Young Match Officials

SRRS Young Match Officials Initiative

Somerset Rugby Referees (SRRS) is a keen supporter of the development of Young Match Officials (YMOs) by providing a supportive and safe environment in which they can develop as young people via rugby union and match officiating.

With an ever-changing rugby landscape needing match officials (15-a-side, 7-a-side, touch rugby, etc) SRRS needs to meet these demands and encourage young people to flourish using rugby and refereeing as a rewarding activity in which they can fulfil their potential.

SRRS also believes the wider RFU viewpoint that to ensure there are referees for tomorrow’s game, we need to recruit and retain young referees today.

A YMO Program will set out how SRRS will continue to progress with an initiative aimed at recruiting, training and developing young people as match officials. SRRS has a working group within the committee that is tasked with the aspiration to grow a group of YMOs (aged between 14 to 18).

Details of this program are set out in summary below.

The SRRS YMO Mission Statement

“The SRRS YMO Development Group will strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for young people to develop and flourish as individuals via rugby union match officiating.”

SRRS’s YMO Programme will become a focal point for the recruitment, training and development of young match officials and support them within the game.


To develop a model of good practice for the development of Young Match Officials within Somerset. SRRS Young Match Official Programme will achieve this through a positive, YMO-centred development and learning culture.

Our Objectives

To establish good links with Somerset Rugby Referees Society, local clubs and educational establishments within the county to promote the opportunities that exist to develop young people within the county.

The SRRS Young Match Official Programme will be overseen by our YMO Programme Co-ordinator, Dan Evans.

The Programme will establish a YMO and individual-centred development programme (including appropriate fixtures) in conjunction with the Appointments Team, Society Training Officer and Academy Officer.

The programme will support YMOs through their basic training course of choice (England Rugby Referee Award* or Refereeing Children CPD**). SRRS will refund the cost of either course for YMOs joining the programme.

Each YMO will be appointed a Mentor – SRRS will endeavour to provide a personalised programme for each YMO.

Each YMO will be accompanied by a chaperone/parent or guardian when appointed to any fixture on behalf of SRRS.

We will work with the England Rugby Local Delivery Team (LDT), clubs and educational establishments to promote the programme and increase awareness of a supportive and safe environment for young people within rugby union.

A YMO Programme will give young people their own identity within the society, while at the same time ensuring that they are an integral part of SRRS and help to forge positive links into the referee development pathway.

All RFU Safeguarding Policies MUST be adhered to: any questions should be directed to Paul Connolly (SRRS Safeguarding Officer).

General Resources

SRRS will work with the England Rugby YMO guidance document and look to follow “Best Practice” for the development of young people.

As part of the SRRS YMO Programme, Young Match Officials must also register as Young Rugby Ambassadors (YRAs) and the V-Inspired programme where they’ll receive extra reward and recognition as young volunteers within rugby union.

If you are interested in becoming a Young Match Official (YMO), or want to find out more, please contact Rob Owen,

*England Rugby Referee Award (ERRA, Level Two): Two-day refereeing the 15-a-side Game qualification course. Cost £75 pp.

** England Rugby Refereeing Children CPD (Level One): Three-hour CPD aimed at those wishing to referee up to and including under-12s. Cost £15pp.

NOTE: Both courses are organised by England Rugby. Courses can be found and booked online:

What is a Young Match Official?

Safeguarding – this is important to protect you as a Young Match Official and the players you referee

RFU Regulations – Regulation 15: Age Grade Rugby