News Archive

Category: Refeereing

NLD Referees Society Pre Season Meeting

June 30th, 2017 by

The first NLD Referee’s Society Training Meeting of the 2017-18 season will be on 15th August at 7.30pm.

The meeting will discuss any new Law Variations, interpretations etc which is usually of interest to the Coaching community and anyone who is interested is invited to attend.

The meeting will be held at the Saracen’s Head Hotel in Southwell.

NLD Game Development Conference

June 14th, 2017 by

Sunday 10th June marked an exciting day in the NLD RFU calendar, the NLD Game Development Conference which was once again kindly supported by the Sir Anthony Wharton Trust. This year, the conference was held at Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield. With over 50 coaches, referees and players, the conference was well attended with a range of different ages.

There was an exciting line-up for those who attended including Ian Costello, Head Coach of Nottingham Rugby, who delivered an inspiring talk on his coaching philosophy. James Phillips and Andy Smith who provided an insight into the Young Match Officials (YMO) programme & John Widdowson who provided a wealth of information with a development module.

James Phillips and Andy Smith delivered a presentation on the YMO programme, detailing what it involves and how to get involved. In addition to this, they provided information on the upcoming events that will be taking place in 2017. Furthermore, a round of applause for the level 1s and for the presentations that took place for the following YMOs on completion of their level 2 courses:

Level 1: Shannon Hutchinson, Keegan Orne-Boulton and Jodie Baker

Level 2: Maddie Crofts, Tom Watson, Will Shennan and James Bridle

A copy of the YMO Presentation can be downloaded here.

A copy of the Video Analysis Presentation can be downloaded here.

The next element of the conference was the delivery of a coaching module by John Widdowson who is the England Rugby Match Official Development Officer. The module delivered insightful information on the tackle, and the key talking points surrounding the tackle in the game today. This was supported by a practical session with the support of some of the attending YMOs. In addition to this, James Phillips and Andy Smith provided additional information from a referee’s perspective, which many found useful. This coupled with John’s coaching perspective allowed for a comprehensive discussion surrounding the tackle. John also provided information on video analysis and in-game analysis and how coaches, players and referees can utilise these techniques to improve their performance in the long-run.

After the break for lunch, Ian Costello Head Coach at Nottingham Rugby delivered a talk on his coaching philosophy and some of the challenges that can occur. This was coupled with an outdoor session which allowed these coaching methods and philosophy to be put into practice for all to see.

The conference was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended and provided an in-depth review of key areas of the game. Attendees were also issued with a limited edition NLD Game Development Conference 2017 sports bag as a memento for the day. Thank you to all participated, spoke and to those who put in the hard work and effort to make the day a success.

NLD Game Development Conference – Applications Open!

May 8th, 2017 by

The popular NLD Game Development Conference will take place once again this year at Samworth Academy in Mansfield on Saturday 10th June 2017.

We are delighted that Nottingham Rugby Head Coach Ian Costello will be a Guest Speaker.  Many local coaches will have already come across Ian through the successful series of Coaching Clinics run at Lady Bay and will be keen to hear more from him and see how his Coaching Philosophy is put into practice.

The conference will also include sessions on using Video Analysis without spending huge amounts of money on expensive packages and equipment as well as the NLD Young Match Programme.  There will also be a CPD delivered on ‘Managing the Tackle’ which will be delivered by the England Rugby team.

The Conference will start at 9am and will finish by 4pm.  Lunch is included and once again the Conference is very kindly supported by NLD RFU as well as the Sir Anthony Wharton Trust.  We are therefore happy to confirm that the price for the day will remain £10 per person to include lunch!

Places are limited to make sure you book your place today!

Click here to book.

Sam Yates Receives England Rugby Recognition!

March 27th, 2017 by

NLD Young Match Official Sam Yates has recently been awarded with his ‘100 Hour’ Award from the vInspired Young Rugby Ambassador’s Porgramme for Volunteering in the game.  This is a huge achievement and something that is recognised Nationally with the presentation of a Jacket marking the occasion.

NLD President Jeff Mapp commented; ‘Sam has been a huge credit not only to himself but to Scunthorpe RFC and his refereeing career has really taken off this season.  It is fantastic to see him offer so much support to the club and we are very much looking forward to seeing where it takes him next.’

Sam has written about his YMO journey and you can read more below.

Sam Yates – My Young Officials Journey 

My young officials journey started in October, I had played for Scunthorpe, from under sevens up to under 13’s, however, injuries caused me to give up as I was performing well at other sports. I had officiated before as my father was a referee and I ran touch from the age of 8 so I had officiating in my blood, as I ran touch more my dad would give me more opportunities, it started with just signalling touch and by the end I would have the ability and he would have the confidence to let me make decisions that would not affect the game in a substantial way. When I got the chance to go on the young officials course I leaped at the chance because I love rugby and I wanted to keep in the game, not just as a supporter.

Once I had completed the course I officiated my first game on the October 30th. The game was played between, Scunthorpe and Driffield U13’s with the game being a high scoring affair with the final score being 21 – 19.  After this I continued to referee for Scunthorpe and I officiated three or four more games and I also refereed at the local interschool tournament. Once I had gained some experience I joined the Notts, Lincs and Derbys Referee Society. I have refereed most Sundays since I joined: the highlights so far have been refereeing a U16 Shield Semi Final between Kesteven and West Bridgford and the Trent College 10’s tournament.

I gained my 100 hours volunteering in January 2017, this hasn’t only been from my refereeing but I am the Scunthorpe first team camera man, I video all the home matches and most of the away games. My footage is linked to our match analysis computer and he analyses the game with live coding throughout the game.  On a match days, I am also responsible for updating the match stats for the online RFU Game Management System (GMS) and sending out the match video to the RFU for the Elite hub and various other recipients. I have also continued to help with the production of the programme stats that feature in the Scunthorpe programme every home match, these are also used by the coach for picking the team.

The annual bonfire at the rugby club was held this year on a Friday night, I volunteered to help on the night but I also went down during the day to help set up the food stalls and the fencing around the fire to keep the patrons safe. On the night, I was asked to be a steward, firstly I was charged with looking after the front entrance, not allowing any cars to park there and if they pulled up to advise them where to park. Secondly, I was asked to patrol the field and make sure that everyone was safe and try to resolve any problems.

My aim is to continue to improve my refereeing and next year I am going to officiate when Scunthorpe are away from home, this will enable me to referee men’s games and hopefully progress up the refereeing ladder, I will still be volunteering for Scunthorpe Rugby Club.

Ian Costello to Deliver at NLD Game Development Conference

March 21st, 2017 by

The popular NLD Game Development Conference will take place once again this year and we are delighted to announce that Nottingham Rugby Head Coach Ian Costello will be a Guest Speaker!  Many local coaches will have already come across Ian through the successful series of Coaching Clinics run at Lady Bay and will be keen to hear more from him and see how his Coaching Philosophy is put into practice.

The conference will be on Saturday 10th June 2017 and will take place at Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield.

The conference will also include sessions on using Video Analysis without spending huge amounts of money on expensive packages and equipment as well as the NLD Young Match Programme.  There will also be a CPD delivered on ‘Managing the Tackle’ which will be delivered by the England Rugby team.

The Conference will be going live soon on the RFU Online Course Booking Site and more information will be announced shortly.

In the meantime put the date in your diary – we are looking forward to another excellent conference.

Young Match Officials at Society Training

January 25th, 2017 by

On Tuesday 24th January, 12 Young Match Officials (YMOs) attended the first NLD Referees Society Training Evening of 2017, held as usual at the Saracens Head in Southwell. The addition of these young people ensured we had a full house on the night, where Society Training Officer Bill Burton facilitated an enjoyable interactive session on “Communications and Management”.

The YMOs arrived in advance of the meeting to meet members of the NLDRFURS Committee and two of the senior referees (Tim Allatt and Andy Smith). Tim and Andy described their refereeing journey, in particular their early days of refereeing for their Society. Several of the YMOs described their early refereeing experiences with enthusiasm and a short question and answer session resulted in tips and advice being exchanged on the art of refereeing.

Throughout the meeting with the YMOs, two media students from the University of Lincoln filmed the session as part of a project to document the “YMO Journey” for the RFU.

The YMOs then joined the main Training Event: after a short Society Admin session three of them (Maddy Crofts, Aiden Baker-Johal and Sam Yates) were presented with their special YMO Programme Shirts by Paul Carroll. These shirts incorporate a special YMO Logo, the RFU Rose and are coloured orange with a purple inset. All three of these YMOs are now Society members, which is great news.

Thereafter the YMOs participated fully in the Society Training Evening before leaving at 9pm.

Congratulations to all involved in setting up and ensuring that the evening went so well for our Young Officials, in particular Nicola McCombe (Lincs CRC), Nicole Brown (NLD Office), John Widdowson (RFU MODO) and the referees who helped on the night.

Report:  Paul Carroll, NLD Referees Society

NLD Young Match Official Programme Lead Job Opportunity

January 19th, 2017 by

YMO Header 2

NLD RFU are looking to appoint a new Programme Lead for the NLD Young Match Officials Programme.  The YMO Programme is aimed at developing Young Officials aged 14-21 years in the three counties to gain qualifications & experience in refereeing rugby.  Launched at the start of 2016 the programme has gone from strength to strength and plans are already underway for more events in 2017.

This role would ideally suit someone who is passionate about developing refereeing and who has strong administrative skills.  No knowledge of refereeing is necessarily required although would be of benefit!

More information on the Young Match Officials Programme is available here.

If you are interested please contact Nicole Brown on 01636 640800 or [email protected] for an informal chat regarding the programme and the role.  The deadline for expressions of interest is 31st January 2017.


The NLD Young Match Officials Programme Lead will:

  • Chair & Coordinate the NLD Young Match Officials Programme Committee to plan & develop the calendar of events for the Young Officials throughout the season.
  • Manage the NLD YMO database.
  • Communicate with the NLD YMO’s to ensure they have the necessary support and encouragement to develop their refereeing.
  • Work as a liaison between all relevant parties. Including, but not limited to, the NLD Referees Society, the local RFU Professional Staff, Parents, YMO’s, YMO Supporters & Club Referee Coordinators.

Time Commitment: 2-3 hours per week on average.

NLD Young Match Officials Programme – February Event!

January 19th, 2017 by

YMO Header 2

Great News! Young people within NLD have the opportunity to be selected as a part of the local Young Match Officials Programme run by NLD RFU & the NLD Referees Society in partnership with England Rugby.


  • Fantastic opportunity to work with other young people in the sport and develop as an official
  • Open to ALL Young People aged 14-21years
  • Develop your Officiating skills through training and mentoring
  • Grow your knowledge, experience & confidence as a player as well as an official


  • Work towards and complete your Level 2 Referee Course
  • Officiate at a number of fixtures throughout the Season, supporting your club, school and RFU competitions
  • Young Match Officials Kit Package
  • Additional Rewards through Young Rugby Ambassador Programme
  • Monitor your progress in your Official RFU Log Book
  • Fantastic addition to any CV!


Thursday 16th February 2017, 9.00am – 13.30pm

Mansfield RFC,

Eakring Road
NG18 3EW

There is the choice of the following courses, followed by lunch;

Level 1 Kids First Refereeing Children

Refereeing the Tackle CMOD

Any Young Match Officials who completed their Level 2 qualification in Autumn 2016 will be awarded with their Young Match Officials Shirt when they attend they Refereeing the Tackle Development Course.

If you would like to be considered for a place on the programme, please book directly onto the courses by clicking the links above.  Places are limited and on a first come first served basis. There will be no cost to young people within who sign up and commit to the programme.

Parents, Referee Coordinators & Club Representatives will be welcome to stay for a short presentation on the Programme from John Widdowson, Match Official Development Officer, and lunch.  Places can be booked by emailing [email protected]

Any questions at all don’t hesitate to get in touch with Nicole Brown – [email protected] / 01636 640800.

Forthcoming Coaching, Refereeing & Safeguarding Courses

January 19th, 2017 by

Please see below the calendar of upcoming award and non award courses throughout NLD.

CPD Coaching Half Back Play Paviors RFC 18 Jan 2017 18 Jan 2017  6.30pm – 9.30pm 13
Rugby Ready Ilkeston RFC 21 Jan 2017 21 Jan 2017  9.30am – 12.30pm 12
Play it Safe Ashbourne Ex-Servicemans Club 23 Jan 17 Mon 23 Jan 2017 (18:00 – 21:00) 0
CPD Coaching Maul & Ruck Stamford RFC 25 Jan 2017 25 Jan 2017  7pm – 10pm 15
CPD Kids First U8 Tag Melbourne RFC 28 Jan 2017 28 Jan 2017  9.30am – 12.30pm 16
CPD Managing Contact Nottingham Casuals RFC 30 Jan 2017 30 Jan 2017  6.30pm – 9.30pm 14
Play it Safe Paviors RFC 30 Jan 17 Mon 30 Jan 17 (18:30 – 21:30) 16
L1 Kirk Hallam Community Tech & Sport College 5 Feb 2017 5, 19 Feb, 5 Mar 2017  9am – 5pm 4
CPD Coaching Back Attack Long Eaton RFC 13 Feb 2017 13 Feb 2017  7pm – 9.30pm 14
CPD Coaching Maul & Ruck Scunthorpe RFC 13 Feb 2017 13 Feb 2017  6.30pm – 9.30pm 18
Play it Safe Amber Valley 14 Feb 17 Tues 14 Feb 17 (18:00 – 21:00) 24
CPD Coaching Kicking Nottingham Moderns RFC 15 Feb 2017 15 Feb 2017  6.30pm – 9.30pm 13
Rugby Ready Melbourne RFC 15 Feb 2017 15 Feb 2017  1.30pm – 4.30pm 20
Kids First Refereeing Children Melbourne RFC 15 Feb 2017 15 Feb 2017  9.30am – 12.30pm 18
Continuous Match Official Development: Tackle Mansfield RFC 16 Feb 2017 NLD YOUNG MATCH OFFICIALS ONLY 16 Feb 2017 9am – 12noon NLD YOUNG MATCH OFFICIALS ONLY 20
Kids First Refereeing Children Mansfield RFC 16 Feb 2017 NLD YOUNG MATCH OFFICIALS ONLY 16 Feb 2017  9am – 12pm NLD YOUNG MATCH OFFICIALS ONLY 20

Young Match Officials Impress!

October 31st, 2016 by

During the October Half Term the NLD Young Match Officials Programme saw an additional 45 Young Officials receive RFU Qualifications to enable them to officiate the game.  The RFU Level 1 & Level 2 Courses were both fully funded and run by NLD alongside the NLD Referees Society and the local RFU Professional Staff.

Both courses were a huge success with attendees from throughout NLD, many of the Level 2 candidates started their Refereeing journey at the Level 1 course in February of this year and others were getting involved in the programme for the first time.


NLD Senior Vice President & Society Referee Chris Johnson who attended the course commented; ‘It has been fantastic to see so many young people getting involved in Refereeing.  Every game needs a Referee to go ahead and there are so many opportunities for Young Match Officials within NLD.’

As part of the Programme, the Young Officials are recording their progress on the England Rugby vInspired System and working towards logging volunteer hours.  These hours are recorded and on reaching certain milestones rewards and recognition are offered.

Sam Yates took part in the Level 2 course and said afterwards;

I refereed my first game of rugby after the course today and it was great!  I refereed Scunthorpe U13’s V Driffield U13 in a high scoring affair, with the full-time score of 21-19.  I’m hoping to gain some experience this year and hopefully join the society for the start of next year.

I loved it today, thanks for doing the course I thought it was great and gives people great platform to start something which they will enjoy!’

At the end of Thursdays course Maddie Crofts & Owen Stephenson were both presented with certificates & kit to reward them for their efforts so far having logged the most hours volunteering so far as Young Rugby Ambassadors.  Nottingham Rugby also very generously donated family tickets for their match against Richmond on Sunday 11th December, KO 3pm.

YMO Owen & Maddie

The NLD Young Match Officials Programme is aimed at 14-18 year olds in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire & Derbyshire and focuses on offering Training & Development to Young Officials getting involved in Refereeing.  With expert Mentoring available and the support of the NLD Referees Society the Programme is an ideal opportunity for young people to grow their knowledge, experience and confidence as a player as well as an official.

Members of the Programme will be asked to officiate a number of fixtures throughout the season; these could be club age group fixtures, RFU festivals, school fixtures etc. They will receive kit throughout the programme and will also be able to receive additional rewards as a result of successfully recording their progress in a log book provided by NLD.

Anyone interested in joining the NLD Young Match Officials Programme should contact Nicola McCombe.

Pictured:  Maddie Crofts & Owen Stephenson with NLD Senior Vice President Chris Johnson.