Some Good Press From London

Posted by Bill Caulfield on November 18th, 2013

Our 7s Referees did a great job this season and impressed a lot of people.  Here is a report on the UCLA Qualifier from London:

An article for the Whistler (Newsletter of the London Referee’s Society)

SWRegion referee, Mark Francis features in the Californian PAC12 Sevens

London South West region referee, Mark Francis was invited to join the refereeing group from Southern California at the PAC 12 collegiate Sevens Championship over the first weekend in November.

The event was hosted by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), whose team were ranked number 1 in the US prior to the event. The pitch used for this tournament is a favourite of the Real Madrid ‘Galacticos’, who have been regular pre-season visitors to this location.


Commenting on the event, Mark Francis, seen here refereeing Stanford v USC, said:

‘Many things impressed me about the SoCal Ref’s society – they were hugely welcoming, open to learning and above all else, were a really fit group of refs, who were always right there at the point of decision. Sophia and Karen were great ambassadors for women’s referees’.

The event featured teams of 3 (ref +2 ARs), with the referee miked-up and a Commissioner arranging all substitutions. This made refereeing feel rather different to the National Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park, where we are invariably a team of 1 in the rain!

Mark Francis wasn’t the only English referee on show. Phil Akroyd, a level 6 formerly of the Yorkshire Society, is now based in Arizona and spends most weekends on a plane to his matches. Phil officiated the final, which CAL won against pre-tournament favourites UCLA. The team of referees is co-ordinated by Patrick McNally. He would be more than delighted to host more London Society referees at future events as the US referees look to grow in numbers and quality.


Phil Akroyd back left. Patrick McNally (in the hat) USA National Sevens Referee Manager.

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