Welcome, friends! Here you can tour and experience the South African referee academy online! I was incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to train, eat, study, laugh, and live 24/7 as a full-time referee student this past spring at the Maties Referee Academy in Stellenbosch, South Africa. For over 2 months I consumed myself with rugby and poured all of my energy into learning how to become a better referee. I reffed 70+ games (over 6 games per week) and spent countless hours in the classroom, gym, and vision lab. We ran miles and miles on the local mountain trails, stadium steps, and too many rugby pitches to count, all across the Western Province. I’m here to share this experience with YOU!
Each week I will build a new addition to this portal until I have shared every possible resource I can. There will continue to be more and more resources available for you to experience the referee student lifestyle and become a better referee!
Navigate through different parts of the Maties Ref Academy virtual experience by using the menu above or the links below:
- Physical Training and facilities tour
- In the Classroom. Powerpoint presentations for referees by South African Rugby Union are now ready for download, including 100+ video clips. Topics covered include scrums, advantage, breakdowns, assistant referees, and referee excellence.
Snapshots of Emily’s classroom notes are also shared here.
- Daily Schedule at the academy, by the hour
- Rugby by the numbers, where I present and visualize the data I collected abroad
- Compilation of all blog posts I’ve written and published about the SA experience
- FAQ. Frequently Asked Questions I get about my time at the academy
Additions coming soon to the virtual academy include:
- Physical training programs and drills
- The Vision Lab
- The Gym
- On-field, referee-specific vision training and drills
- On the mountain (bergpad)
- In the rugby stadium, stairs (trappe)
- Speed and Agility
- In the classroom:
- Law Exams
- Emily’s classroom notes
- Advantage discussion
- Mental training notes from our mental coach
- Positioning at lineouts and scrums
- Breakdown sessions
- AR and TMO
- Law discussion
- Game feedback
- Notes from guest visitors: Andre Watson, Marius van der Westhuizen, Mark Lawrence
- More original, interactive data visualizations about the academy
- Snapshots of Emily’s personal 90-page daily journal
- A library of all published literature about our experience
- Sights and sounds of daily life at the academy