About Us

We are passionate about supplying the best referees to the clubs and schools we serve across london and the south east. 

With over 500 active referees operating across our four regions, we're committed to supporting the game we all love. We provide training for new recruits, continual development for our members through regular training events, and an opportunity for all our members to referee to the best of their ability.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved - you can referee, become an Assistant Referee, a referee coach, a match observer, or help us out as an administrator. We are always looking for new recruits to help us provide the best referees to the game across London. So whether you want to get qualified and help out your local club on a Sunday,  or want to try and reach the pinnacle of the professional game at Twickenham - we can help you get there! 

The Society is divided into four regions, each with its own Regional Manager and appointments team. As well as covering central London fixtures, each region has loose geographic boundaries:

If you want to find out more, feel free to get in touch with a member of the committee, attend a local training event, or take a look at our social media and news pages to find out about the latest events!


History

The London Society was formed at a meeting held on the 30th September 1889, under the Chairmanship of the then President of the RFU, Mr A. Budd. The proposal to create a referees' society was well received by London clubs and within five years, the number of refereeing appointments to clubs during the season had reached 652. 

Following the First World War, about 50 members attended the AGM on 14th October 1919, the first meeting for five seasons. Over the next few years, activities resumed at an increased pace, with appointments reaching 2000 in 1922/23 and 3000 by 1925/26 when, for the first time, over 100 referees were supplied on a single Saturday. 

Rugby activities once again came to a halt with the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. In the first post-war season, only eight active referees were available, but after a recruitment drive our membership included 130 active referees by the end of 1946/47. The work of the Society doubled over the next 20 years: appointments in 1947/48 were around 3000, the next season 4,334, over 5000 in 1959/60 and five years later the 7000 mark was achieved. 

In October 1995, the decision was made to introduce the four semi-autonomous regions that we know today. The Society would remain one united, federated organisation, with a central Management Committee,  and four new regional committees were created to take on appointments, grading, training and the administration of referees in their respective areas.  This forms the basis of the present day structure of the Society. 

We now support 500 active referees at all levels of the game across London and the South East - from the grassroots to the National Panel and the Professional game. Last season we provided referees to over 10,000 games.