Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at the London Society Of Rugby Football Union Referees, while studying International Relations at Richmond, The American International University in London. He lives in Richmond Upon Thames but hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin.
LONDON, ENGLAND – Taking up refereeing was something I wanted to do since I was a child. I don’t know why, it wasn’t that I wanted power or control, I think it was that I like pressure. I enjoy the pressure that comes with having a significant impact on the game if you get it wrong. That’s what drives me to get it right.
“That’s great, Cody, but why should I go and take up the whistle?” Glad you asked me that! There are numerous benefits that a player, fan and even a parent of a first-time rugby player can get from having a crack at reffing.
1) The biggest reason is that you learn how the game works. You are not only focusing on what players do, but now you focus on the why players do what they do. You really gain a greater understanding of the game. It will allow you as a player to have better field perception, as a coach to have a better understanding of the game and as a fan you get the best seat in the house.
2) The next reason you should take up reffing is to keep fit. As a referee you will push yourself during the games to be at your best, so fitness becomes important. This may be the unanticipated challenge of being a ref, but as you get on with it you’ll love it. Trust me, I wouldn’t encourage you to do something that I don’t enjoy myself.
3) A third reason you should become a referee is to get involved. You’ll be involved in the sport and will have a lot that you are giving back. You can help teach the game from the referee’s perspective and open the door for others that might be interested. Let’s face it, some folks would love to participate without running the risk of displacing their nose.
Being a referee will allow for you to stay active, stay involved and maintain fitness. If you stick with it you never know who you might get to ref; Championship level teams, National teams or maybe even the Google team.
So… Why not have a crack at it? The worst that can happen is that you’ll hate it. On the flip-side, though, you might enjoy it more than playing!