A massive 28 members of the Youth Development Programme (including players from the u16s, Colts and u18 girls) participated in the first Young Match Official course on Tuesday 6th November. As well as improving their playing skills by better understanding the referee’s role and the laws of the games, the course identified to them the opportunities young referees have.
The course was introduced by former Premiership Referee, Andrew Small who is now England Rugby’s YMO Co-ordinator and delivered by our own England Rugby CRC Henry Birch, and Chris Dodd. After starting inside with a brief introduction, the rest of the evening was spent outside so everyone could experience refereeing for the first time. On returning inside Andrew Small presented each player with contrasting YMO shirts and a kit bag so they are ready to take the next step and referee their first game.
After completing the course, we hope all the players improve their decision making when playing because they now appreciate better the role of the referee and the law of the game. In addition, we hope to provide opportunities for our new Young Match Officials to put their new skills into practice. We anticipate this starting with training games for the Minis and Youth Chairman Leo Kane has already declared that he hopes YMOs will be refereeing matches at the Dorking Mini Festival next spring.
We are looking forward to running this course annually as part of the YDP for all future youth players of Dorking Rugby Club.