BOULDER, Colo. – It takes a ref to play rugby. No matter what level of rugby you play or are a fan of, rugby just wouldn’t be rugby without match officials to make sure the game stays safe, enjoyable and keeps with the longstanding rugby tradition of sportsmanship and fair play. That is why USA Rugby is pleased to announce that July is Referee Appreciation Month in the United States.
As the sport grows in popularity in the United States, referees play and will continue to play a crucial role in developing the game at all levels. USA Rugby wants to give current and former referees a nod of appreciation and also encourage people to pick up a whistle and see the game as a referee.
Visit www.usarugby.org in July for features highlighting the men and women who enable so many others to enjoy the sport. Also, become a fan of USA Rugby on Facebook to take part in referee trivia and a weekly “Ask a Ref” session hosted by USA Rugby’s Referee Development Department. There will also be interactive contests and promotions on USA Rugby’s Facebook page throughout the month.
Refereeing is a great way to remain or get involved in the sport and, as any referee can attest, is a wonderful way stay in shape. Whether you want to get involved in community rugby or you see yourself picking up the whistle in the Olympics or a Rugby World Cup, becoming a certified match official is the first step to getting there.
“When I finished my career as a player, I knew that refereeing would allow me to lace up my boots on a Saturday and run around. If you’re a current player, becoming a certified referee is a great way to understand and think about the game in a way that you never have before,” said USA Rugby Director of Referee Development and longtime whistle blower, Ed Todd.
Todd has seen referee development take large strides in recent years. American match officials have been appointed to senior men’s and women’s international matches, with those appointments becoming more and more frequent.
So prepare yourself for July and Referee Appreciation Month because, after all, It Takes a Referee to Play Rugby!