Match Officials/Referee – Respect Policy

We do not have a game without the referee, 36 players take their boots off and don’t play without a referee, ensuring that the referees in the game have an enjoyable experience will encourage more to come forward and for the standards to thus improve.

1. Entering the field of play during a game as a coach or spectator is unacceptable.
2. Verbally questioning a referees decision from the touchline, throughout a game, is unacceptable.
3. Haranguing/harassing the referee into decisions is unacceptable.
4. Coaching staff and subs patrolling the whole length of the touchline, following play, is unacceptable and not permitted.
5. Approaching the referee at half time, unless invited to do so, is unacceptable.
6. Telling players to “ignore the referee” from the touchline or openly disrespecting the referee is unacceptable.
7. Failing to acknowledge the referees participation in the game at the end is unacceptable.
8. Verbally abusing, swearing and making physical contact with a referee is unacceptable at anytime.
9. If you have been asked to run the line for touch, you may not offer any ‘advice’ to the referee other than indicating when play has moved into touch. By way of the laws of the game the referee is for all intense purpose not able to act on ‘advice’ from anyone running the touchline unless officially appointed and qualified. Being handed a flag and asked to run touch is not an official appointment! Occasionally a referee, in the spirit of an accurately managed game, may ask for input, this is not to be confused with continuous advice from the sideline. Do not fall foul of points 2) & 3) above.

If you are pulled up/warned about behaviours relating to the above by the Welfare Officer or other Club Officials during a game and fail to adjust your behaviour you run the risk of immediate sanction and being sent away from the playing enclosure. Refusal to move away from the playing enclosure could result in the game being halted temporarily or permanently.

Being sent away from the playing enclosure has potentially serious consequences, there are then additional sanctions that may be imposed by the club or our governing body, or both, on the individual abuser, their team, their club, should the guidelines above be breached.

We all have a responsibility to uphold the Core Values of our great game, and we all know what is acceptable and unacceptable. We have a responsibility as rugby enthusiasts to challenge poor behaviour when we see or hear it and do something about it.