IRFU Referees and Laws of the Game | Club & School Affiliated Referees

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Club & School Affiliated Referees

Club & School Affiliated Referees It is IRFU policy that all domestic matches from U13 to Adult must be refereed by:
  1. A branch referee or
  2. A club and school affiliated referee when no branch referee is available or appointed.

Club & Schools Affiliated Referees

These are defined as Adult persons (Aged 18 to 59) who:

• Are qualified and appointed, by a school or club, (to referee a match, or training session) to which they are affiliated.0
• Are qualified and appointed by their school or club (or requested by the Branch) to a 'blitz' or similar tournament in which their school or club is participating0
• Are a refereeing resource within their club/school only. Resposnsibilty for their appointment rests with their club/school.
• Are not available for appointment to matches by the Branch or Branch Referee Associations / Society.
• Club & School Affiliated Referees may also apply, if they wish, for full membership of their Provincial Referee Associations/Society.

Qualification Requirements

Club & School Affiliated Referees qualify by:
• Attendance at IRFU Club & School Affiliated Referee Workshop.
• Database registration.
• Qualification is valid for 4 Seasons, inclusive of initial season of validation.
• Qualification must be renewed during 4th Season, i.e: Workshop re-attendance.


• Accreditation 'card' (email) with re-validation (expiry) season.
• Registered on IRFU/Provincial database as Club & School Affiliated Referees.
• Access via the IRFU website ( on all Law changes and rulings.
• IRFU 3rd party liability insurance.

Overall Rationale

• Improve the game and refereeing standards.
• Address safety issues.
• Formalise the status of these referees.


The Club & School Affiliated Referee must:
• Keep up to date on all Law Changes & Rulings (these are updated regularly on both and on the IRB website).
• Ensure their re-accreditation in the appropriate season (through their Branch, details on

Club & School Affiliate Referees - Retirment Policy

The rationale for the following policy is to meet the essential duty of care owed to, and to endevour to ensure the health and safety of all participants, both match officials and players.

• It is IRFU policy that referees will not officiate past their 60th birthday.
• This policy extends to Club & School Affiliate Referees.
• It is recognised that there may be occasional exceptions where an affiliate referee demonstrates a continued high level of fitness and ability levels.
• Therefore if a club / school is satisfied (fitness/ability) to appoint an affiliate to officiate after his/her 60th birthday, the affiliate referee must supply, to the club/school, a medical certificate indicating medical fitness to referee. This would be an annual requirement. In no case, however, should an affiliate referee be appointed past his/her 65th birthday.

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