The Referee for your game

The Conference will be officiated by the Rugby Referee Society of New York (RRSNY) and the New York State Rugby Referee Society (NYSRRS).

Teams in Upstate NY will receive NYSRRS referees for home games while NYC, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut and the Mid-Hudson Valley teams will be served by RRSNY.

We are most grateful for the involvement of both the RRSNY the NYSRRS. The referees are an integral part of our game and we welcome their commitment and willingness as they afford players the opportunity to play.

Your referee each weekend…

Both RRSNY and NYSRR are provided the Fall Schedule for the collegiate teams and will work off that document. The RRSNY uses “Who’s the Ref” software to assign referees.

The system assigns the referees and notifies the club that the match has been assigned. This is usually done each Sunday night if not sooner. The team has until Tuesday at 12:00 noon to confirm the referee via email and once confirmed the team is all set.

Teams should include relevant details such as game location, ideally an address, kick-off time, note if there will likely be a B-side game, team colors, and a point of contact to look for on game day.

The fee for the referee covering game day is the responsibility of the team/school. Most Club Sports Directors ask that the referee complete a game officiating form and W-2 and payment will be sent by the school 7-10 days following the game.

The referee should confirm within 24 hours.

Any team that does not confirm the referee risks losing that official.

Please feel free to visit the Rugby Referee’s Society of NY website here.

Upstate teams need to go to and create an account.
Visit the New York State Rugby Referee Society website here.

Annual Dues: Referee Dues for each Conference Member will be paid by the Conference out of Conference Dues. However, the game day fee for the referee is the responsibility of the Home team  – This fee is $120 dollars per game.


Schedules: Schedules for home matches or matches in which the club is the host or organizer must be submitted by February 15th for spring matches, August 1st for fall matches. Summer 7s tournament requests must be submitted by May 15th. A submission form or instructions must be followed and will be available on Schedules will be posted on the website and it is the home team’s responsibility to confirm the information is correct on the website and notify the Tri-State Conference Director if there are corrections to be made.

Weekend Days Priority for Referee Assignment: Weekend days are heavily requested for referee services. During peak weekends in the Rugby season, priority will be given as follows and within each category, league competition matches will receive higher priority than non-league matches.

a. Saturdays: Adult clubs have priority
b. Sundays in Spring: High School and U18 matches have priority
c. Sundays in Fall: College matches have priority

Requests for referees on matches scheduled outside of this priority scheme will receive referee assignments after matches with higher priority are filled. Efforts to make referee assignment easier are taken into consideration, such as multiple matches at the same or adjacent locations.

Tournament Approval: Tournaments of greater than four teams must first be approved by the Rugby Organization of which the club is a member. Approval by RRSNY requires a detailed plan with number of fields, match length, expected level of completion or participants, and number of total matches. RRSNY reserves the right to not approve tournaments during peak periods of scheduled matches.

Tournament Fees: Tournament fees are 20% of the tournament fees charged to clubs to participate. For purposes of calculating this 20% fee, teams granted a discount or free entry, including teams of the tournament host, will be counted towards the 20% fee as if they paid the same entry as other participating teams. If no team entry fee is charged or the 20% calculation does not adequately reimburse the referees officiating at the tournament, a fee amount will be established by RRSNY.

Problem? If an email was sent to the referee but there has been no response from that referee by Tuesday at 12:00 noon, the home team should contact the Tri-State Conference Director immediately.

Cancellations and Changes: Teams must notify the assigned referee of match cancellation or changes immediately. Significant changes such as more than an hour from original start time or moving to a more distant location may result in the originally assigned referee to not be able to accommodate that change. If a match is cancelled and the assigned referee is not notified in advance causing that referee to travel to the match location, the home club is responsible for the referee fee.

Weather Cancellations: If it is reasonable that the home team could know their match location is unplayable in advance, then it is advised they notify the referee and away team to cancel or reschedule the match rather than have unneeded travel. If the referee arrives and a match location and must declare the field unplayable, then the home team must still pay the referee fee.

Assistant Referees: RRSNY will, when personnel are available, appoint Assistant Referees to matches of importance, including playoff matches, and USA Rugby competitions such as RSL, WPL, and CPD. Member Clubs agree that the home or host team will pay the match fee for Assistant Referees where appointed. Where Assistant Referees are appointed to regular matches, the host or home team may request that Assistant Referee appointments be canceled, but the home or host team must notify RRSNY at or prior to the time of match official confirmation.

Match Fees: The home team must pay the referee the match fee of $120 per match.

Field Safety and Size Requirements: Playing fields must be safe surfaces for Rugby and must be free of hazards. This requirement includes the playing enclosure including both the playing area and perimeter, which extends at least 5 meters from the touch, touch in goal, and dead ball lines. Goal posts must be padded up to a height of 6 feet. Any supporting elements to goal posts within the playing area including the in goal area, must be directly behind the goal post uprights and be padded up to a height of 6 feet.

Field Width: Minimum field width between the touchlines is at least 60 meters or 65 yards. Fields narrower than this are deemed unsafe and the field will be declared unplayable.

Sideline Barriers: Barriers such as ropes must control non-players on both sidelines and keep non-players back at least 5 meters from the touchlines. If the barrier is not fixed or stretches, then the home team must have a person monitor the barrier and keep all non- players back 5 meters. Medical staff and up to 3 coaches are permitted inside the barrier provided they do not interfere with the match, opposing players, or the referee in anyway, including interfering with the ball in touch. Coaches inside the barrier must stay between the 22-meter lines. Only medical staff may enter the playing area. Reserve players must be behind the barrier except just prior to them being substituted into the match. At the referee’s discretion, anyone may be required to move behind the barrier.

Uniform: Players within a team must have matching uniforms. Jerseys must have numbers by player position. All kit must comply with IRB regulations. In the case of two teams having similar jersey colors, the away team is responsible for providing alternate contrasting jerseys (unless the teams play in a competition that places this requirement on the home team).

USA Rugby: Member Clubs certify that their club and all players are registered with USA Rugby. Clubs found to use players who are not registered with USA Rugby may become ineligible for referee assignment.

National Collegiate Rugby (NCR): Teams that are included in the NCR playoff pathway will be registered with NCR.

Compliance with the rules of USA Rugby: All Member Clubs agree to comply with the rules of USA Rugby.

Disciplinary: All Member Clubs must be a member of a Rugby Organization that maintains a process to rule on disciplinary issues arising from match and card reports submitted by the referee. Member Clubs agree to abide by the disciplinary rulings of the Rugby Organizations to which they belong.

Code of Conduct: Member clubs agree that their members and match participants will show respect to RRSNY and match officials appointed to their matches. Referee abuse, be it harassment or threats of a verbal or physical nature, is unacceptable and may result in the suspension or withdrawal of referee services from RRSNY.

Club Referees: All clubs and schools must have at least one individual that is a certified referee affiliated with that club or school. In case a referee assigned by RRSNY is unavailable for a particular match, the club or school may have to rely on this individual to referee a match. RRSNY from time to time will provide training required to become a certified referee. Clubs that do not have a referee who is an active member of RRSNY or available certified referee affiliated with that club may receive lessor priority for referee. At times when RRSNY does not have enough referees available to cover the matches of Member Clubs, RRSNY may require that club referees provide a number of weeks of availability, with the number of weeks determined by RRSNY, and RRSNY may base the priority of referee assignment to the matches of the Member Club on the participation of the club’s affiliated club referee. Referees who are active regular members with RRSNY for more than 3 years cannot fulfill the club referee requirement.