Rugby Southland are calling for people to put their hand up to become a referee as the start of schoolboy rugby puts pressure on referee numbers.
After three rounds of senior club rugby competition, Rugby Southland referee education officer Kirk Rae said there had been some struggles with getting enough referees on games.
At present there were 19 senior referees, 19 intermediate referees and 15 junior referees, but as May 10 comes around Rae is sending a message out that more referees are needed. "We've got a good solid membership number, but that doesn't mean we have enough."
In the first round of competition, a number of referees were out of action for the day.
As a result a 17-year-old was appointed to a division two game.
"We appoint to the best that we can, but sometimes we have to assign referees to a grade they may not be comfortable with . . . but it's either that or have no referee and no game," Rae said.
Recruitment continued through the off season for Rae and his team as they took to social media as a new way of drawing in referees.
Rugby Southland was looking for anyone interested in taking up refereeing. As with playing rugby there was a progression through the grades, or referees could stay on a particular grade.
There were many other opportunities that came with refereeing, including the annual referee interchange on May 17 with Otago, South Canterbury and Canterbury.
To become a referee contact Kirk Rae at Rugby Southland on (03) 216 8694.
- The Southland Times