Local rugby players won’t be the only ones preparing for upcoming international competitions.
Cayman referees will have leading roles at a number of regional clashes starting in May. All are affiliated with the local referee society, and Cayman’s head official, Dave Robinson, says it speaks to the high standards maintained here.
“As the head of the referee association, I select refs for internal matches and coach refs too,” Robinson said. “I made references for our refs to go forward to the regional tournaments. At one time, the Caribbean refs were different than the regional refs and that’s how we treat our system.
“We have about six to seven active referees on the regional panel and in Cayman, we have about 12 refs that do juniors and other formats. We have another six that handle the seniors and we train them different, focusing on a different level of fitness as the key is to keep up with the Sevens players.
“Our referee quality is quite good compared to other countries. I’d say we’ve done a good job taking it to this level.”
The North America Caribbean Rugby Association referee panel will use Cayman-based officials for three matches. A Jamaica versus Turks and Caicos contest on May 17 will be officiated by Alasdair Robertson, with the replacement referee being Justin Colgan and Robinson listed as match commissioner. Cayman will provide most of the officiating team for the Jamaica versus Mexico match on June 7, which will be refereed by Dave Sherwin. Robinson will again be match commissioner with Ben Cullen as the replacement referee.
For the Cayman against United States South game on June 14, a Canadian ref will be assisted by Cayman officials.
News of the local referees comes as male and female players train for a number of competitions. The women’s national Sevens program is targeting the first annual Texas women’s Sevens tournament on April 26 in Allen, Texas. On the men’s side, Cayman has a Bahamas test series in Freeport on May 3, along with two NACRA Caribbean Championship matches, against Bermuda on June 7 and USA South on June 14.