Introduction to Safeguarding Course

All referees should have completed the online Introduction to Safeguarding. THis is an online module and can be completed in your own time.

All referees who are yet to complete the course should do so at their earliest convenience. To access the course please follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Log into GMS –
    1. If you have issues accessing GMS then please get in touch
  2. Go to Find a Rugby Course
  3. From the drop down box tick  – VIRTUAL
  4. Then remove post code
  5. Then hit search
  6. Choose  the Introduction to Safeguarding
  7. Follow the instructions
    1. It should be free, you may land on a page with something that looks like the below, click on the highlighted shopping trolley to add to card and check out.

Once you have checked out, you will recieve a link to the online course. The RFU estimates the course will take 30-45 minutes.

March Update

World Rugby Law Clarification – Hurdling a Tackle and Sevens

World Rugby have issued a law clarification around dangerous play and hurdling a tackle.

Please familiarise yourself with the clarification and pay particular note to the final paragraph: “In principle, in a try scoring situation, if the action is deemed to be a dive forward for a try, then it should be permitted. If a player is deemed to have left the ground to avoid a tackle; or to jump, or hurdle a potential tackler, then this is dangerous play and should be sanctioned accordingly.”

In addition, the RFU have confirmed that the 50:22 and Goal Line Drop-Out are not to be enforced in Sevens rugby.

April/May Availability

We appreciate this season has been tricky, so thank you for all your support.

Please add your availability for April and May to WtR. There will be 8 Cuppers semi-finals on 30th April with finals the following weekend, so a busy end to the season, culminating with the Shelford 7s on Saturday 21st May. Please contact Charles directly on for the Shelford 7s (also indicating which times you can attend) as well as making yourself available on WtR.

No April Meeting

In keeping with practices in recent years there is no April meeting. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the dinner and then will hold our AGM in May. Details will be shared nearer in due course. We will also try to organise an online get together in early May for any referees who are refereeing at the Shelford 7s.

January 2022 – Society News/Update

Next Society Meeting

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday February 1st 2022 at Shelford RFC.

At this meeting we will be discussing pre-match preparation, from appointment through to pre-match briefs and kick-off. The meeting will begin at 7.30 pm, with any relevant society news/announcements being made briefly prior to starting the main topic.

We are looking into also streaming via Zoom for those who wish to attend remotely.

World Rugby Law Clarification

World Rugby have released a law clarification around the goal line drop out, please refer to the world rugby website for more information –

February Appointments

Please bear with us with regards to appointments for the rest of February as fixtures are an ever-changing landscape with re-arranged fixtures filling in gaps.

For example, phase 2 fixtures for EC1 arenot yet available. (This is due to start on 19th and we will appoint as soon as they appear).

Please keep your availability up to date on Who’s the Ref.

Society Dinner

Tickets are selling fast for the dinner. Please act soon if you wish to attend. More details here.

December 2021 Newsletter

Dear all,

As we now enter a period of relative quiet we’d like to share our December roundup.

Rugby in January 2022

As it stands fixtures are scheduled to take place commencing January 8th and appointments for January have been made on this basis. As always, please accept appointments swiftly and keep your availability of Who’s the Ref up to date.

The management group will obviously be keeping an eye on the situation and have already scheduled a call in for the first week of January to discuss any communications from RFU and/or government to emerge over the festive period.

Next Society Meetings

All pencilled in to be hosted at Shelford RFC but liable to change depending on external situation.

Tuesday 11th January – Referee Development/Action Plans.

Using your assessment observations, and by discussing aspects of your refereeing performance, create or update your personal action plans. This meeting may end up occurring online.

Tuesday 1st February – Pre-match Preparation

Tuesday 1st March – Communication

Serious Injury Reporting

The management group have again been asked questions around the reporting of serious injuries and therefore would like to remind our referees of the following.

A serious injury report is required from the referee if one of the following two conditions are met (as per the RFU guidelines):

  • An injury which results in the player being admitted to a hospital (this does not include those that attend an Accident or Emergency Department and are allowed home from there).
  • Deaths which occur during or within six hours of a game finishing.

If a player requires an ambulance or leaves for hospital, we ask all referees to send a brief email to the society secretary outline details (not a full report at this stage).

If a referee is, at any point, contacted by any legal professional regarding any incident that takes place on a rugby pitch (or surrounding a rugby match), they must refer the person to the society secretary, who will in turn enagage the appropriate RFU teams. Referees who are appointed by the society are covered by the RFU insurance.

We also remind referees that clubs are responsible for medical cover on the pitch and that they are not the first line of cover in this regard. This does not, however, stop a referee from engaging in first aid activities if they are sufficiently qualified to do so.

Annual Dinner 2022

We are delighted to be able to open bookings for our 2022 dinner. The guest speaker will be Brian Moore. Further details on the website – in a new tab)

And finally…

We’d once again like to thank Paul Wilson for organising the very popular 75th anniversary kit and new jackets. If you are yet to collect yours then please contact paul directly to arrange collection/postage.

Which leaves one last thing – on behalf of the management group, and society as a whole, we wish you, your family and friends a safe, healthy and restful festive period and a happy new year.

Next Meeting, Availability, Law Clarifications, Kit etc.

Remembrance Sunday

Please keep in mind that armistice day falls on Thursday 11th November, meaning that Sunday 14th November is Remembrance Sunday. It is tradition that all fixtures this weekend are preceeded by a moment’s reflection and that a 2 minutes silence is observed on Sunday at 11 AM.

From the fixtures on Who’s the Ref, it appears our clubs have arranged all of the youth rugby to take place later in the morning as per usual to avoid any clashes.

Next Society Meeting

The next general meeting is on the 7th December 2021 at Shelford RFC.

As is traditional, Guy has kindly agreed to put together a short quiz.


As we are sure you are fully aware, referee availability has blighted all referee societies in one way or another at the start of the season. Please keep Who’s the Ref up to date. We will work on the basis you are still available if WTR says you are – especially on Saturday mornings if we need to do late rearragements!

This particularly applies to the 27th November, which is the first round of Cuppers for CURUFC, and for Sunday fixtures, which are (as usual) a constantly evolving picture. Please update WTR if you find yourself available and also please let us know ASAP if a fixture is postponed/cancelled.

Law Updates/Clarifications

Boys Rugby and Global Law Trials

There was some discussion at the last meeting about this. We have prepared the below table to help clarify when the global law trials (the 50/22 and goal line drop out) come in for boys rugby. Please remember that boys rugby is being played to “one age grade down” regulations until the end of 2021 [hopefully the table helps].

Age RegulationsRFU LinkKey FeaturesGLT? (50/22, Goal-Line Dropout, Pre-Latching/Wedge Amendment)Age Group Playing to these Rules in 2021Age Group Playing to these rules from 01 Jan 2022
Under 14 Rules, NO LIFTING Lineout. 25 min half, 5 min sin bin.NOU15U14
Under 15 Rules Lineout with lifting. Defensive scrum half cannot go beyond the tunnel. 30 min half, 6 min sin bin.YesU16U15
Under 16/Under 18 Rules Lineouts with lifting, S/H can track the ball at scrum. 35 min half, 7 min sin bin.YesU18/Colts OnlyU16/U18

As always, if you are unsure, please refer to the RFU regulations for the age grade in question before your fixtures, and reach out to the management group if you require any assistance in interpreting them!

Line-Out and “Non-compete”

This has raised its head again in discussions on social media, and in fixtures. Members of the managment group reached out to RFU for a quick clarification on this.

If an attacking team looks to set up a maul from a lineout and the defending team chooses not to compete, the following must occur:

  • The defensive team must not leave the lineout before the ball leaves the line of touch (i.e. before the lineout is over)
  • For the attacking team to advance forward then the ball must remain at the front.
  • If the ball is moved to the back, then the attacking side must play the ball away immediately; if they do not then the players in front are accidentally offside.

The direction from RFU if the attack moves the ball to the back and still advance forward: We should look to manage this, by asking the team to use-it, either break/play away. If they do not then subject to sanction for accidental offside.

It was also asked if this situation is covered by the Global Law Trials relating to the flying wedge. The short answer is no (see below explaination from RFU):

A Flying wedge: An illegal type of attack, which usually happens near the goal line, either from a penalty or free-kick or in open play. Team-mates are latched on each side of the ball-carrier in a wedge formation before engaging the opposition. Often one or more of these team-mates is in front of the ball-carrier.

In the scenario you describe, provided the action does not fall within Law 9.11, then it is not contrary to law.


Once again, a huge thanks to Paul for arranging for the 75th Anniversary shirts. Please liaise wth Paul directly if you are yet to collect your kit, or have other kit-based needs.

Law Updates, Next Meeting

A brief update on a couple of issues arising out of recent discussions and law changes:

  1. Leggings are now permissable in all rugby per a change to Law 4 by World Rugby. They should be worn beneath shorts and socks.
  2. Following discussion at the last society meeting regarding uncontested scrums, please note that the “man off” rule does not apply for squads with fewer than 23 players as per Law 3.
    1. There is a logic tree via the RFU to aid with the situation where uncontested scrums are required.
    2. Please note that this logic tree should be followed at the moment a front row player leaves the field and not when the next scrum occurs.
    3. The reason for the first FR player leaving the field does not change the process.

The next meeting is scheduled for the 02 November 2021 at Cambridge RFC, Grantchester Road.


Time: 7.15 – 7.30: Fitness test

7.30 – 7.55: ‘Offside’ with Roy Philips . This will be outside, so please bring suitable clothes.

8-8.15: SGM – inside

8.15 – 9 : Refereeing a dominant scrum, and other business.

06 September 2021 – AGM and Law Trials

The society held its AGM at Shelford RFC on 06 September 2021, covering business spanning the two pandemic-hit seasons. The management group were reappointed to their various posts.

Following the meeting, the global law trials were discussed. The following resources are of use with regards to these trials:
RFU Law Trials Webinar
World Rugby Slides (NB this is a 1GB powerpoint)
RFU Law Trials Q & A Webinar
RFU Law Trials Clarifications

The 2021-2022 Season

With the further easing of public health restrictions in England, the RFU have sanctioned a return to full contact rugby, with fixtures in the community game allowed to take place under full laws to be permitted from August 7th 2021. A full league season is currently planned to commence on September 4th.

WIth this is mind, our attention and thoughts return to rugby after an 18 month hiatus.


We have a number of pre-season friendlies already on Whos the Ref for August and the bulk of the league fixtures start in September. Please put your availability on WtR for both August and September (and beyond if possible).

Law Trials and Variations

Please note that World Rugby have introduced a number of global law trials for the season. Full details are available of the World Rugby website. In addition to these law trials, the RFU have saught a number of clarifications from World Rugby, which are in this document. (Please note that although the “Cavalry Charge” is no longer defined in the law book, World Rugby have advised this should be dealt with as dangerous play.)

For all age grade rugby, a high tackle is above the armpits. This extends the exisiting regulation for U9-U14 and is now universal for age grade rugby in England. There has been no change to the laws for adult rugby. Please also remember the world rugby high tackle framework, which has again been updated and refined furter.

Headcase and Laws

It is recommended that all members of the society re-complete the HEADCASE concussion education module and World Rugby laws exam ahead of their return to refereeing.

The RFU ran a number of online seminars over the lockdown periods which have been archived and are available to watch on demand.

World Rugby have once again updated the head contact sanctioning framework. Wayne Barnes has worked with RFU to create a 40 minute video on the process.


All referees who referee age group rugby now require a DBS check. The management committee recommend that all active referees are DBS checked and would like to thank all of those who have completed their checks already. If you have not yet done so, please contact Den to start the process ( otherwise you cannot be appointed to schools or age grade fixtures.

To help us do this we would be obliged if people can logon to GMS (if you know your username and password) and buy a membership to CUDRRS (Free) this will allow us to get access to your details and get the DBS process started. If you need help with this, please contact Ben (

Return to Play Guidance

With rugby returning please can all members update availability to referee on who’s the ref. Additionally, please refer to the RFU website for the latest updates. The planned move towards full contact rugby has been delayed further.


All referees who are refereeing age grade fixtures now require a DBS certificate for their involvement in rugby. The management group recommends that all referees have a DBS certificate. Further details can on how to start the DBS process can be found here.

Law Variations and Return to Play

The RFU have made a number of law variations to enable the return to play. This has removed the scrum and maul from the game temporarily.

All referees should familiarise themselves with the guidance form the RFU around the law variations and match day protocols.

In Memory of David Ford

Honorary Member David Ford died on 4th February after a short spell in Addenbrooke’s Hospital.  He was 82 years old and had been suffering with ill health for the past few years. 

David was almost a founding member of the Society. He joined it in the late 1950’s when he was a student at the University. Contributing to the recently compiled history of the society, he recalled that the majority of members then were students.

For forty years, we worked for Smee and Ford legacy specialists, retiring as its  chairman in 2000. His relaxed friendly style was well known to many fundraisers, a style which no doubt was a feature of his refereeing.

He was also chairman of the board of Institute of Fundraising and widely acknowledged as the UKs godfather of bequest marketing.

Whilst working in the City, he refereed with the London Society at first class level.

He was a pioneer in the development of a formal process for assessing referees performances. Returning to the Eastern Counties in the 1980’s, David helped progress the assessment system and training of advisors in the four sub county societies.

David’s proficiency was recognised by the RFU who appointed him as a Divisional Advisor Development Officer at national level. He assessed/advised match officials in the National Leagues.

He was also Society ADO monitoring and coaching CUDRRS advisors. He was someone who spoke with authority and wisdom and was respected greatly.

Charles Osbourn commented that David was always fair and constructive in his assessment of a referee’s performance and subsequent advice.. 

Typical of so many of CUDRRS members, David was dedicated to rugby and gave back to the game as much as he got from it.

He is the third Honorary Member of CUDRRS who has died recenty in what should have been a joyous golden jubilee year for the Society. 

Jon Evans said “It is another massive loss to us all”.

We console ourselves by recalling the good times we shared and being grateful we knew them. 

Our condolences have been expressed to his family.

Mike Dimambro                                                                    February 2021