Under a new initiative that USA has undertaken, to be eligible for D1A status teams now have to meet new coaching and education criteria. Under the new standards all teams are required to have a level 300 coach, and at least 5 certified referees on their roster by the start of the 2018-2019 season.
This change was brought about through a collaboration between the D1A collegiate Competition and the Training and Education Department. It is aimed at ensuring that the top flight of collegiate rugby has the best coaching staff available, and to ensure a wider and more expansive knowledge of the game from those playing it. It also aims at introducing players to a side of the game that they may not have experienced yet, and could prolong their involvement with the sport.
At the beginning of February 2018, over half of the teams in the D1A competition have met the requirement of having a level 300 coach, and there are over 150 Level 1 or higher certified referees registered to a D1A club.
“We understand the need for more quality coaches and referees and the D1A coaches have taken it upon themselves to do something about it.” Kenneth Forehand, Director of Education and Training, stated. “Teams taking an active role in the development of referees is one that we are seeing around the country and is encouraging as more and more players see the referee pathway as one they can achieve.”
For more information on locating courses for either coaching or referee development visit