Refereeing Pathways


  1. Sign up to a recruitment course: The IRFU run a number of courses a year in each province and advertise these in match programmes and on the Irish rugby website. The day long courses introduce perspective referees to the basics of refereeing.
  2. Become a trial member  and attend one of a series of workshops in your province. Perspective Referees receive a trial pass and start to referee each week where they will be assessed.
  3. After graduating from the trial panel and attending a wide range of courses, the new member will join the Level 1 and Level 2 panels, which is for referees with medium to long term potential where they will referee up to Junior League level. They will also attend a number of coaching workshops.
  4. The next step is Level 3 where the referee has been identified as having potential for the National panel. here they will referee Junior 1 games and attend a number of workshops.
  5. The next step is to be put onto the IPAS (Inter Provincial Assesment Panel) panel (level 4). This is where you referee outside your province and are assessed by members of the other associations or society as it is known in Ulster. The IPAS system means the whole country has a similar type of scoring system and is proving to be an efficient away to assessing referees who are looking to get onto the National Panel
  6. Once you pass through IPAS you are now fully qualified to referee on the National B panel and can referee at Junior, Ulster Bank League Division 2 and 3 and a range of under age inter provincials.
  7. The next step is to become an National A panel referee. There are currently 17 referees in this position and they can referee matches up to Ulster Bank League Division 1A and B and touch judge in the Magners League before hopefully graduating to the contracted panel of 15 referees. Here they will referee Ulster Bank League, Magners League, Amlin Challenge and Heineken Cup games plus a range of Internationals from under age to full.
  8. The final step is to become an international referee. This includes Heineken Cup rugby. With the retirements of Donal Courtney and Alan Lewis, Leinster currently have Alain Rolland in this category with Dudley Philips also a European referee

The association needs more referees and opting to become one may be the best decision you’ve made for a long time. Feel free to make contact with the Leinster Rugby Referees atdenis.collins@leinsterrugby.ie or contact by phone Denis Collins at 01-2235107 or David O’Brien at david.obrien@irfu.ie