Online Refereeing Course

Canterbury Referees

Refereeing is a fun, exciting, non-contact way to be involved with Rugby League. Not only do you get to see all the action from the best position on the field, but it's a great way to keep fit, and meet new and interesting people.

This course will teach you the fundamentals of the Referee's involvement in the game. The Course comprises ten units of study, after which you will be directed to your local Referees' Association for some face-to-face* learning. Once you have completed the online and face-to-face sessions, you will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to be a fair and effective referee.

*On completion of ALL ten units, a short face-to-face assessment is required to test skills learnt in the 10 theory modules. More information is outlined in this course.
Unit 1 - The Role of the Referee

This introductory unit outlines the expectations and responsibilities of a Referee. You will learn about the many necessary attributes and the importance of communication, consistency and competency when you become a Referee. Through completion of this unit, you will gain the knowledge needed to be effective, and on top of this, you will lay down the path to becoming a successful and respected Referee in the game of Rugby League.

Unit 2 - Laws of the Game

As the sole judge of fact on the field, you are required to know the Laws of the Game. This unit provides an outline of the Laws of both the International Game and the Modified Games, and should be completed with the understanding that studying the Laws on a regular basis, and subsequently applying them in matches will be the only true way to ensure consistency of performance. The Laws are the cornerstone of every Referee's role in the game.

Unit 3 - Signals and Whistles

Signals and whistles are a key aspect of the successful control of Rugby League and the players. In this unit you will learn about the exact role they each play in the control of matches. You will gain the knowledge needed to know when to use the whistle, when best to hold off blowing the whistle, using the appropriate tone, and the use of signals as a form of communication to players, team officials and spectators. On top of this, you will learn techniques that allow you to improve your skills through self-assessment.

Unit 4 - The Touch Judge

Learn about the crucial role that Touch Judge's play, especially in relation to teamwork for the successful control and proper conduct of the game. Through completion of this unit, you will learn the fundamentals of becoming an effective Touch Judge and acquiring essential qualities needed to assist the smooth running of the game and its central Referee.

Unit 5 - Fitness and Lifestyle

Your personal health and lifestyle has an immense effect on the way you may conduct yourself on the field. This unit will teach you about the specific fitness requirements to accommodate the demands of Rugby League. By the end of this unit you will gain the skills and knowledge needed to get in condition for heavy involvement in the game.

Unit 6 - Pre-match and Post-match Considerations

This unit shows you what you need to consider before, during and after any game of Rugby League in which you are involved as a Referee. It teaches you about the crucial elements of preparation and how to ensure that you are medically, physically and mentally prepared, as well as providing some tips on using the correct techniques to guarantee that your health and wellbeing is addressed afterward.

Unit 7 - Practical Refereeing

In comparison to Unit 1, you will be taken deeper into what is required to be relatively unobtrusive throughout the match. This unit will also give you the skills and knowledge needed to be able to ‘read the game’ effectively and contribute with a high level of fitness. Face-to-face Providers will go into considerable depth in this unit and the Laws unit prior to your first on-field appointment.

Unit 8 - Communication and Management Skills

Learn about different forms of communication and why these are so important to match officials. Through completion of this unit, you will also explore management and leadership skills, decision-making, and receive tips on planning and organising.

Unit 9 - Attitudes and Personal Qualities

This unit will teach you about your responsibility to help the players enjoy their game. It will help you understand your duty is not to promote yourself to the spotlight, but to enhance the enjoyment of players, and to ensure the Laws are enforced effectively, fairly and consistently. You will learn to be a success if the players are satisfied and have given you their respect and confidence.

Unit 10 - Judiciary Procedures, Legal Responsibilities and Code of Conduct

Learn that safety of the players is of paramount importance to the Referee. Responsibility, behaviour, welfare, control and rules are all elements of being a Referee but ultimately these responsibilities all engross player safety. Through completion of this unit you will gain the understanding that safety is one of the primary reasons for the existence of a Referee.

Once you have completed this final unit (all 10 units must be completed) you will receive a certificate and be ready to undertake your face-to-face training session.

Click HERE for more information and to do the course online.

You can also contact the Canterbury-Bankstown Referees Association for more help and information in becoming a referee. Email and phone details available at


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