Match Officials

Become a Match Official

Match Officials (Referees, Touch Judges, Match Managers) play a very important role in our game. Being a Match Official will allow you to develop new skills, improve fitness and make new friends.

Above all, being a Match Official allows you make a positive contribution to the great sport of Rugby League.

Pathways exist for all match officials – from mini/mod to international rules and high performance. Courses are regularly run across the country. Please contact your District for course details and dates.

How do I become a Match Official?
Contact Canterbury Rugby League or (03) 338-4531.


Codes & Policies

The national Safe Play Code is applied to players in Rugby League Teams aged 15 years and under. The Code was developed to emphasise safety and good conduct within the game of Rugby League by creating the best possible on-field environment and actively controlling undesirable actions.

The NZRL trusts that players, coaches’ parents and spectators will wholeheartedly embrace the Code for the benefit of the players and the game of Rugby League.

Match Officials together with coaches, are key to the successful application of the Safe Play Code.

All referees must abide by the NZRL code of ethics, behaviour and conduct. MOUTH GUARD POLICY
The 2009 season saw a significant reduction in most serious injury types in games of Rugby League within our domestic competitions. One area however, where injury has risen is in the occurrence of mouth and teeth injuries. These injuries can be dramatically reduced by simply applying the NZRL Mouth Guard Policy.

The NZRL Mouth Guard Policy is the minimum standard to be applied to advance the welfare of the players.


Rule Books

This book identifies the major modifications to the Laws of modified games. Where no modifications are mentioned, international law applies. NZRL RULE BOOK
For a copy of the New Zealand Rugby League Laws of the Game click on the attached document.


Fitness Testing

Rugby League is a very intense, physically demanding sport, made up of two very exhausting halves. In a game of Rugby League, a player will become involved in bursts of high intensity work with short recovery periods. These work periods may include running the ball, chasing an attacker and tackling. The recovery period is the time between performing these activities, where lower intensity activities are carried out. The length of the recovery will vary, depending on what is happening in the play.

Unfortunately, match officials do not always get the same recovery periods and their fitness training must mirror the game’s expectations. The successful negotiation of the NZRL Referees Fitness Testing Model, at the appropriate level, by match officials with go some way to ensuring that those expectations are consistently met.

Not unlike the players who have good aerobic endurance are able to recover from intense bursts of activity quickly, so must match officials. As the speed of Rugby League has increased in recent years and continues to do so, the ability to recover quickly has become very important. A match official with good aerobic fitness levels will have better concentration and maintain a higher level of accurate decision making skill for the entire game. This will allow the players to perform to their best for the entire game and for the game to a fair and entertaining spectacle.


NZRL Fitness


Course Dates

NZRL & District Coordinators work closely to deliver match officials courses and development programs to ensure match officials are equipped to officiate at the various levels of our game.

There are a number of NZRL courses and qualifications are required –

Mini / Mod Fundamentals (Including Safeplay Code)
This course is suitable course is suitable for Referees, Coaches, Managers and any other interested people connected with Mini/Mod Rugby League. It provides basic knowledge and skills to safely referee young Mini/Mod Rugby League players. Contact your district coordinator or NZRL for availability of next course NZRL Beginners Course
This course is intended for new/inexperienced Match Officials who may be asked to be a Referee or Touch Judge at games a 13+ International. It covers the basic rules and laws of the game, including Health and Safety Requirements and Legal Responsibilities. Your district coordinator can facilitate this course NZRL Level One Developing Course
This course is a requirement for Match Officials who wish to officiate in senior or representative matches. A high level of fitness is required. Successful completion of the Level 1 (International Rules) course is required, along with an exam and on-field assessments. Many of the attributes and competencies tested are aligned with the requirements of the NRAS (NRL Accreditation). This course is a two ay course run by the NZRL NZRL Level Two Advancing  Course
This course is a requirement for Match Officials who wish to be considered for senior national and international appointments. A very high level of fitness is required. Successful completion of the Level 2 (International Rules) course is required, along with an exam and on-field assessments.

Please note there may be some costs associated with NZRL Match Official courses.