Mike Adamson, who represented Scotland at 30 IRB 7s tournaments and at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, this afternoon crowned his rapid rise as a referee.
Adamson, 30, has been named by the IRB as an official for all nine tournaments in the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series.
The transition from gifted player to empathetic referee has been quick but deserved for the former Glasgow Warriors, Glasgow Hawks and Scotland age-grade stand-off, who was educated at Dollar Academy.
“When I was chatting with Andy Macpherson (Scottish Rugby’s referee development manager) about starting as a referee last Christmas we talked about goals and what I wanted to achieve.
“Sevens was one of my goals, especially with the admission of sevens to the 2016 Olympics in Rio but we weren’t sure if I’d have enough time.
“Getting the two tournaments at the end of last season’s World Series (at Scotstoun and Twickenham) has definitely helped to propel me up towards that category,” Adamson explained.
Just as the requirements for playing top-flight sevens can be different from top-flight XV-a-side, Adamson notes that the demands on referees can vary too.
“Your decision-making, similar to playing, has to be really quick particularly around the tackle and contact area. In sevens you would penalise (at contact) as the penalty is the advantage. In XVs you’ll see a situation of slow ball from contact, whereas slow ball would most likely never be an advantage in sevens,” Adamson added.
He focuses his training currently on repeated sprints to replicate much of what is required to referee at top-level sevens and reach those oh-so-decisive breakdowns. He is now on a part-time referee contract with Scottish Rugby having stepped down from his role as a development officer at Glasgow Hawks.
Scottish Rugby’s referee commissioner Tappe Henning said: “Mike has worked very hard to be named on this panel. He has a real understanding of sevens, taking the experiences he gleaned from his playing days.
“We will give him every support to realise his ambition of progressing to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”