Monday, 17 February 2014

Important Message from Dorset & Wilts - Referee Abuse

Dorset & Wilts RFU and the D&W Referees society are concerned about an increase in the number of cases of ‘Referee abuse’ being brought to our attention. This can involve cases on the field of play but also instances of ‘abuse’ from the touchline and also within match reports contained in press/website reports.

Rugby is unique in the core values it promotes and upholds and this should apply to everyone involved in the game. One of the values is ‘Respect’ which applies to everyone, especially the referee.

There is an old saying ‘Without a Referee, there would be no game’ and this holds very true. The D&W referees society is stretched to cover all games that take place over a weekend, whether it is Saturday or Sunday and if the Referee is not enjoying the game, there is every risk he will stop giving up his free time to referee.

If the level of ‘Abuse’ continues then some clubs could run the risk of not only not having a society referee appointed for games, but they could also be asked to appear in front of the D&W Disciplinary committee to answer for the actions of their players/coaches/parents/spectators.

The level of sanctions that could be imposed upon clubs can range from individual fines, through club fines into player suspensions and ultimately clubs being banned from playing for a period of time. If this arises and for instance you have league matches, you do not get the chance to ‘postpone’ the game, if the club is banned then all sides would have to concede the match, resulting in the standard 5 point deduction. This could be the difference between gaining and missing promotion for example. Clubs may even have ‘points deductions’ imposed on them by the Disciplinary committee.

Clubs have a duty both on and off the field of play to encourage referees and they must deal with anyone who ‘oversteps’ the line and enters, what can best be described as the ‘football mentality’.

Finally can we draw to your attention appendix 6 in the D&W Competitions handbook on Touchline protocol- copies can be viewed via the D&W website.