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Club & School Affiliated Referees


It is IRFU Policy that all matches from U13 upwards are refereed by:

  • Branch Referees or
  • Club & School Affiliate Referees

Club & school affiliate referees are not branch referees. They are club or school members who are qualified to referee matches involving their own club or school where no branch referee is available or has not been appointed. They usually referee underage games and provide an important function in servicing the game at this level in their club or school.

Who appoints Club & School Affiliate Referees?

The responsibility for their appointment lies solely with their club or school.

Are they members of a branch referee society or association?

No, they are entirely separate. Club and school affiliate referees are a refereeing resource within their own club or school and have no involvement with their branch referee association / society.

Can I affiliate to more than one club or school?

No, affiliate referees can only affiliate to one club and one school.

What games can they referee?

They are appointed by their club or school. They can only referee games involving their own club or school, home or away.

How do I become an affiliate referee?

You must successfully complete two World Rugby online training components and attend an IRFU Club and School Affiliate Workshop.

Step 1:

Complete World Rugby Law Exam Module – click here.

Complete World Rugby Concussion Management for General Public Module – click here.

Both these components require online registration with the World Rugby Training Passport portal. On completion you should print your certificate. This is important, as you will need to provide the printed certificate to attend the IRFU Club and School Affiliate workshop.

Step 2:

Attend a Club and School Affiliate workshop. This is a two and a half hour module covering the basics of successful and safe refereeing.

Please note that you will not gain entry to the workshop without providing the printed certificates outlined above

I am interested, who do I contact?

For information on upcoming affiliate referee courses please see your provincial domestic website or contact branch development staff involved with your club or school.

Is there a cost?

No, there is no cost. Just remember to bring both completed certificates to the course to gain entry.

How long will my accreditation last?

Once completed your accreditation will last for 4 seasons including the season that you attended. For example if you attend in October 2016 your accreditation will expire on July 31st 2020.

Please note that from time to time you may need to undertake further training on important law changes or safety management to keep your accreditation active. You will be notified of this by email.

Best practice for clubs and schools with their affiliate referees

• Accreditation of referees they appoint must be in date. Courses are held at appropriate times throughout the season.
• Appoint their best available affiliate referees.
• Ensure sending offs and other discipline matters are notified to their respective branch.
• Keep a record of appointments made.

Following best practice ensures a safer and better structured playing environment for your players. Please click here for full IRFU Affiliate Referee Policy