Tackle the challenge. Take the whistle.

Rugby Refereeing in a nutshell

Tackle the challenge Take the whistle

First and foremost ...

... refereeing is about facilitating a safe and fair playing environment for players and coaches to participate in. This is a core principle and an ethos that exists from age grade rugby, right the way up to the professional game. A safe game is about managing foul play, correct law application and providing a playing environment that encourages participation. Fairness is about allowing a fair contest for possession and space, in a way that is consistent for both teams.

But there is more ...

It is about managing people, building relationships, communication and knowing the law. Referees are the guardians of these three fundamental values: Safety, fair contest & continuity. A good rugby referee can admit when they're wrong, they respond constructively to feedback. Rugby referees will be more self-aware, more truthful, more willing to stand up for what's fair for others. Refereeing in Rugby will teach you to be assertive - this means being able to be self-assured and confident without being aggressive.

Respect & Discipline

In rugby the referee’s decision must be respected. Drama and ego are diligently stamped out and respect and honor are maintained but this respect must go both ways. As a referee, you will learn that you need to lead by example. A Rugby referees not there to be a tyrant or to lord power over others but to be a representative of truth fair play and personal responsibility.

More on refereeing ...

Tackle the challenge Take the whistle

How to become a referee

Whether you aspire to referee at the highest level or to referee locally, there is a place for you. There are excellent support structures in place to develop referees - and there is a thriving social aspect too.

A stepwise approach to refereeing


Find a club near you

Get in contact with your local club or inform your coach about your interest. Alternatively, you can simply rock up at a training session at a club near you and get in touch. Are no clubs close by? No worries, you can-> jump right to STEP #2


Get informed

Contact the “Commission des Arbitres” (CA =referee society) via E-Mail to find out information on the upcoming training sessions. Each season, there are at least two introduction courses proposed in Switzerland.

-> E-Mail Referee Association


Prepare yourself

Before the introduction courses, you can first prepare on your own! Get an account on World Rugby Passport & read the laws online. You can then take two online certificates named “Rugby Ready” and “Law test”.

-> World Rugby Passport


Take a training

Come to the introduction course “World Rugby L1 MO” delivered by Referee Society and meet your peers. The one-day course introduces basics (classroom) as well as technique, body language & management on the pitch with fun scenarios.


Personal development plan

Build your personal development plan based on your expectations, level, and your commitment to reach your objectives! An experienced referee/ coach will support you during your first steps – so you are not alone!


Make yourself available as a referee

Our online platform (SportLomo) collects referees’ availabilities & the referee manager appoints you to games. You can always share specific requirements with your coach and the referee manager.


Improve yourself

Coaches and supervisors will support you reaching your expectations. Take part in the discussions between refs, join the referee's training, and sharpen your skills.

Taking the whistle

"I am a ref"

Eric Dubouloz

Rugby Club Avusy

Nickname: "Jambon"
Referee since: 2011
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

Eric is a very endearing man with true values. Dedicated, generous, always in a good mood, a pearl. 

Yann Benoit


Referee since: 2008
Certification: World Rugby MO L3

Yann is not only an international referee but also a certified educator & trainer for match officials. So the Rugby laws and the management of the game are no secret to him. Yann is also the Referee Manager for Suisserugby and the man to talk to for any questions related to refereeing.

Contact: referee[at]

Sébastien Diuritch


Referee since: 2007
Certification: Referee at National level (France)

Sébastien arrived with a backpack full of experience. What a good draw for the FSR: apart from his talent on the pitches, he is a kind, devoted, serious and discreet man, in other terms, exemplary! 

Ethan Glass


Nick name: "Little big star"
Referee since: 2015
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

Ethan is a very young referee but despite his age, he is already on the international circuit. He is already a role model - and it's just the beginning...

Ashleigh Alkan Zambada


Referee since: 2018
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

Referees can be women, and they can also referee male matches. Newly arrived from California, Ashleigh is a great example!

Julien Szostak


Referee since: 1992
Certification: LNA - ProD2 (F)

A referee at the highest level in Switzerland but also in other countries. Julien moved to the other side of the world - Auckland - to improve his refereeing. How lucky we are to have him as part of the team.

Andrea Sacchetti


Referee since: 2014
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

Originally from Italy, now living in Zürich, Andrea discovered the rugby fields directly through refereeing! Professor and Doctor in experimental physics, you can count on him to explain you the concept of inertia on the passes. A referee who never stops improving. Grazie Andrea!

Luis Mariné

Rugby Club NYON

Referee since: 2014
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

Arrived from Argentina, he could have been a coach but choose to be a referee. Luis referees with the same passion, good humor and a special kindness at all levels. He is a guy that is always willing to step on the pitch - anywhere in Switzerland. Overall profile: A golden guy (and not only because he works for a bank). Vamos Luis!

Raimonds Priednieks

GC Zurich

Referee since: 2006
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

Raimonds comes from Latvia, lives in Germany and comes to referee in Switzerland - providing his experience, particularly in German-speaking Switzerland. His advise to all newbies in refereeing: don't be afraid - be brave and fair!

Aurélie Lemouzy


Referee since: 2009
Certification: World Rugby MO L3

Aurélie is known to be ultra-dynamic, endorsing several roles in rugby: player, coach, manager, match commissioner but ABOVE ALL referee, a real phenomenon. The only woman currently refereeing in the Swiss LNA (before others we hope) passionate and with international experience.

Thibaut Bourgade

Rugby Genève Plan les Ouates (GPLO)

Referee since: 2017
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

After a career as a player, Thibaut stayed in his boots and took the whistle - reaching the highest level of refereeing in a record time. A fine example to follow! 

Francois Molette

Rugby Club Winterhur

Referee since: 2009
Certification: World Rugby MO L2

A key figure in Swiss rugby and a very passionate referee!

Educational Resources

A referee's pathway Take the whistle


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