Each weekend hundreds of local children play a sport for a local team, the Bay Tigers Junior Rugby League club being no different.
There are always willing players, often keen coaches and a few umpires and referees volunteering to officiate the games.
The Bay Tigers are grateful to have three regular, reliable referees who give up their own time to ensure that others can play the game they love in fairness and safety.
The club’s Level 2 referee, Jason McManus, officiates upper junior and senior matches and also mentors the club’s less experienced referees, who are also Bay Tigers players, Joseph Halabi and William Taylor.
Both are Level 1 qualified referees. Level 1 referees are between 13-18 and undertake up to eight hours of training including online and face-to-face modules, as well as a practical assessment.
These referees can officiate games up to two years below their own age group so William, a Year 9 Batemans Bay High student, he can referee Under 12s or younger.
William is the regular referee for all Bay Tigers’ home Under 10s and Under 12s games.
His three years of experience comes in handy managing the energy and enthusiasm of such young players.
He said what he enjoys about refereeing is, “running around with the little kids, helping out the club and earning some money”.
The less enjoyable aspect of his rolecomes in the form of negative “sideline comments if you miss a call”.
William and Joseph both officiated games on July 7 at Mackay Park as the Bay Tigers hosted the Tathra Eagles.
There were four competitive rounds held on the day with Tathra Eagles fielding teams in Under 10s, Under 14s boys’ Rugby League and girls’ Under 12s Modified and Under 16s International League Tag.
The Bay Tigers’ boys were both convincing winners with Under 10s running in nine tries to reach a score of 44-22. Under 14s kept their opponents scoreless in a 44-0 thrashing. The girls’ League Tag teams both went down in their matches. Under 12s Modified score was 12-46 with Erin Drewsen noted for scoring her first try for the season. The Tigers’ Under 16s International League Tag girls were defeated 4-24 by an Eagles team that sits in second place on the ladder.