November 16 - National Collegiate Rugby will increase referee compensation for men’s and women’s championship matches at the 2023 XVs National Championships in Houston.
NCR is committed to referee development through financial support, educational opportunities, and access to high-performance matches. Over the past three years, the association has invested over $300,000 in referee fees and development during its championship events.
The new fee structure compensates high performing referees in line with pay standards in major collegiate sports and professional leagues. Covering all XVs national championship games across seven men’s and women’s divisions, the sliding scale compensates assigned referees at a rate that is four to ten times the current market rate of $150 per match.
“If referees put in the time to get better and rise to the level worthy of a national appointment for any national championship, then we believe they should be compensated for it like they are in other sports,” says NCR CEO Jeremy Treece.
The new fee increase for XVs National finals appointments provides greater incentives for referees to seek more educational opportunities in order to improve and rise through the grade levels.
Over 100 experienced and high performance referees have received assignments to NCR’s five national championship events across the country including the men’s and women’s XVs National Championships, men’s and women’s All Star Tournaments and the National 7s Championship. Across the events, there are over 100 high performance XVx matches and 300 high performance 7s matches.
While the current increase only applies to XVs national championship matches, NCR will continue to evaluate other fee increases that improve the payment outcomes for referees at its national championship events. In addition to match fees, NCR also covers flights, hotels and food across all their five championship weekends throughout the year.
Dave Haines, NCR’s Referee Director stated “If we are going to keep our top referees in the game and also encourage others to pick up the whistle, then I believe we need to reward hard work, dedication and talent.”
The XVs National Championships will be hosted by the Houston SaberCats with the women competing on December 2-3 followed by the men’s weekend on December 8-10. An independent, three-person referee panel will select the referees for the championship matches based on the previous day’s semifinal performance.