As an Assistant Referee (AR) you are there to assist the referee in the game, you are not just there to stick your flag up when the ball goes into touch. You are a team of three.
To be effective as a team you need to work as a unit by communicating well with one another with clear and obvious decisions. Ultimately the team of three will provide a fair contest for both teams.
Referees should use their AR’s, it is not a reflection on their poor refereeing by accepting their input.
If the AR is more experienced than the referee, they can fall into the trap of trying to referee from the touchline. They are there as an AR to make the referee look good not destroy their game.
Primary duties of an Assistant Referee are:
Kicks at Goal
There are other ways to assist that the referee may miss e.g forward pass, knock on, high tackle, confirmation of try. Always wait a few seconds to see if the referee has seen it before calling or signaling.
COLOUR NUMBER OFFENCE is all they need to hear.
There is a lot you can do to assist without talking directly to the referee to get the players to comply. Talk to the players eg Hands away. Don’t outshout the referee but use the wingers to pass the message down the line to get them onside. Talk to players when behind the posts to advise e.g take a step back at the breakdown. Etc
When advising the referee of trends in ‘downtime’ (when not live play) be sure the referee is not already in a conversation with a player before you speak on the microphone. If there is no communication sets the referee should take occasional opportunities e.g downtime or at a lineout to have a quick check with their AR’s. Valuable information can be passed on.
For foul play concentrate on WHO, WHAT, WHERE? Foul play often happens off the ball unsighted by the referee so dwell at breakdowns and lineouts. Be the eyes in the back of the referees head. Watch his/her back.
What does the referee need to know?
The sequence of events.
Take out unnecessary words e.g. descriptions.
Take out repetition don’t reiterate
Get rid of all emotion e.g. outrage results in the wrong outcome.
Have a look at the power point and the sample of a referee’s briefing to the assistant referees.