For Match Officials

For Match Officials

​There are many reasons to take up officiating; remaining involved in the sport after playing, choosing to enhance your knowledge of the laws or progressing through the career pathway to achieve your goal in officiating. No matter what the reason, officiating is a rewarding, exciting, and enjoyable way to stay involved in rugby. The first step to officiating in Scotland is to decide whether you wish to be a referee, assistant referee or a club touch judge.

Match Official Pathway

Improving the quality and quantity of active match officials is essential to the development of the game at all levels. Scottish Rugby aims to provide a pathway for referee development. The aim is to ensure that the right skills, knowledge and traits of a referee are established and employed to a suitable level of rugby at the correct time of the referee’s development.

Scottish Rugby advises that all match officials are qualified to the appropriate level within the career pathway.


Your first step in becoming a Match Official is the Level 1 Refereeing Course. This course is intended to provide new referees with the fundamental skills to referee rugby union safely, with equity and to the basic laws of the game. The course is designed to use practical and theoretical based activities and takes 6 hours. Following this course, you are qualified to officiate matches within Scotland from youth up to 2XV adult rugby and lower regional leagues. With the Level 1 course and experience refereeing, you may also qualify for Level 2 + Level 3 courses to progress your pathway.

Assistant Refereeing

Assistant Referees are appointed by Scottish Rugby to service the Premier leagues in Scotland. Working within a team of three match officials, the assistant referees support the referee before, during and after the game. To become an assistant referee, you must have completed the Level 1 Refereeing Course and have refereed for a year. You then need to attend the Assistant Referee Course. This course is intended to provide you with the fundamental knowledge of the ball going into touch and the skills to operate within a team of three match officials. The course is theoretical based and takes 4 hours.

Club Touch Judging

If you don’t want to operate at the highest level of community rugby, and would rather run touch for your club’s 1st XV, you must take the Club Touch Judge Course. This course is designed to give you the essential skills you require to enjoy the game as a participant and be a valued volunteer within your club. The course is theoretical based and takes 2 hours.

Useful information and websites


Can't find what you are looking for? Find out all the events, courses and fixtures by using the Clubs & Schools Calendar.

Newsletter signup

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Scottish Rugby.

sign up

Principal Partners