Thanks for all the responses everyone, lots of really goof information. I've managed to book myself on to the Level 2 course next month so looking forward to fully getting going. Hopefully I can get involved in some late season club fixtures, training and pre-season friendly fixtures etc to ease myself in.
Hi - X123 -- here's the website for the London Society
and here is the 'join us' page
go down that route - all the regions have a person who looks after new members and helps them get started
Thanks for pointing me towards those links, they will definitely come in helpful.
First of all welcome X123
I suspect you'd be interested to hear about people similar to yourself rather than middle aged has-beens plodding around at L8.
That being the case, my son who is now 23 (this week) started refereeing due to injury curtailing his playing career - much like yourself.
He started in November 2013 in the East Midlands (whilst at University) and moved (back) to Yorkshire for the 2015/16 season at Level 8. He is now at L6 and on the Yorkshire Federation Development Squad.
After being watched recently by North Group MOs he has his first L5 (National 3 North) game due imminently.
Yorkshire (especially South) have a good track record of attracting and developing young (and not so young) referees through Federation/Group/National Panel to the upper tiers of officiating stardom.
Good luck but more importantly - enjoy it!
Congratulations to your son on his progression, it sounds like he's progressing well up the ranks. I can imagine the level of refereeing intensifies significantly with each extra level up the ladder (though that might be an unfair impression). It's good to hear about the routes people take though, any age of course.
X123, welcome to refereeing. LLP is correct that you are probably better getting in with a group of refs who are more like you want to be in outlook, but equally helping out a local club is a good way of getting in some practice/experience. Better done after you have done your first level referee training. I imagine that if you go along to the society meetings they will welcome you and arrange for you to be accompanied by a coach to your first society appointment. This is what we do in my society, but that is in Scotland.
Thanks Pinky, sounds like good advice and hopefully that will be the case. I'll be in London but it would be good to get to know a few good local referees that can give advice. My Level 2 course is in a month so that should get the ball rolling.
Sorry if I led the OP astray at all, my suggestion was for training and youth matches specifically. I would have thought that doing an u15 game, for example, would be useful experience before getting involved in adults rugby?
I recommend doing some junior & social 7 a sides at the end of the season. Good chance to get the feel and plenty of other refs around who can give you some feedback.
Nothing wrong with being part of a club and helping out. If you've played at a decent standard you'll know more laws than most.
I would suggest you are more likely to get a run out and be involved with a club than you would be waiting for monthly refs society meetings and watching videos..
Good luck and welcome
Thanks, I had been thinking myself of heading along to a local club and to try to find some junior or pre-season warm-up games to help with. I'm definitely keen to start at an appropriate level to begin with, just to build confidence and get used to things, before looking to officiate in matches of importance.
On this note, do referees often start being involved as touch judges as well? Also, do school fixtures, university fixtures, local clubs and regional matches all get organised through the local societies? I can imagine some have personal contacts that are frequently called upon (or at least in my time playing that appeared to be the case).