Becoming a referee is very simple.  Just follow the five steps outlined below and soon you'll be right in the thick of the action.

Step 1 - Get Started Online

Register for a World Rugby Passport 

Complete 3 online certificates:

After completing each module, the participants will be able to download a certificate of completion. These can be emailed to the facilitator as attachments or printed and brought to the course.

Take your time when completing the online modules so you can absorb as much information as possible.  If any questions arise while doing the modules, note them down and ask your course facilitator on the day.

Step 2 - Find a Course

Use Your World Rugby Education Passport and complete your Pre-Level 1 online course (available here)

Check the table below for a Level 1 Rugby Referee Course that works with your schedule.  Can't see any courses in your local area?  Contact Chris Assmus ( to inquire about upcoming opportunities in your region.

Step 3 - Register to Referee

Now that you've got your newly honed refereeing skills, it's important to put them to use. To referee you must register at
You can register as a Match Official under BC Rugby Non-Club Affiliate or with your club.

 The table below will give you some indicators of upcoming entry-level rugby refereeing opportunities in the Province.  To get involved in any of them, contact Chris Assmus (  Don't see any opportunities in your area, get in touch with Chris to find out when the next suitable options might be coming your way.

Step 4 - Stay Sharp

The table below shows a number of on-field and off-field sessions taking place in the coming months.  These are designed to help sharpen up key areas of your refereeing skill set and can be particularly useful if you want to work on any weaknesses or stay up to date during the off-season.  We recommend attending one session each month to keep your refereeing tactics sharp.  To book on for any of these sessions, email Chris Assmus (

*Session ideal for newly qualified referees*

We also recommend training in a different sense...physically.  A rugby referee can expect to run 5.5km on average during an 80minute match.  At tournaments, you could wind up officiating multiple games and covering even more ground.  There will be demands for rapid changes in both direction and speed, so it pays to be in good physical condition so you can concentrate on the game, not your own heart rate.  If you have questions on how to train effectively for refereeing, contact Chris Assmus (

Step 5 - Find Your Pathway

Refereeing has more scope than you might initially imagine.  Beyond the scope of weekend mornings in your local park, your career as a referee has the potential to take you to Regional, Provincial Nation and even International tournaments.  The pathway you choose is up to you, but BC Rugby is here to support you every step of the way.  Talk to your peers and mentors within the refereeing world to find out more about where refereeing has taken them, they might just inspire your own bucket list.

If you can't view the graphic below, click here for a downloadable PDF version

People become rugby referees for a number of reasons: to give something back to the sport, to broaden their rugby knowledge, to open new career pathways, to stay involved with rugby beyond playing, to support their rugby community etc.  They come from all backgrounds, from ex-National players to armchair enthusiasts who wanted to get more involved with the sport of rugby.  Anyone can become a rugby referee if they have the right attitude and BC Rugby is here to support that process from start to finish.

Below are some stories from a selection of BC referees that might give you an insight into what makes a referee tick.

Latoya Blackwood

Latoya Blackwood lives in Victoria BC. She is a Rugby World Cup veteran and possesses 31 international test caps for Canada. Latoya has played rugby all over the world and has a unique understanding of what players are trying to achieve.

Why do you referee? I think it's a great way to transfer my knowledge and understanding I obtained playing on the national team back to the game. I also want to promote the inclusion of female referees into what has always been an "Old Boys Club". 

What do you love most about refereeing? Giving back to the sport, having Saturday still be a rugby day despite not playing

Ben Lambrick

Ben lives in Kelowna BC. He has been involved in rugby since high school and has been refereeing in the Okanagan as well as multiple matches in the Lower Mainland and tournaments including the Provincial Regional Championships, BC Rugby Club Finals and High School Girls' Provincial XV's Championships.

Why do you referee? For the pure enjoyment of the sport and to allow players the best opportunity to enjoy the game as well.

What do you love most about refereeing? Ben loves getting to travel to new places and meeting new people along the way.

Shanda Mosher-Gallant

Shanda lives in Vancouver BC since relocating from Prince Edward Island. She is a former player for PEI and the University of Prince Edward Island. Shanda has also coached high school and age-grade rugby.  Shanda is already refereeing at a high level, overseeing matches in the Men's and Women's Premierships in BC, as well as Senior and Age-Grade tournaments right across the Province.

Why do you referee? A good referee can allow players to play positive rugby. Positive refereeing leads to positive rugby. I want to be a part of that.

What do you love about refereeing? There is always something to work on. Every game offers a unique challenge.


Got questions about becoming a rugby referee or what options are available in your area?

Reach out to the BC Rugby Officials Development Officer for information and advice: