I’ve refereed Rugby for over 10 years. I, of course, played for longer than that. No matter what USA Rugby may think, nobody can understand Rugby enough to referee without long experience in the game. All you Rugby parents who don’t pick up the whistle: I completely understand.
I got into reffing when I was too old to play the game. By the same token, I was too old to advance very far as a Referee. I didn’t care, and still don’t. I wanted some reason to stay in shape and get out to a Rugby match every weekend. After my first two or three matches I forgot that I was a “beginner.” I stopped worrying about the calls I might have missed. I was in the flow of the game and enjoying myself. I ran, jogged and walked over four miles every Saturday without even thinking about it.
It was five years ago that I was brought into the Executive Committee of my Referee Society. A friend of mine was staging some sort of coup at the Annual Meeting. He hadn’t discussed it with me in advance and I knew nothing of the politics within the Society. I said yes and became Vice President.