2. How do I get graded?
2.1 After successfully completing your ‘Refereeing the 15 – a – side game’ (Level 2) course and joining the Society you will normally be given the entry-level grade of the Society ‘Probationer’. Initially you will be supported by the Induction Officer. He, or a colleague, will accompany you to one or two of your early appointed matches. There are two main reviews of grades per season, usually Dec/Jan and again at the end of the season. Re-gradings can take place at other times if performance and assessments warrant. Therefore there are plenty of opportunities to be re-graded. The Appointments and Grading Committee (AGC) implements the Society’s Grading policy. The review will be based on the reports made by Assessors and Coaches who have seen you referee. The Society is doing all it can to maximise the number of match observations of referees. However, if you have not been watched for a while, speak to the Society Match Observers Development Officer about it. As you become more experienced, you will be invited to take the County Badge Exam. When passed, this entitles you to wear the County badge on your refereeing shirt. As you progress through the levels, you may well find that you are asked to go on ‘Exchange’. This means travelling with other referees to another Society to do games. This is a real development opportunity, where you get to travel with more experienced referees, visit new clubs, be advised by advisers you do not know and generally soak up the atmosphere of being in another part of the ‘rugby’ country. ‘Exchange’ advisers reports may be particularly important in determining grading.
2.2 Referees are graded to determine the Level of game that the Society deems them competent to referee. The Society has a ‘duty of care’ in doing this and will not expose you by giving you too demanding a game to referee. We all start at the bottom. Players at higher Levels are faster, fitter, more skillful and more ‘professional’. The levels of referees and the teams they referee are shown in the Grading policy.
3. How are games graded?
3.1 The level of games run from 1 -15. Levels 1 – 4 are National Panel of Referees (NPR’s) administered by the RFU, 5 (South West) by the South West Group, Level 6 by the Federation or Society, 7 to normally 15 by the Society. Game and Team Levels are shown on WTR.
3.2 Those referees with ambition and the requisite talent will be nominated by the Society to the Gloucestershire Federation Squad (an association of Bristol and Glos & D Societies). From here, some may be accepted by the South West Group (Level 5). It is the SW Group that nominates referees to the National Panel.
3.3 The Society needs referees at all levels. Training and Development opportunities are designed for referees of all levels (see 6 and website for details).