FAQs

General 

What is a USA Rugby Referee?

A USA Rugby referee is a certified referee who works to ensure player welfare and a fair game for both teams. He or she has demonstrated an understanding of the laws of the game and is committed to professional development.

What does the USA Rugby Referee Department do?

The USA Rugby Referee Department manages both high performance and community level officiating. At the high performance level, we manage referee development and appointments for all National caliber events. At the community level, we manage all referee education courses and facilitate the recruitment and retention of referees through local organizing bodies.

How do I find games to officiate in my area?

To find games to officiate in your area, please visit http://www.usarugby.org/ref-contacts, scrolling down on this page you will see the contact that corresponds to you area.

What age do I have to be to become a referee?

There is no age restriction. The successful completion of a Level 1 course will allow individuals of all ages to become referees. High school and college students wanting to get into refereeing are encouraged to become rookie rugby referees or complete the level 1 certification course.

Referee Membership 

How much does it cost to register as a referee?

The USA Rugby fee to register as a referee is $45, however local area fees may apply. Referee membership includes accident insurance, third party liability insurance, and the traditional member benefits and discounts associated with USA Rugby affiliates.

Why should I register as a referee?

Many local organizations require that their constituents register as a USA Rugby referee before they can be assigned to a game.

How do I register?

To register as a referee, please click here. If you are already registered as a member, but would like to dual register as a referee please click here. From this page, you will click on the dual role registration form link.

Why is there a fee to register as a referee?

The referee registration fee will provide you with liability and accident insurance.

Who do I contact if I have difficulty with the online registration process?

If you are having trouble registering as a referee member please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are having trouble registering for a referee course, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Where can I find information on my certification status?

To check your current certification status, visit https://membership.usarugby.org/RegistrationStatus.aspx, you will type in your name or CIPP number in the search field, wait a moment and select your profile from the drop down list. Click search and you will see your officiating status and certification level.

Questions about certification status can be directed to Brittany Jacobs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

When does my referee membership expire?

Your membership will expire August 31st. Membership dues are required annually.

Referee certification and/or accreditation (acquired from the completion of courses) does not expire.

Certification and Courses 

Why should I take a referee certification course/ become certified?

USA Rugby certification courses will prepare you to manage games while maintaining the best interests of the players. Without certification, you are not eligible to officiate games that lead to a National Championship. Level I certification verifies that you have been educated in an International Rugby Board course and are endorsed by USA Rugby.

Do I have to complete my educational components in any particular order?

Particular courses have pre-requisites, for these courses you must complete certain courses in order. These prerequisites can be found on http://usarugby.org/referee-get-certified.

How long is my certification valid?

Certification and/or accreditation are valid indefinitely for all courses other than the Educator course. Educator certification must be renewed every three years.

What if there are not any courses in my area?

Course locations vary from year to year. If there is not a course in your area, feel free to contact your local referee organization (http://usarugby.org/ref-contacts) and they can assist you in scheduling a course. This is a great way to begin refereeing!

How Much Do Courses Cost?

Referee training courses range in price from $25 to $200. To see pricing for each specific course please visit: http://usarugby.org/referee-courses

Should I take a course if I do not plan to officiate?

Referee Training courses are great for all individuals. From coaches to parents, these training courses enhance one’s understanding of the game.

If I am new to the game, which course should I take first?

There are two officiating courses that are great for beginners, the Touch Judge course and the Level 1 Officiating course. The Touch judge course is a shorter course and can be completed in four hours or less. It will train you to act as a touch judge and is a great way to get involved in officiating. The Level 1 Officiating course is more intensive, taking eight hours to complete. It will train you to act as a center referee.

If I am returning to officiating and want to take a refresher course, may I audit?

Yes, if you are already a certified or accredited referee, meaning that you have successfully completed a particular course, you may audit that course at no cost. If a course is audited materials will not be provided.

Are Local Referee Organizations the only groups that can set up or host courses?

No, any group may host a course as long as they ensure that an IRB accredited Educator will be available to teach the course. To learn more about how to host a course, please visit HOST A COURSE

Do I get a certificate to verify my certification?

Yes, certificates will be sent from USA Rugby for all courses other than the Educator course. For this course, educators will receive their certification card from the IRB.

How do I pay for a course?

When you register online you can pay with a credit card. We offer a secure payment option.

Who do I contact if I have difficulty with the online registration process?

If you are having trouble registering as a referee member please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you are having trouble registering for a referee course, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Where can I find information on course offerings?

Information on course offerings can be found at http://usarugby.org/referee-courses. Here you can learn more about a course, find out where courses are being run, and register for a course!

Once I have completed my course requirements, how long does it take to receive my certificate?

It should take approximately two weeks to receive your certificate, once you have completed all course requirements. If you have not received a certificate of accreditation by that time, please contact Brittany Jacobs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Do I need to be registered (CIPPed) to take a referee certification course?

If you are not registered with USA Rugby, you cannot become a certified referee. Anyone may audit a referee training course to learn more about refereeing, but they will not be certified by USA Rugby to referee the game.