Group Three chairman Wayne Bridge concerned by referee shortage

Wayne's concern at referee shortage

GROUP Three Rugby League faces a referee shortage going into the 2021 season to start the weekend of April 10 and 11.

"We only have five senior referees at this stage,'' Group Three chairman Wayne Bridge said.

Senior referees have qualified to Level II. Mr Bridge understands there are around 15 'junior' (Level I) referees registered.

Level I referees can only officiate under 18 and women's league tag games.

"A lack of referees is our biggest concern,'' Mr Bridge admitted.

Two officials, Cameron Thomas and Jason Allan, who have both controlled first grade grand finals, have indicated they won't be refereeing this year.

Mr Bridge said it is possible that the Level I officials can gain the necessary accreditation to move into the senior ranks.

"That's something we will be speaking to the Group Three Referees' Association about,'' he said.

He added the lack of officials could also impact on the women's rugby league competition to start later in the year.

"This is classed as an open age grade, so we need Level II referees,'' Mr Bridge explained.

He urged any whistle blower who is considering refereeing this year to contact the association or register online.