I have been a rugby referee for two and a half seasons now. It's been a steep learning curve with a lot of ups and downs. I have had moments of pure joy and some of the lowest times of my life, as a result of being a rugby ref. So why do I do it?
When a match goes well, its a pleasure to have been part of it. To have helped the players have a game of rugby within the laws of the game is the sole intent of a rugby referee. When a match does not go well, it's a relief to get off the field.
Safety, Enjoyment, Law, is the mantra of the rugby ref, in that order. At the end of the day if everyone walks off the field having had a good game of rugby within the laws, then I have done my job well.
Do I do my job well? I try my very best. I work hard on my fitness and my law knowledge, but the main ingredient of being a referee is match and player management.
I think it's the challenge that keeps me coming back. I really want to do a good job and progress as a referee. Contrary to popular belief referees don't care who wins. They don't see "team A" and "team B", they just see Red v Blue. They don't see "team A" did this or "team B" did that. They just see an infringement and think "do I need to penalise that, or can I let play continue?"
It's a task that can be rewarding or thankless, largely depending on the skills and aspirations of the players.
Just remember one thing. Without the referee there is no game.