Referees struggling for numbers is like the Sydney Roosters toweling up the Wests Tigers – you can bank on it every year.
But in 2017, the four referees associations within the Western Rams region’s boarders are endeavouring to combat the trend by working as one.
And it all starts this weekend.
Group 10’s leading whistle blower Billy Greatbatch will control Group 11’s top of the table clash between last year’s runners-up Dubbo CYMS and the Nyngan Tigers on Saturday.
While on Sunday, Group 11 referee Mick Medlin will make the trip east to officiate the Mudgee Dragons and Cowra Magpies clash at Glen Willow.
It’s an exchange of sorts, one Group 10 Referees Association president Nathan Blanchard is confident of continuing into the future, while also incorporating referees from the Woodbridge Cup and the Castlereagh League.
”The exchange was put forward by a Western Rams referees panel and this is the first one, and we will be trying to do this every few weeks,” Blanchard said.
“It's all about strengthening ties between the associations with the ability to help each other out when referees are in such short supply.”
Blanchard said the switch will help benefit the standard of refereeing in each competition.
“The Group 10 and Group 11 exchange is happening this weekend to allow referees to experience different footy,” Blanchard said.
“A lot of people say Group 10 has the best competition and it will be good for other referees to experience that.”