An integral part of every game of rugby played ranging from the international stage to community and age grade spheres, referees and match officials perform the pivotal role in ensuring that Wales's national sport, and arguably chief love continues to thrive week in, week out. Though the men in the middle may sometimes appear to have a thankless job, the vocation of match refereeing offers social, health and fitness benefits to the individuals who take up these important positions.
Refereeing dictates that you are at the heart of the action on the playing field; effectively: no referee, no match. This fast-paced and challenging role draws not only ex-players and coaches into the realms of match refereeing but also supporters and spectators who want to be closer to the action.
Referees require excellent management skills and the ability to make crucial decisions under, at times, large amounts of pressure. Referees uphold the laws of the game not only to guarantee a fair contest but also, as in scrummaging, to keep the game clean and safe. A sound knowledge of the game of rugby and good degree of general fitness are also desirable for this adrenaline-fuelled and highly rewarding role but can be picked up easily enough with practice.
The varying levels of refereeing courses delivered by the WRU enable prospective referees and touch judges to start, or build on, the skills necessary to become a bona fide, qualified match official. If you relish the thought of providing an invaluable service to players and supporters alike, maintaining your fitness levels within a purposeful role and perhaps rising to the top of the refereeing rankings, check out the refereeing courses online today.
The Referees Academy was officially formed in January 2011. It was formed to ensure those referees who are showing 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 criteria referees have every opportunity of achieving that goal.
The key aim is to provide the game with a constant flow of quality Welsh match ffficials who are capable of performing at the highest level.
The academy comes under the High Performance Department run by Joe Lydon at the Welsh Rugby Union. It is run by the experienced staff within the Referees Department with Nigel Owens (Academy Coach) and Nigel Whitehouse (Referee Performance and Development Officer) to the fore.