Sunday, 24 April 2016

Behaviour and Respect

We were saddened to read a copy of the following message:- 

I have been coaching and refereeing junior rugby for the last 10 years at [XXXXXX] rugby club.  Since I stopped coaching 4 years ago I have been available to referee any junior game that requires a ref.

It has become apparent to me this season that the behaviour of coaches and players is declining rapidly.  At least twice this season I have had to remove coaches from pitch side for constant abuse.  Coaches moaning about decisions, players appealing then arguing is common-place.

As a coach I instilled it into the players that they must not back chat to the ref.  Respect of the referee starts with the coach.  The players will follow their example.  If the coach is always complaining then they players will too.

It came to a head for me a couple of weeks ago when I was constantly questioned by a coach and told I did not know what I was doing within the first couple of minutes.  A few members of the team were like this too: " I am an academy player and we are allowed to do this" was said a few times in the first 5 minutes.  During the course of the match,  play was stopped for an injury and the coach came onto the pitch to argue with me!

Respect of officials and opposition players is declining rapidly. It is more like football than rugby now.  As a result of the abuse I have received this season I informed the Junior chairman at [XXXXXX] that I will not be available to referee any junior games after the season is over.  This I did so with regret as the [XXXXXX]  club, coaches, players and parents have behaved in an exemplary manor.

More volunteer referees will leave junior rugby if this is not stamped out.  The influence of football is affecting behaviour.

This problem needs to be taken seriously before it gets out of hand.  Abuse of volunteers is not acceptable.

The Dorset & Wilts RFU would be keen to eliminate this sort of touchline behaviour, so please let us know if you have witnessed anything similar at your club.

Nick Dark - Hon. General Secretary - 
Arthur Bowden - Chair of Governance -