Referees are vital to the community game. Like rugby players, refereeing is an activity for all: referees can come in all shapes/sizes/genders, and from a wide range of backgrounds. 
Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT need to have played the game before, to become a match official, although of course it can help if you have.
All you need to start out is: an interest in the game; a willingness to learn; and a basic level of physical fitness.

WHY become a REFEREE?

  • Become or Stay involved 

  • Maintain physical activity

  • Promote mental agility

  • Learn and develop new skills

  • Contribute to the game

Image courtesy of Scottish Rugby

How Can The Society Help Me as a Referee?

Once qualified to referee, you can decide whether you just want to referee at your club/school (as a club referee – mainly youth matches); or to join your local referee society.

Some benefits of joining the referee society are:

  • Access regular Continuous Personal Development sessions at society meetings (on topics such as scrum, lineout, foul play, fitness, etc), presented by mix of society educators and representatives from Scottish Rugby
  • Receive Scottish Rugby referee match kit (jersey, short, socks, etc)
  • Get appointed to referee competitive adult matches in the society district
  • Receive coaching from a referee coach, who will attend some of your matches to provide support and feedback on your performance
  • Receive additional support and camaraderie from your fellow referees, and have the ability to have discussions on any and all aspects of your refereeing
Image courtesy of Scottish Rugby/SNS
Image courtesy of Scottish Rugby/SNS


Scottish Rugby have just recently updated their Match Officiating Standards (as of July 2022), and the new process to train / qualify is as follows:

  1. Register on Scottish Rugby’s SCRUMS system
    Match officials need to register on SCRUMS, as this allows you to book onto courses and workshops, and create a match official profile
  2. Complete the RugbyRight course(s) on SCRUMS
    The RugbyRight course aims to improve standards of player welfare at all levels of the game in Scotland.
    RugbyRight 2022/2023 has two modules available:
    RugbyRight 2022/2023 (must be completed by all but only if new to the game for this season, if you didn’t complete it during 2021/22 season)
    RugbyRight: Safeguarding (must be completed by all those who will work with players under the age of 18)
  3. Complete the Introduction to Match Officiating course (book on SCRUMS)
    Match Officials are required to complete a qualification before actively officiating.
    The Introduction to Match Officiating course is aimed at those interested in refereeing rugby in the youth and adult game (S1/U13 and above).
    Match Officials must be minimum 15 years of age to complete the course. The course is provided by Scottish Rugby, and is free of charge.
    Once complete, you will be permitted to referee in Scotland.
    Those who have already completed a qualification (inc. the old Level 1 refereeing course) do not need to retake.
  4. Join over 10,000 match officials & coaches on Scottish Rugby’s online Training Hub (optional, but recommended)
    The training hub is powered by Hive Learning, and has over 500 resources, videos and modules available.
    Click here to setup an account – use “SRUTH1872” as your training hub key.
Image courtesy of Scottish Rugby

How Do I Join the Society?

If you’d like to join the society, please fill out the membership enquiry form on our Join Us page.