GROUP 4's "very dire" referee shortage will be addressed shortly, it has been revealed.
The NRL, in conjunction with the Group 4 Referees Association, will be running foundation one referee courses in Tamworth and Gunnedah, advised NRL referee development officer Ryan Schmiedel.
The young Group 4 referee said a February 15 course will be held at the West Tamworth Leagues Club (10am start) while Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club will host another course on March 21 (also starting 10am).
Schmiedel pleaded with all clubs within Group 4 to advertise the courses strongly "as the 2020 Season for the association is looking very dire with numbers".
"Group 4 RA currently have 12 members registered to cover all games throughout Group 4 - juniors and seniors.
"We need some serious recruitment happening so we can cover all games with qualified referees."
He added: "If persons that wish to become referees don't want to do seniors, they can just elect to do junior games at their respective grounds."
Registration fees to the association are: under-18s $25 and over-18s $100. This covers insurance and affiliation fees. It also includes a uniform plus a polo shirt, a hoodie and a tracksuit and training shirts.
In 2020, first-grade referee and touch judges will received match payments of $150 and $75, respectively, with payments of $100 and $50 for reserve grade), $70 and $30 for under-18s, and $50 and $30 for league tag.
For more information and/or to register, visit refrugbyleague.com.
Alternatively email the association on firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Schmiedel at email@example.com or by calling 0436 925055.