Become a IWRF Referee

Refereeing the exciting game of Wheelchair Rugby is not only fun, but it’s also rewarding. We are always looking for referees to officiate the game at all levels. No previous experience in wheelchair rugby? No problem. Many referees from able‐bodied sports or other parasports have easily made the switch to “murderball.” Referees with experience in basketball, hockey and other sports have found the transition to rugby to be particularly seamless. We can even help you learn to become an official even if you’ve never blown a whistle before.

Benefits of refereeing include:

  • Ample opportunities for advancement: Referees can work anywhere from the recreational level to the high‐performance level.
  • Travel opportunities: High‐performance referees often travel around the world.
  • Getting involved in a sport family: Wheelchair rugby has a reputation for being a close‐knit community that supports its members.
  • Flexibility: Because wheelchair rugby does not have to involve a large time commitment, it’s a great supplement for a referee who concentrates on another sport.

While many countries require referees to work a minimum number of games, generally referees can devote as much or as little time as they would like.

How Do I Get Involved?

  • The first step is to contact the IWRF Technical Commissioner in your Zone to express your interest. You will find an email link to this person under the “Your Zone” area on our
    website at www.iwrf.com.
  • Learn the rules. To view the official rules visit our website at www.iwrf.com. You can also check out the sport in action by visiting our video library here as well.
  • Attend a referee’s clinic. Referees in all Zones will have opportunities to learn the game at a refereeing clinic. Most countries require attendance at a refereeing clinic for certification.
  • After you have attended a referee’s clinic, you must apply for domestic certification. Often this will involve a written test, a fitness test (beep test), and/or a floor test. Different
    countries have different criteria for referees. In the USA, for example, referees must work a minimum number of games per year and attend a clinic at least once a year.

There are three levels of certification:

  • National Referee: has completed basic and/or intermediate training;
  • International Referee – Zone: has completed an advanced clinic and can officiate at international tournaments within their Zone.
  • International Referee – World: has become experienced internationally and can now referee at a World Championship or Paralympic Games.
  • Getting your International Certification: If you desire, you can work your way up to achieving international certification. To do so, you must apply to the International
    Wheelchair Rugby Federation via your National Governing Body. To be granted a license, you must pass a written exam, fitness test and a floor test, where you will be observed by a senior official.

How do I learn more about Refereeing Wheelchair Rugby?

Visit the IWRF website located at www.iwrf.com. From here you can read more detailed information about the sport and download the latest IWRF Official Rules and other useful documents. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have additional questions or need help finding something.

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IWRF Referees Training Manual for Wheelchair Rugby

This manual is designed to help teach the mechanics and principles of officiating for the sport of wheelchair rugby. Having a clear and thorough understanding of the IWRF International Rules of Wheelchair Rugby is a pre-requisite to this manual,
IWRF Wheelchair Rugby Casebook
Interpretations from the International Rules for the Sport of Wheelchair Rugby. Revised April, 2015
IWRF Pathway to Becoming a Referee
Interested in becoming an IWRF Referee? This document will help you learn about officiating and how to become involved.
IWRF Chair Check Procedure
The attached chair check procedure was originally put into effect on August 3, 2011, and will remain in effect until further notice.
IWRF Referee Signals
All the Wheelchair Rugby referee signals complete with pictures and descriptions.