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Why Referee?

Why referee the best sport in the world? There are countless reasons, but hear from a few of our members below on why they do it.

Top Reasons

Best Seat in the House

There is no better way to watch the game we love than from right up close and as part of the action.

Giving Back

Many people play rugby for years and benefit from the work that referees put in. Refereeing a match is a chance to have 30+ people enjoy themselves with your help.


There is a community in refereeing where we help and support each other, as well as make strong social connections, both within Edmonton and around the world.


If you keep improving, there are opportunities to referee at high levels of the game, compete with others and travel the world.

Personal Challenge and Development

Refereeing gives me chances to practice people management, decision-making, conflict resolution and many other skills, while even helping with fitness!

It keeps me involved

Many of us stop playing rugby at some point in our lives, whether through injury, aging, time commitments or any other reason. Reffing keeps us involved in a new way.


Sandy Nesbitt

I started refereeing rugby because I was drawn to the unique blend of physicality and sportsmanship as a player in the sport. I appreciate the athleticism and skill required to play at a high level and the camaraderie and respect shown among players on and off the field.

As my own business became more demanding, I realized that refereeing would allow me to stay involved in the sport I love. With the flexibility to train and select games on my own time, I have been able to pursue my passion and rise through the ranks to reach the national level, even having the opportunity to travel internationally.

Now, as a coach and mentor to new referees, I take great joy in giving back to the rugby community. I understand the challenges and rewards of the role, and I enjoy sharing my experiences and knowledge with others. I believe that by helping new referees develop their skills and reach their potential, I can make a positive impact on the future of the sport.

Refereeing has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience for me, and I am grateful for the opportunities it has given me to grow as an official, connect with new people, and contribute to the sport I love. 

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Cassandra Schau

I enjoy refereeing because it keeps me active, allows me to teach players in a different way and it keeps me involved in the local rugby community. I started refereeing in 2022 because I was looking to better my game as a player and I wanted to see the game from another perspective. I really love reffing, as it’s brought me closer to a part of a community I didn’t even know about. I love the ability to constantly improve your game as a referee while improving your game as a player AND watching all ages and levels of rugby!
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Robin Kaluzniak

I started playing rugby at age 12 and started refereeing at age 16. I wanted to be a referee for a variety of reasons. I often got frustrated with referees while I was playing and I thought that I could do better. I decided to "put my money where my mouth was" by taking the Level 1 referee course and trying it out. I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed reffing and that I was more talented at that than playing. Once I realized that my playing career wasn't going to take me very far, I fully dedicated myself to refereeing at age 19. Since then, I've had opportunities to ref every level of the game from minis rugby to international matches and travelled to every continent to referee. I love the challenge and pressure of refereeing in a high-stakes environment and pursuing the top level of the sport in a way that I never would have been able to do as a player.
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