Refs switch it up: Groups trade places to help strengthen bond

GET 'EM ONSIDE: Group 10's best referee Billy Greatbatch will head west to control the Group 11 top of the table clash at Dubbo as part of an exchange. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
GET 'EM ONSIDE: Group 10's best referee Billy Greatbatch will head west to control the Group 11 top of the table clash at Dubbo as part of an exchange. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

Referees struggling for numbers is a common theme nearly everywhere.

But in 2017, the four referees associations within the Western Rams region’s boarders are endeavouring to combat the trend by working as one.

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.

“The Group 10 and Group 11 exchange is happening this weekend to allow referees to experience different footy,” Blanchard said.