
• The time period to achieve the requirements is 18 months
• One (1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 5 match is allowed but not a “Below Grade”.
• Promoted referees are expected to have the L2 Referee course certification, or need to successfully complete the course within the next 12 months
• Fitness requirements expected are 10.0 on the Multi Stage Fitness Test (Beep)
• Promotion to B Grade will be the responsibility of the Local Referee Organization (LRO).

Once referees have been promoted they will need to retain their B Grade, annually.

B Grade Annual criteria:
1. One (1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 4 match OR “Above Grade” on a Level 5 match
• (Video reviews are acceptable)
• Match needs to be a full 80 minute match
• One (1) Report “At Grade” on a Level 5 match is allowed but not accepted for B Grade retention
• A “Below Grade” Report on a Level 5 match results in a downgrade to C1
2. 10.0 on the Multi Stage Fitness Test (BEEP)
• L2 Referee course certification completed
• Retention of the B Grade will be the responsibility of the Local Referee Organization (LRO)
• The Referee & Laws Committee and the USA Rugby Referee Department will review the database annually to ensure that criteria are met.

For referees that are injured or are out of the country for a season, a 12-month waiver form can be submitted to the Referee & Laws Committee Executive for review and approval. Referees that are unable to retain their B Grade will be downgraded to C1. To regain the B Grade referees would need to complete the promotion criteria again.