Rugby Ontario Match Official Game Fees Announcement

December 14, 2019


Rugby Ontario Match Official Game Fees Announcement 


December 14th, 2019


Dear Rugby Ontario Members, 

In 2019, there were difficulties in appointing match officials due to a reduced number of those available for assignment. By season’s end, the total number of officials increased slightly from 207 in 2018 to 209 in 2019. However, a number of new referees were certified and registered late in the summer season. This was a result of a concentrated effort between Rugby Ontario and the Rugby Ontario Referee Committee to bolster numbers through recruitment, additional course offerings and focused development of officials. Rugby Ontario’s goal is to have steady growth in referee registration. Without referees, there is no rugby. 

Rugby Ontario has been reviewing its procedures with regards to officiating and will be implementing a number of initiatives in 2020. Following this review, and in consultation with the regional branch union and key referee stakeholders, we have determined that the following changes are warranted: 

  • Increasing Referee Game Fees (please see table below)
  • Offering a greater number of Level 1 courses (increasing from 11 to 14 this
  • Ensuring that practical opportunities (practices, games and tournaments) are the
    primary focus of every Level 1 course
  •  Increasing Coach of Match Official game fee from $35 to $45
  • Offering an early bird registration discount for Match Official and Coaching
    Courses (further information to be issued in January) Referee Game Fee increases will occur over the next 2 seasons:
  • Junior game fees increasing from $40 to $50 this season (2020)
  • All senior matches below the highest level (Marshall I, OWL I, EORU/FRQ Super
    Ligue & Provincial) standardized at $60 per match this season (2020)
  • Top tier (Marshall I, OWL I, EORU/FRQ Super Ligue & Provincial) fees subsequently increasing from $70 to $75 in 2021 

Rugby Ontario’s rationale for increasing game fees: 

  • Referee Game Fees have not changed in at least 5 seasons
  • Greater compensation for referees should increase interest in officiating and
    support retention of current officials
  • Resolve confusion among clubs and referees over differences in fees for senior
    matches below the top tier
  • Top tier increases in the 2021 season will allow clubs to adapt to the increased
    costs incurred gradually, rather than implementing a full pay structure change immediately.

The changes for 2020 are summarized in the following table: 



2019 Game Fees 


2020 Game Fees 

•    Marshall I

    •    Ontario Women's League I

    •    EORU/FRQ Men's Super
Ligue, Provincial

    •    EORU/FRQ Women's Super
Ligue, Provincial

    •    OUA Competition



    •    Marshall II

    •    Ontario Women's League II

    •    Men's Branch A & B

    •    Women's Branch A

    •    OCAA Competition





•    All Other Senior Matches

    •    EORU/FRQ Men's Reserve

    •    EORU/FRQ Women's

    •    EORU Men

    •    EORU Women



    •    Under-19 (Under-18 in 2020)

    •    Under-17 (Under-16 in 2020)

    •    Under-15




• Under-13 (20-minute games) (Under-14 in 2020)




• Tournaments 


$1 per minute 


$1 per minute 

• Ontario Rep Team 

$70 or $1 per minute (whichever is less) 


$70 or $1 per minute (whichever is less) 

To put these numbers in context, each U16 and U18 team will have an average annual increase in game fees of $50 for the regular season (assuming a 10-game schedule), and additional increase of $20-30 for a playoff run where a team has 2-3 home matches. 

We forecast a similar increase in game fee costs for senior teams previously in the $50 bracket, with $50 increase in fees for a 10-game schedule, and potential playoff fees increasing by $20-30. 

We believe that increased game fees should strengthen referee numbers, in concert with our other initiatives listed above. As rugby continues to grow in Ontario, our officiating community must match that growth by broadening the pool of officials and improving the development opportunities for new and veteran officials alike. We look forward to continuing to work with you to achieve these goals. 

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience. 



David Bushell

Match Official Coordinator


The Ontario Blues program is the high performance representative program for male and female rugby players in Ontario. Rugby Ontario is represented at the provincial level by the Ontario Blues. The program includes representative teams from Under-15 to Senior in both Women’s and Men’s Fifteens and Under-18 Men's and Women's Sevens. Specifically, the program is designed to develop and showcase rugby players for Canadian representative national teams.


Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to establish a stronger identity for rugby in Ontario by promoting the sport’s core values and by fostering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence on and off the field of play.

To learn more, visit


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Rugby Ontario Match Officials

David Bushell 

Match Official Coordinator

647-560-4790 x 1009


Dalton Finkbeiner

Communications and Marketing Coordinator - Rugby Ontario

647-560-4790 x 1006