Law implementation changes from January 3rd 2017

From January 3rd 2017 there is a significant step in the interpretation of the law and the sanctions that are being applied for reckless and dangerous tackles particularly to the head and neck area
In a change to law, World Rugby has redefined illegal (high) tackle categories and increased sanctions to deter high tackles via a law application guideline. This will apply at all levels of the game from 3 January 2017 introducing minimum on-field sanctions for reckless and accidental contact with the head, effectively lowering the acceptable height of the tackle.The guideline will be supported with a global education programme.

From 3 January, two new categories of dangerous tackles will carry penalty offences to deter and eradicate high tackles:

See official RFU communication including example videos

Reckless tackle

A player is deemed to have made reckless contact during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game if in making contact, the player knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway. This sanction applies even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. This type of contact also applies to grabbing and rolling or twisting around the head/neck area even if the contact starts below the line of the shoulders. Minimum sanction: Yellow card
Maximum sanction: Red card

Accidental tackle

When making contact with another player during a tackle or attempted tackle or during other phases of the game, if a player makes accidental contact with an opponent’s head, either directly or where the contact starts below the line of the shoulders, the player may still be sanctioned. This includes situations where the ball-carrier slips into the tackle.

Minimum sanction: Penalty


January 2017 Training Meeting

The Society Training meeting will be held on the Friday 20th June 2017

We will be covering the CMOD tackle module in our January meeting at Durham City.

Details have been sent regarding booking

All referees should really make an effort to ensure they attend CMOD events

John Heselwood


Referee Society Training meeting

This month as is the norm we are going to be running our usual training session on the 3rd Friday in November (18th) when the theme/subject matter will be the scrum. What will be slightly different is that the content of the module and material we will be presenting has been produced by the RFU. This has a number of advantages for us all, not least being the opportunity to build a a personal store of recognised training.

In order that attendance can be confirmed you need to register your intention to attend.


Society referees should have received a special login link.  Anyone else that wishes to attend will need to go through the RFU course registration process

Match observer training

Annual Match Observer ‘training’ session at Sunderland RFC on Saturday the 1st of October 2016

Federation Referee Conference

The Federation of Rugby Union Referees’ Societies of the North

The Federation of Rugby Union Referees’ Societies of the North
Pre-Season Training & Development Conference

Blaydon RUFC – Sunday 14th August 2016


9.30am Delegate Arrival & Registration (Coffee/Tea available).

10.00am Welcome & Introduction.

Key Note Speakers:

John Rouse – RFU Match Officials Development Officer
John Meredith – RFU Championship Referee
John Heselwood & Dave Sawyer– North Division and Federation Match Observers
Another To Be Confirmed

3.30pm Wrap Up and Depar

Referee Courses

Coming soon- Referee courses to teach you how to ref a game of rugby union. For more information see here.

Course cost £50 and you must be 14 years old or above.

January 2016 training meeting

just a quick reminder about this months training meeting.
It’s this Friday (22nd) and is at Durham City RFC at the usual time of 7-30.
The main session is on the scrummage.
A buffet and a drink will also be provided.