This is for all you Mums and Dads, Brothers And Sisters of junior rugby players. Ask yourself:

  • Are You Sick Of Watching Your Child/Sibling From The Side Line?
  • Are You Sick Of Getting Wet, Cold And Miserable From The Side Line?
  • Are you Sick of Having Your View Blocked By other Spectators Getting In Your Way?
  • How Would You Like A Free Ticket to the best seat in the house?



If this sounds like you then please, read on…
Grass roots rugby starts with junior rugby and just like the big boys, all junior rugby games need a referee. From Rippa rugby at under 6’s and under 7’s, all the way up to under 13’s, the thankless task of refereeing these games often falls back onto the coaches of the teams.

But here’s the thing, coaching boys and girls to play and refereeing their games are two distinct roles and often, the two conflict with each other.
To alleviate this, the New Zealand Rugby Union implemented an “Associate Referee” category.

Aimed at parents and older siblings, the “Associate Referee” course is designed to give Mums and Dads, Brothers and Sisters of these under 6’s to under 13’s the necessary tools, skills and confidence to enable them to “have a go” and find themselves right at the heart of the action, or as most referees claim, the best seat in the house.

How Do You Get Appointed To A Game?
Generally speaking, each under 6 – under 13 team is required to have an “Associate Referee” attached to it.

If no official referee is appointed by the local referees group, then the home team is responsible for ensuring an “Associate Referee” is available to officiate the fixture.

If no one is available, then the visiting team’s “Associate Referee” is permitted to referee.
If none of these people are available then the home team can nominate someone to referee but scrums become non-contested. So you can see how vitally important it is that we have qualified “Associate Referees” available to referee our grass roots rugby.

What Will You Learn?
Most people know what a knock on looks like, what a forward pass looks like and what a dangerous tackle looks like, so you can safely assume you won’t learn those. During an “Associate Referee” course, you’ll learn:

Pre Match:

  • How to run a scrum safety briefing
  • How to conduct the toss and work out who is running in which direction and who is kicking off
  • How to get yourself ready both physically and mentally for your game

During a Match:

  • How to set up the two teams at a kick off
  • Where to run once the ball has been kicked off
  • Where to run when the ball moves either sideways or forward
  • What to look for and what to say when a tackle, a ruck, or a maul forms so that the ball comes out
  • What to do when you see an infringement occur
  • How to restart the game if the ball doesn’t come out from a tackle, ruck maul or set piece (scrum/lineout)

After Match:
What to do at the end of the game (and what not to do)
What to do if you have a yellow or a red card
How to monitor and measure your performance so you can get better

What You Will Get:
All “Associate Referees” once they register for the season and complete the course receive automatically:

  • A BOPRU Junior Referee T-shirt (sizes are limited, first-in, first-served each season) plus the first 20 of the season will also receive a pair of BOPRU Referee shorts
  • A digital photo ID Associate Referees Pass enabling entry to all club games, Baywide Finals and round robin NPC games valued at $100.00
  • PLUS Unlimited support from the Bay of Plenty Junior Referee Manager via email and telephone

So Where To From Here?
If you’d like to give refereeing a go, but don’t want to commit to it full time, then acting as an “Associate Referee” for your child/sibling/ may be for you.

To get started all you have to do is click below to register as an “Associate Referee” and either complete the Online Modules, or one of the practical courses held across the Bay of Plenty region.


Online Module Option available. Click here to register as an Associate Referee, and access the module!