[I’m back dating this post to the weekend of Atlanta even though I’m writing it in March!]

Just got back from a women’s referee development camp in Atlanta and I had an AMAZINGLY AWESOME MIND BLOWINGLY GOOD time. It was definitely one of the best weeks of rugby in my past 6 years of rugby, second only to our senior year spring break trip in Scotland. :) It’s been quite some time since Atlanta but I pulled together a brief recap of the camp for a monthly local ref meeting so I’ll share some of that here.

Reppin NERRS

(More pics after the jump)

First thing’s first though, of course there was a Snowpocalypse on the day of travel into Atlanta, so for most “campers”, the 2-day camp was consolidated into a (very long) 1-day camp on Friday, followed by working the 7s tournament (2nd leg of the WSWS) Saturday and Sunday!! By some crazy stroke of luck, my flight was one of the only ones not to be cancelled on Wednesday. On the plane to ATL I rested like a Snorlax, or perhaps like a Jigglypuff doing a Down B, and being a good athlete I didn’t drink any free ginger ale, although tempting. Nope! Water is was! Since the Atlanta airport was pretty much shutdown when we arrived, I also got a free parfait that the friendly McDonald’s workers were handing out freely! Great start to the trip :) 

Biggest Takeaways From Camp
• Do what you do because you enjoy it, and for yourself, not for anyone else or for grades and ranks
• Spend and focus your energy on controllables
• In that regard, sell yourself and use the resources you have – don’t be complacent if you don’t want to fly under the radar

Short List of Technical Tips and Resources
• Mike Cobb’s training videos (link)
• The “Big 5”
•  Make players liable
•  LQB (lightening quick ball)
•  BIO (ball availability, inside players, outside players)
• Management tips: eye contact, clear & obvious, focus on whales instead of minnows
• Ref empathy
• Statement penalty
• Mental 5th pillar
• Structures around self evals, goal setting, coaching
• Fun fact: Japan has a greater density of rugby than NZ

The 7s tournament
• Incredibly cool to see everything up close and personal, meet the iRB refs, work with them
• Technical Zone Management Team
• I was spotter for the PA announcer
• Focus and fun for 12 hrs each day!
• Always support fellow refs on calls (they did a great job!)

Favorite moments
• Playing touch with iRB refs – they were surprisingly consistent and honest :) clear and obvious application of laws = FUN!!
• Having dinner the first night w other refs – nice to have peers since reffing can be a very lonely job
• The tournament atmosphere, loving rugby. LOVING RUGY
• International community (dinner & bfast w teams in the tournament)

• We are very fortunate to have this ref society and good resources
• Our monthly ref meetings to review things like training videos and talk about anything is a huge benefit other areas don’t have, especially sparsely populated areas
• Hope it can not only continue but also GROW!


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