TOUCH, what a game! Refereeing

Like in every sport, the referee has an important role in the game of touch. It is obvious that a competitive game cannot take place without referees. But a particularity of touch is that even a friendly game during training requires the services of a referee. The reason is that during a game of touch many litigious situations (offside, late pass,...) occur, during which a fast and clear decision by a neutral referee is crucial to guarantee the flow of the game. Moreover, a touch referee communicates a lot with the players to prevent them as much as possible from being penalized. Good and quick play is almost impossible without this prevention.

Due to the high speed of the game, a touch referee needs an outstanding condition. The referee needs to stay close to the ball, and his position constantly indicates the offside line. Thus, if the referee gets tired and cannot keep up with play, the offside line will not correctly be marked any more, which inhibits the flow of the game. Moreover, unlike the players who can substitute very often, referees cannot pause and recover during the game. However, refereeing a game normally happens with 3 referees (1 on the field and 2 on the sidelines) who switch as often as possible.

The European Federation of Touch acknowledges 5 levels. Level 1 (blue badge) allows the holder to referee during smaller, regional tournaments. Level 5 (black badge) - there are only a handful of them in Europe - is only given to the very best referees. France has about 50 L1s, 10 L2s, 3 L3s and 3 L4´s, and is still waiting for its first L5. A level upgrade requires a training with written exam and on-field assessment during (a) tournament(s).

TR91 currently has one L3, three L2s and six L1s, all active, making the club one of the leaders in France concerning referees. And those numbers will only be rising in the future since TR91 organizes referee trainings on a regular basis and a few referees are ready to be assessed for their L1. The club also plays an active role in the popularisation of the rules through its weekly article "La petite rgle du mercredi" (in French) on itsblog.