Role of match officials

Officials are not considered to be outsiders in Rugby. They are an integral part of the Game.

The rapport that exists between officials and coach, officials and players, and officials and spectators is visible to all.

Match officials use their knowledge and skills to observe the game situation in front of them, analyse the players’ actions, and decide if play should continue or be stopped. In the officiating process, the referee has to observe play, analyse what is going on and decide what action is required. Match officials follow three priorities providing equal opportunities for both teams.


Match officials ensure the players’ safety and ensure that the players follow the principles of the Game. Match officials might need to stop the game to ensure player safety.


Through communication, match officials will be able to prevent stoppages and increase the entertainment value of Rugby by allowing players to maintain the continuity.


To communicate in order to explain their decisions to the players and spectators and to help them to understand their decisions.