Interview - Referee Blair Collier

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UCR are very fortunate to have our first contribution from a referee. Refereeing is a very important part of the game and sometimes can be taken for granted. It can be a lonely job out there as players, coaches and supporters always see only one side of the equation.

Blair Collier is the Referee Development Officer for the Waikato Rugby Union in New Zealand, a union that won New Zealand’s prestigious National Championship last year. He is a very experienced referee who has had to confront every obstacle a referee is likely to face. We are very lucky to have Blair talk to us this week.

Kent Currie: For aspiring referees what are the best resources to learn about the laws of the game?

Blair Collier: Obviously there’s the law book - The IRB have an informative website also as do Planet Rugby.

Word of mouth and talking to other referees is also a good way to become more knowledgeable. NZRU provides many different resources on all different parts of the game for local referee development.

KC: What are the most enjoyable things about refereeing?
BC: Contributing to the game and trying to make it a better game to watch. I like the fact I’m giving something back to the game. Although I’m not a player there is still a strong social element which I enjoy also.

KC: Why did you get involved with refereeing?
BC: When I was a player refereeing was poor, so I felt instead of complaining about it I would get out there and do something about it and try and contribute to making refereeing better so fans can enjoy a better spectacle.

KC: How should referees respond to abusive behavior from the sideline?
BC: It’s good to have pre agreed processes, for example, meet with the coaches before the game and have them be responsible for the behavior of all there supporters. It gives the referee one less thing to worry about.

KC: Thank you for your time Blair
BC: The websites looking great Kent and keep up the good work!

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