The Okanagan Rugby Referees Society (ORRS) will not provide referee services to games being played in the spring of 2019. They have virtually no one left to referee. If a solution is not found, coaches will have to find their own referees this season.
The problem was discussed at the CORE Board Meeting on February 13. Two motions were put forth and passed unanimously.
(1) "It is proposed that CORE approach ORRS to assume responsibility for referee recruitment, training, and allocation for local age-grade rugby in the spring of 2019."
(2) If ORRS gives CORE the authority to organize age-grade referees this spring,"It is proposed that CORE only agree to take on age-grade refereeing services according to the Three Conditions listed below." The three conditions relate to (a) Finding someone to head up refereeing services by the fall of 2019; (b) Providing refereeing services only to schools that put at least one referee into a new referee pool; and (c) Eliminating all in-game commentary to referees, other than from team captains.
"ORRS was founded by teachers," said Chris Ward, President of ORRS. "Each school provided referees and we had lots of people available to referee games. Coaches were more respectful to referees. We don't have referees from schools anymore."
BC Rugby is working to help with this problem. Chris Assmus, Officials Development Officer for BC Rugby has called a telephone meeting on February 20 to examine the issue.
"ORRS will contribute $200 to support the training and certification of the first 5 or 6 individuals that step up and help out with refereeing this season," said Ward. "We'll also repay the cost of the training for each referee that refs 5 games this season."