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SFA suffering from lack of referees

The Scottish Rugby Association has insisted that lower-level amateur fixtures are being hit by a lack of referees, according to BBC Sport.

500 referess quit the game each year although the same number do begin their training.

The SFA's head of referee development, Hugh Dallas, said: "At youth football and amateur football in outlying areas you find matches are postponed or are being refereed by coaches" 

"New leagues start up and we have more women's football but no-one considers where we'll get the match officials."

The SFA is actively seeking new recruits to begin a career as a whistler.

"Referees will walk away from the game but it's not just from the abuse from the touchlines, but for retirement, relocation, etc," said Dallas.

"We are looking to bring more in to increase our numbers, which currently lie at 2,300-2,400. We're looking to aim a lot higher."


Frank Connor, a category-two official, is at a level where he can run the line at Scottish League games and referee junior matches.

He admits the role can be difficult, but believes the benefits outweigh the hassles of being the man in the middle.

"There have been occasions on a Saturday night when I've gone home and the bag gets thrown in the cupboard and you think, 'I don't know why I do this'," said Connor, 27, a member of the Lanarkshire Referees Association.

"But I speak to my refereeing colleagues daily and they pick you up after games, and likewise I pick them up, and that kind of camaraderie is evident throughout the categories and associations.

"The support that is available now maybe wasn't available in the past and it may take some time to get the message across to the people that we need to get into refereeing."


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