GC Refereeing Consulation Summary
The full responses to our early consultation document from 43 people were tabulated and shared in full (anonymously) with the GC Rules Committee and group of GC Examining Refs. The following summary of the responses was compiled by Martin French. Numbered only for ease of reference, not priority:
- There was little support for creating a Tier 3 referee (assistant or club ref)
- There was little support for lowering the examination pass mark
- There was widespread support for introducing a Championship Referee tier
- A number of interesting suggestions were made for improving the style of the examination paper, to make it a better test. For example: more questions that describe situations and ask how they should be dealt with, rather than abstract questions asking the candidate to list exceptions or applications of a specific rule. Another concern was the time factor - several reported the number of questions in 1 hour was too many and this implied speed was more important than accuracy in refereeing decisions. Could the first part of the exam be multiple choice questions?
- The creation of on-line practice exams was suggested by many people
- Clarifying what is expected of course-candidates was suggested, as a way to reduce the failure rate
- Perhaps a different one day course could be offered purely for those wishing to understand the rules better, to avoid them taking up places in a referees' course and then being disappointed by not passing the exam? Could this course effectively be Day 1 of a two day refs course?
- Some kind of re-testing of referees was suggested by several, perhaps after a regular period or after a new Rules edition was published. A good idea was to use on-line testing for this.
- We should think about how a ref can become experienced in being a Tournament Ref or Referee in Charge
- The criteria for becoming a Champinship Referee should definitely include a more thorough on-lawn test
- Could we have a standard, common on-lawn test that counted as an element for both AC and GC referring qualifications? If so, would it be possible/desirable for all those passing this to be able to judge the dynamic questions in both codes?
- Some suggestions were made about how we support referees who are vital to our game: should the course and exam be free, should they receive free tournament entry or free lunch or even expenses if not also playing, should anyone taking-up a CA bursary be required to train to become a ref or coach?
These points will be in the mind of the GC Rules Committee and Examining Referees as we work on an Examining Referees Handbook, a revised exam, and the potential implementation of a restructuring this winter. Our thanks to all those who took the time to respond.