Schoolboy rugby referees

On this blog you are encouraged to pay a name-dropping tribute to a referee who has done a good job at a school match you have attended.

The T&C’s are that you leave out any ref who is a :

  1. resident from your town of population less that 80 001.
  2. teacher or other on the payroll of the school you support (or their relative)
  3. parent or other relative of a student at the school you support
  4. old boy of the school you support

For 99% of you, that probably eliminates any potential candidates, so hopefully there are a few names that do still qualify. :-D



  1. BEET moet maar n thread begin vir baiting en argumente… en n ref aanstel :mrgreen: om die wenner te bepaal.

  2. @Bayern: There is a lot of frustration understandable. In some places visitors believe it is impossible to get a fair deal. The problem is the refs are in short supply. It’s not like people are queuing up to become refs. The further one goes away from a metropolis, the smaller the community, the fewer the refs, and I guess the more difficult it is for a local ref to be truly independent in appearance and decision-making – it can’t be easy to face the small community if perceived as a villain, a lot better lifestyle to be liked.

    I think the bottom line is if you have good refs in your region, praise them. So maybe a thread where we do something completely unSaffa-like by paying tribute to any good SBR refs we know might be a better idea than one where we bash every other bloke who made a bad call against the team we support.

    I have come across so so many supporters who pick up every little mistake the ref makes against their team but are oblivious when same ref gets it wrong and opponents suffer.

  3. @beet: The thing I take issue with is the presumption that a “local” referee in outlying areas automatically favours the home team. Not one of the referees featured on the A field at Ben Vorster yesterday is from Tzaneen, yet it is implied they are biased towards BV.

    They’re mostly from Pietersburg, in fact there was one guy wearing the WP “Protea Hotels Stellenbosch” sponsored referee shirt, which was one of the assistant referees during the 1st team match, whom I’ve seen for the first time yesterday. Now if anyone thinks for one moment BV is the darling of Limpopo, that person should have his head read, as he simply does not understand the schools’ politics in Limpopo and the animosity that goes with it.

    Tzaneen is a tough place to go and play – most teams coming here have travelled over 300 km by bus (in the case of Lichtenburg yesterday, over 600km). That alone takes it’s toll on how fresh and alert players are, as we have discovered ourselves for many years playing schools in Pretoria, Johannesburg and even further away. Additionally it’s hot and humid, with the midday temperature when 1st teams play in the region of 30 degrees even in winter. That’s energy sapping stuff, which supporters and coaches not always appreciate.

    It then becomes very easy to blame the local referee when your team is not as sharp as you’re used to.

  4. @beet: your points in positive feedback to referees carries a lot of merit. Don’t believe the good one’s are appreciated at all.
    We must however also then focus on the two aspects that are lacking:
    1. Shortage of referees
    2. Improving performance (through positive means)
    I believe the “negative” comments here are more a cry for help and venting frustration, than trying to discredit individuals.

  5. @tzavosky: Look you are right. It’s easy to blame the ref. Many people take their criticism too far as well. There is often a passed down from one generation to the next culture of total disrespect.

    Lots of the time to be fair there has to be a removal of emotion so that the man in the middle can be judged constructively, otherwise he’s on a hiding to nothing.

    Also when you are from a small town/region, how much weight does your assertion that the refs from your town/region are fair/honest/on the ball really carry? As hard as it is, you need your visitors to be saying that or maybe better yet neutrals to be giving them the thumbs up. It’s the way of the world.

  6. @BrotherBear:
    To add to what you say
    3. Continued education of the rugby public.
    There is a willingness to interpret every situation on the field in our own favour and a reluctance to admit that we all have some degree of conscious/unconscious bias.

    So its twofold. Have an ongoing programme that educates people on the laws of rugby, particularly the difficult to interpret ones. And make live game supporters aware of their own lack of neutrality. The aim would be to end up with a smarter rugby public who are hopeful more aware of their own emotional responses to what they see on the field.

    I’m grateful to SuperSport for much of their rugby broadcasting but I do believe that by being a monopoly they have failed the SA rugby public in several instances. They have so much untapped ability to contribute to an ongoing improvement in SA rugby. Can’t be achieved with substandard productions and on-air staff.

  7. Here on this blog we have had our own issues with SuperSport with regards to Wildeklawer Day 1 not being permitted to be broadcast by any other willing entity. The same applies to Craven Week Saturday which includes numerous untelevised/unstreamed good games on the main field in the lead up to the televised CW final.

    Yesterday there were question-marks about the Bok defensive structures. Hopefully it’s something that could be corrected by having a better defensive coach than the incumbent. However going back to SuperSport. Just about all our top level test rugby opponents benefit from full access to rugby league, yet in SA, League is treated like a banned sport. Dating back to the times when Rugby Union was an amateur sport, there was a fear of League – like people would start to enjoy it and it would overtake Rugby Union in popularity or something like that. I don’t think this insecurity has ever gone away. To me Rugby League looks like its just a couple of notches above baseball in terms of boring to watch, but there is a lot that Rugby Union coaches and players at all levels can still and have already borrowed from that sport.

  8. @beet: yes, bias is a bit of a bugger. Good reminder from you that we should honour and promote the sport code and game rather than focus too much on own emotional investment. I believe the professional players really try to be good examples when engaging and commenting outside the pitch. Most are also good examples on the pitch.

  9. @beet: Something I pondered about is why Supersport don’t have programmes on the rules of the game to educate the broader public and show where they are interpreting wrongly.
    I must also agree with @BrotherBear: that it can be seen as a cry for help. As spectators and supporters we want to believe that referees are up to scratch and impartial, but unfortunately …

  10. @beet: I’ll start off by congratulating the bloke who reffed the Affies/Jeppe game….i have no idea who he is or what he looks like….all I remember is that it was a great game to watch on telly, so he made the game flow nicely
    well done….imho if you don’t notice the ref, he usually does a decent enough job, even if he makes a few mistakes

  11. I would like to mention the ref who handled the game on Saturday between Noordheuwel and Kempton. All I know is his name is Stefan and from the Valke. Although we lost I think he had a great game. A yellow card each way for dangerous tackles, but not once was there any off the ball issues. Great game of rugby putting up more than 80 points for spectators to enjoy

  12. Wel as daar nou een ding is wat ek nie verstaan nie,leer die ouens nie uit hulle foute nie?Ek stel voor dat as daar vrae oor n ref se optreede is laat die afrigters en die ref in die week wat volg saam die dvd kyk,dit gaan nie die uitslag verander nie maar miskien leer die ref of afrigters iets daruit.

  13. @Rugbyrealis: Never and I won’t. I have spoken to some of them though – just to get clarity. Some explanations were good, but others refused to explain. It is a case by case thing.
    @sewes: A good idea that should be promoted.

  14. We all need to change our attitudes regarding referees … without them there is no game!
    When you sit on the stands between the spectators, 90% don’t support the game or their team but rather concentrate on the ref.
    That is one of the reasons why you will always find me roaming around the field.

  15. @AbsolutMenlo: isolated?…once too many?
    Skool van julle statuur KANNIE geassosieer wees met sulke insidente nie. Afrigters verteenwoordig die skool direk!
    Mens sal dit van ouer verwag en bestempel as geisoleerde insident!

  16. @beet: A question we can ask is why people become referees. Is it for the love of the game; or because they are required so as they are teachers coaching; or to make it a career? There are many other reasons. What ever it may be, it is easier to determine the negative, namely IMHO I think they don’t become a referee with the objective of cheating to let a specific team win.
    For those who are cheating blatantly, this comes later – but not at the time of deciding to become a referee. The bias to want a favoured team win is natural and therefore psychological preparation is very important to minimise such bias.
    Most people will accept it if a referee makes mistakes affecting both sides, but the problem is with the blatant cheating and then getting away with it – as nobody acts against the cheater.
    Rather have an incompetent but honest ref than a cheater who gets away with it and become a repeat offender.
    At schoolboy level we need a system where both schools agree on the performance of a ref as to deliberate cheating. Should one school disagree the case must be heard and if guilty such ref should be disallowed to ref again.
    It is only when action is taken against cheaters that refs will do the psychological preps and less harmful acts against them.

  17. Met die feit dat die top skole derbies tans meer toeskouers lok as not so superugby dink ek dit maak sin om top revs aan te wys om die wedstryde te hanteer,n rev behoort meer blootstelling te kry uit die paarl interskole as bv die stormers, bulls, not so superugby game 😂😂😂


Leave a Reply