Affiliated to Eastern Counties Referees’ Federation (EC) and The Rugby Football Union (RFU)


Norfolk Rugby Union Referees Society Ltd (NRURS) is pleased to have you join us and wishes you well in your ambitions as a referee. We can accommodate referees of all abilities and can promise to provide advice, support and training throughout your time with us. Indeed our most famous son is Wayne Barnes, who refereed for Norfolk whilst studying at UEA, so we claim to have helped shape him into the respected World Rugby referee he now is!


After refereeing five games for us, at some of which you will be assessed, if you are considered competent then we will issue you with your kit and assign a grade (which varied from 13 (beginner) to 1 (RFU Premiership).


This guidance offers direct information or links to resources that are thought to be important to referees, particularly but not exclusively Society referees. Some of you are very experienced but there always things to learn given the fluidity of the game particularly the laws and game regulations!

Norfolk Young Referees


The Committee usually meet every month during the season at which we welcome any matter being raised by members. The AGM is usually held around late May/early June at which any committee position is open for election.

More information can be found on the committee page


These are managed on (WTR) (  Notification of your appointments to games are sent via email but you can also log into WTR to view your record. There are self-explanatory notes on accepting or declining. We need you to accept or decline an appointment as early as possible so club fixture secretaries are up to speed or that a reappointment is necessary. If you haven’t done either within 48 hours of a game it will be reappointed and the second, accepting referee will have precedence and no expenses will be paid to the first if you travel to the match.  It is essential that your availability calendars are kept up to date, and email reminders (through the website mailing list, and via WTR) are issued. At least ensure Saturday, Sunday and Wednesdays are accurate please.



The Society reimburses mileage (shortest route from home and back) at 45p per mile (RFU recommended rate).


No other expenses are available for matches without prior agreement. You may also be entitled to claim for training events, any distance over 50 miles can also be claimed at 45p.


Claims should be made via – but ideally no more than once per month. Claims that are submitted by the middle of the month will normally be paid by the end of the month.


Claims should only be made in relation to the current season, so make sure your last claim of each season is submitted promptly. 


We must have them all in by the end of our financial year (April) unless the Treasurer agrees otherwise. Your committee is not happy to honour claims from previous seasons.


NRURS expects you, as a member, to represent the Society in the best possible light. This includes wearing appropriate clothing, preferably Society shirt and tie as well as official kit. The wearing of a local rugby club branded kit whilst undertaking NRURS duties is not permitted.

Keeping up with demand/stock is a challenge, particularly for new members, hence Jim Scoles is managing this process.

Society kit may only be worn when carrying our appointments made by the NRURS, therefore if you referee any game which is not a Society appointment then you MUST NOT where Norfolk Kit. This will avoid any confusion as to the appointment and who is responsible for it. 


The Norfolk kit issued referees is the property of the Society and the Society reserves the right to ask for it to be returned.


A team of assessors, led by Lewis Sewter, are active during the season watching referees, advising and feeding back on performance and development points. These factors are brought to meetings to agree grading of each and every Society referee, which is recorded on WhosTheRef.

Norfolk has a Development Squad which helps referees who aspire to moving up the levels particularly those aiming to become an Eastern Counties referee.


More information is available from Lewis Sewter.


We get an allowance from the RFU; we have no say in how many. The committee believe the fairest way is to ask people for their requests via a simultaneous email with a cut-off date and draw them at a Committee meeting or Training event.


There has been a long standing agreement that we also make 2 tickets available to our sponsors who have been very supportive over a number of seasons. A £5 admin fee is levied on all applications



Memberships (and other matters) are outlined in our constitution (Section 5). Please ask for details.


The Whistler Trophy is awarded each year to the club who are the most hospitable. This is defined as confirming the fixture, pre match and post-match hospitality as well as player and spectator conduct. You are expected to vote! We will come to you for your vote before the end of the season - be ready!

Referee marking the offside line


The RFU has followed latest Government advice and determined that referees do not need a DBS check as we don’t have ‘regular contact’ with young people (more than once a week). Nevertheless the Committee emphasises the need for you to keep yourself safe at all times with regard to all persons Under 18 years old whom you may encounter as a match official. Ensure the area where you change is safe and is used only as a dedicated changing room. If you do not have private showers then consider whether it is best not to shower.


Any dealings with players e.g. pre-match briefing/stud checks must have another adult present (e.g. coach) and be carried out in a public environment. NEVER enter the changing room without another adult present, and ideally avoid entering the changing at all.

Beware of under 17’s playing in adult games, what arrangements have clubs put in place?

Beware of adult player’s own children (or indeed any other minors) coming into changing room/shower areas - clubs should not be allowing this.

If you have concerns REPORT them either to the club, Society Secretary or ideally both. Ultimately, think about ensuring you keep yourself safe at all times.


Joe Kendrick-Eriksen is our nominated safeguarding lead.


Please note the Serious Injury guidance (a player admitted onto a ward, not just attending A&E). It is also advisable to bear in mind and make a note for reference about a concerning injury (when a player hasn’t gone to or refused to go to hospital) for possible future reference. The report must be sent to your appointing body – Norfolk (Secretary), EC or RFU. If in doubt, seek advice from Secretary.


The other form to note is the Sending Off form. These MUST be completed within 48 hours of the event. The Sending Off form is available next to your appointment record on WTR, once you have completed this then inform Lewis Sewter who will review the report before it is forwarded to the relevant Discipline Committee.


There is also growing concerns about referee abuse which the RFU, EC and NRURS want to act on. Please inform the relevant Secretary as soon as possible who will advise you write up the event. Bearing this in mind it will be helpful to take relevant names of ‘offenders’ (where possible) and witnesses. You may be interested to know that there have been some lengthy bans given out in these circumstances across Norfolk and Eastern Counties in recent months, you will be supported at all times.

Norfolk Referees at Langley School
Referee and Player Enjoying Rugby


Your committee arranges a variety of events each year. We see them as part of your development and ongoing competence to referee.

Training is set at 4 levels:

  • Pre U9’s, where there is a new RFU Course.

  • Entry Level Refereeing Award, an RFU course aimed at U9’s upwards.

  • 15 aside entry course (organised and delivered by RFU personnel)

  • Norfolk Society Training is aimed at Society Referees, according to ‘need’, e.g. changes in the Law, or a particular problem area. Society Training is held ¾ times per season to which both Coaches and non-Society Referees – Club Referees – are welcome.

  • Eastern Counties’ Training, aimed at those referees who have been promoted to the EC ranks. An annual joint referees/coaches conference is held, usually in the summer.


Attending training whenever possible is not only educational, but also social and ‘psychological’, about which, a few words of explanation. Except when assigned as a ‘team of three’, or when subject to a formal assessment, most referees go to their assigned games on their own, and whether for good or bad, they do not receive unbiased feedback on their performance; added to which are the many unplanned incidents for which specific training is virtually impossible. Thus, at the end of each Society Meeting, we encourage both Assessors and Referees to air their ‘problems’ which allows their peers, normally the EC Referees, who have had lots of experience, to provide suggested solutions. We do not criticise – what would be the point, given the dozens of ‘experts’ on the touchline, always willing to provide their carefully considered input in measured tones !

We have a Facebook account with restricted access to members only which can also provide a forum to air issues, seek advice. If you wish then you will be given access to our Facebook page on becoming a member.