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It was a splendid idea whose time had come, the first USA national rugby referee school. The event was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June 1986. More than 115 people attended with at least twenty coming from each of the Territorial Unions. The gathering, the first ever, was stewarded by the Tulsa Rugby Football Club that efficiently managed hospitality and transportation
The main theme of the weekend was to foster a positive approach to refereeing. Foremost was the consensus that the advantage rule should be used to promote continuous play.
Guest speaker Dick Byres, an international referee from Australia, provided empirical examples of the most frequent game decisions.
During the two-day session, refs were instructed to interpret laws, evaluate player skill levels, learn recruiting techniques, develop evaluations methodologies, and administer a referee's society.
Live scrums, lineouts, and on field demonstrations abetted the days' instruction using the volunteer participation of Tulsa RFC players.
John Bloomfield, USARFU Referees and Laws Committee Chairman, said, "We hope to utilize the enthusiasm and momentum...to promote quality refereeing at all levels of the sport."
Now, thirty-one years after the first ref clinic, that goal has been realized.