Level up! Referee coaches stepping up

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Once many referees call it a day on the park, some explore referee coaching as a way of giving back and bringing through the next generation of referees.  Sometimes it takes an objective eye from the standards to prompt someone to take the next step in their refereeing.  That’s no different for referee coaches. 



Recently in Sydney, the ARU held a national Level 2 Referee Coach course with participants from all over Australia, in an effort to build the skills of our referee coaches.  The group had representatives from Sydney, NSW’s Far North Coast and Southern Inland, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Darwin. 


The Level 2 Referee Coach course focuses around the best way to develop effective and appropriate coaching advice, how to run a pre-game session with referee, personality profiling, managing a referee through the process of the Individual Season Plan, and using the ARU’s new Referee Coaching app, “Sideline”.  


Co-ordinated by Jamie McGregor (Match Official Manager, Community Rugby), the course also had a number of presenters at the High Performance level in Michael Tanzer (HPU Referee Talent Identification manager), Graham Cooper (National Match Official), Will Houston (Super Rugby Referee), Michael Magriplis (Coach Development Manager, Community Rugby) and Matt Goddard (National Referee Selector – Chairman). 


In addition to indoor work and workshopping scenarios, the group attended the Shute Shield fixture between Gordon and Parramatta, and the Waratahs v Blues Super Rugby game. All coaches were wired into the referees’ audio. On day two of the course, the referees of these matches, Matt Kellahan and Angus Gardner, came in and held a debrief of their performances with the attendees of the course.  It was a valuable an opportunity for all to benefit. 



From here, all participants take their new perspectives on the game home with them to their local areas, where they are encouraged to pass on any insights to other referee coaches in their Associations while they move through the process of obtaining their Level 2 Referee Coach accreditation.


In addition, the ARU is holding further ongoing education for referee coaches throughout the year. A full referee coach seminar was held in Perth in April, senior ARU HPU referee coaches passed on their knowledge to coaches in Melbourne in June, and a referee coach seminar in Brisbane will be held in July for coaches across QLD.