NLD Young Match Officials Programme

What is the Young Match Officials Programme?

In 2016 England Rugby launched the Young Match Official (YMO) programme to encourage more young people aged 14-24 to get into officiating rugby.

The NLD RFU YMO programme provides qualification opportunities in partnership with the RFU, allowing for the development of skills, experience and knowledge.

In the last 12 months, there are 106 newly qualified young referees within the 3 counties.

Different Courses on offer:

There are 2 different courses that are on offer to Young Match Officials, Level 1 and Level 2. Both of which can be undertaken for FREE through the NLD YMO programme.

The Level 1 course is called Refereeing Children (U8 to U12). This course is designed to provide new referees with the core skills to be able to referee rugby union safely and confidently. It takes around 3 hours and is a mixture of practical and classroom based activities.

The next course is the England Rugby Refereeing Award which focuses on the 15-a-side game.. This course is for developing referees who want to referee the 15-a-side game and will equip individuals with the skills and confidence to do so effectively. It takes around 12 hours and is a mixture of practical and classroom based activities. On completion of the Level 2 course, you will receive your RFU YMO referee shirt.

Do you want to be a Young Match Official?

If you want to get involved with the Young Match Official programme, or know someone who does then you can contact the YMO Programme Lead, James Phillips.

If you are interested in becoming a YMO we have the events that are occurring throughout the year. The upcoming YMO events within NLD are as follows:

Date Event
Tues 24th, Weds 25th, Thurs 26th Oct 2017 Level 2 Refereeing Course
Thursday 26th October 2017 Level 1 Refereeing Course

If you want to get involved in any of these events please contact James Phillips.


Did you know, as a YMO any hours that you undertake as a referee count as volunteering for the England Rugby Young Rugby Ambassadors Programme. You can sign up to vInspired here.

All the hours that you log as a YMO count towards certain awards. The awards are as follows:

10 Hours – Certificate
30 Hours – T Shirt and letter from Eddie Jones
50 Hours – Hoody
100 Hours – Jacket

Plus, the more hours you log, the more likely you are to get invited to special events such as YRA Awards at Twickenham or England U20 games, just to name a few!

If you want to know more about the RFU YRA programme click here.

Still not sure whether you want to referee?

If you are still unsure about whether you want to referee or have any questions, please do get in touch and James Phillips will answer all your questions.

“Why not give it a go? Who knows where refereeing will take you?”
Wayne Barnes.