How to become an Assistant Referee

More than a touch judge, you are there to assist the referee, which leads to a better game for everyone. A touch judge cannot rule on foul play, while an Assistant Referee can.

Many competitions expect that each team provides an accredited Assistant Referee (AR). You'll be close to the action but out of the spotlight. This may be a good way to decide if you want to go further and become a referee.

Level of Game
 Accreditation requirements
 Minimum age
 Re-accredit by
Under 8 to 12

 Assistant Refereeing Kids Rugby U8-U12

 Complete online course
 13 years old
 Completing AR-Kids Rugby course again, or upgrade to AR Level 1
Under 13 and older
 Assistant Referee Level 1
 Complete online course and pass online exam
 13 years old
 Completing the AR Level 1 Re-accreditation program (exam)

There is also an Assistant Referee Level 2 course, which is requirement for Level 2 Referee accreditation. This is a face-to-face course, and dates will be published at

Go straight to the Rugby Portal to access the AR-Kids Rugby or AR-Level 1 courses. If you are involved with Rugby you likely already have an account. Your username will be your email address or ARU ID (which is not your RugbyLink Player ID). You will need to use the password reset function if you haven't accessed the Rugby Learning Centre before. The Rugby Portal login page has an extensive user guide explaining how to access it for the first time.

Accreditation lasts for 4 years. Re-accredit by enrolling in the applicable 'Re-accreditation' program in the Rugby Learning Centre and completing the exam.

ARU policy is that Assistant Referees under the age of 17 cannot be appointed to matches more than two years above their own age group (e.g. an AR turning 16 in the current year cannot AR an U18 or older match).

In Sydney the competition rules set the following deadlines to gain accreditation:

Sydney Juniors - bonus competition points from Round 5.

Suburban - fines apply from Round 8.