Three-tiered Rules Education Programme launched

Rules education is an important aspect of The R&A’s role, and we have recently reviewed our activities to offer a three-tier Rules education programme:

  1. Level One – Introductory Rules School
  2. Level Two – Rules School
  3. Level Three – Tournament Administrators and Referees School

The first school of 2011 took place from 8-11 February at the Home of Golf, when delegates from around the world gathered for the annual St Andrews Tournament Administrators and Referees School.

In March, The R&A’s three-tiered programme swings into action, as we embark on a visit to four Asian countries to deliver different “schools” relating to the Rules of Golf. Each will be tailored to the individual needs of the participants.

Vietnam and Cambodia are the first two countries on the itinerary. The golf associations in both of these countries have only recently become affiliated to The R&A, and golf is very much a developing sport in both places. Reflecting the need to provide basic rules instruction where the players and administrators are newer to the game, one-day Introductory Rules Schools will be delivered. The focus will be on the principles behind the Rules and the most common situations that arise on the course. An on-course demonstration of the basics, such as taking relief for an unplayable ball or from a water hazard, will form an important part of the programme, and it will conclude with a test on the topics covered – the Level One Exam.

The next stage in The R&A’s three-tiered approach to Rules education is the Rules School. Combining presentations, review of televised incidents and an on-course demonstration, this two-and-half-day School covers the majority of the Rules, and includes an intermediate test – the Level Two Exam. The Indonesian Golf Association will be hosting a Rules School for the first time, although many Indonesians have attended Rules Schools conducted by The R&A in recent years in Malaysia and Singapore.

Rules SchoolDuring a Rules School, refereeing and tournament administration is also touched on to whet the appetite of those who may wish to go on to The R&A’s Tournament Administrators and Referees School (TARS). Such a School will be held in Guangdong in China, and the majority of Asian countries have been invited. We expect there to be at least 10 countries represented. It is assumed that the attendees at a TARS come with a good knowledge of the Rules and, during the two and half days of instruction, we seek, through demonstration, role play and study of experienced referees on video, to improve their refereeing technique and accelerate their understanding of the ‘art of officiating’. We also cover topics such as course set-up, pace of play, production of local rules and scoring procedures, which are all essential elements of running a successful tournament. The R&A’s official Rules Exam – Level Three – also forms part of the programme.

In addition to these schools, in 2011 The R&A will also be conducting a series of schools with the Ladies’ European Tour and a TARS in continental Europe later in the year.

Many individuals may just wish to know a little more about the Rules to help them in their day to day golf – a knowledge of the basics can be invaluable in getting round a golf course and it can also save you a precious stroke or two. However, it is also hoped that this comprehensive three-tier approach will allow someone to progress from learning the basics to refereeing at the highest level.

R&A Rules Education:

  • The R&A has staged over 60 Schools outside the UK since 2000
  • A Tournament Administrators and Referees School has been run by The R&A in St Andrews on an annual basis since 1990 with all national associations invited to send two delegates
  • In recent years Tournament Administrators and Referees Schools have also been held in Argentina, Malaysia and South Africa

View footage of the 2010 Rules School below