Mike Patterson: Hull RL Referee Society is a proven pathway
No referee, no match. This is the harsh reality of rugby league, and one which we often take for granted. Since launching GRM SPORT in 2017 I have watched well over 100 community rugby games and not once has a game been called off due to the absence of a referee, which shows the dedication refs in this region have to the game.
Despite these encouraging statistics, far too often I have witnessed abuse aimed towards referees. I remember filming a game in Bradford last season when two parents where sent away from the pitch for verbal abuse. Personally I don’t think this happens enough as a minority of parents get away with foul behaviour on the sidelines week in week out.
I’ve always been impressed by community referees. Along with the coaching staff and club volunteers, referees also make up the glue which holds the game together.
Clubs are concerned about dropping numbers participating in the playing side of rugby league, but little has been spoken about in regards to recruitment into the referee society. Mike Patterson from Hull has been a referee for 10 years and recently caught up with me to discuss the Hull Referee Society and their development pathway.
Here’s what Mike had to say to GRM SPORT.
“ We have 26 referees but we could certainly do with more, Richard Thompson is a prime example of the proven pathway we have in place. Richard started off as a Hull and District referee and in my opinion he’s the best touch judge in the league, he’s gone on to touch judge in the grand final, the challenge cup and international fixtures. Richard is still a registered Hull and District referee and recently officiated a local under-12’s fixture straight after a challenge cup fixture when we were struggling for numbers.
“ We have several junior referees who are constantly being monitored and mentored by the more experienced official. There are several benefits of being an official and if you progress through to international level it’s hard work but you can experience all expenses paid trips around the World”
If you are based in Hull and interested in becoming a referee please email: email@example.com