Looking to drop a Tuesday morning hand grenade on the table here…..REFEREEING STANDARDS.
i am a ref in a props body - so I get how hard it is for the man in the middle - but I genuinely think the refeering standards have hit rock bottom - especially in the top grades….
i appreciate that there are a lack of ref numbers - and the blokes that are out there should be commended for turning up….
BUT - surely there has to be some admission and feedback loop whereby some of the woeful - and I mean WOEFUL - refereeing is addressed.
To me it seems that they believe they are beyond reproach and there seems to be no feedback loop.
A few comments to balance out this feedback:
* Rugby referees are pretty much volunteers. The game is very fortunate to have what it does.
* The referee group are also looking to recover post COVID like many of the clubs are. Many people found other things to do on a Saturday.
* COVID and Flu have really impacted on the numbers available this season. This has really effected on the appointment process as there are many late changes on Fridays and sometimes Saturdays.
* Another impact of COVID has been that the quality of rugby is down which in many cases can be harder to referee.
* Abuse of referees has become an even bigger problem. Perhaps it is an outcome of poor performances but it creates a perpetuating cycle as more referees are lost. Behaviour at grounds has become an issue too (just check out the GPS and CAS forums re poor crowd behaviour at schoolboy matches).
* Most referees dedicate a lot of time to rugby - fitness training, education nights, extra games, juniors matches, midweek catchup games, sevens, womens tournaments or just to be an Assistant Referee for the next game. Sometimes they have poor games. Some learn a lot from these matches and get much better. Others repeat the same mistakes. I am sure we have all seen this in other parts of our lives.
* Sydney has a strong group of referee coaches who watch 2, 3 and sometimes 4 matches in a day to help maintain and improve the standards and this work while rewarding is also neverending. Many coaches watch videos as well. Other associations envy these resources.
* 2023 will be better (fingers crossed) as development of some of the newer referees has been slowed by 2 half seasons in 2020 and 2021.