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.