Topics:  group 2, mark thomas, tough love in league policy

Tough Love in League

Junior league grandfinals at Coramba Sports Grounds. Bowraville vs Kempsey Photo Leigh Jensen/ Coffs Coast Advocate
Junior league grandfinals at Coramba Sports Grounds. Bowraville vs Kempsey Photo Leigh Jensen/ Coffs Coast Advocate Leigh Jensen/ Coffs Coast Advoca

JUNIOR rugby league will restore much of its respectability should Group 2 Beautizone JRL adopt the Tough Love In League policy.

Association president Mark Thomas has been an advocate of the policy since it was released by the NSW Rugby League in 2010 and will move for its adoption before the season begins next month.

Tough Love In League demands instant action for a range of misdemeanours at any match involving players aged 17 years and under.

>> View the brochure here

It covers not only the behaviour of the players involved but also match officials and spectators.

"Our version may have a few changes to the original draft to suit the Group 2 situation but the response so far has been positive," Thomas said.

"I intend to send a copy to all delegates before our competition meeting in three weeks and will recommend we take up the policy.

"If approved it will take a lot of the guesswork out of running a day at the footy with responsibility put on the ground managers to proceed with the round according to the rule book.

"Everybody will be on the same level as far as their conduct is concerned."

Apart from on-field misconduct among players, Group 2 has been plagued by a handful of sideline incidents in recent seasons including patrons under the effects of alcohol, referee abuse and one case of a coach substituting a suspended player for another under an assumed name.

A crackdown in 2011 reduced problems to a minority but after a series of incidents during last year's grand final matches which led to six players receiving lengthy suspensions, Thomas and his executive feels it necessary to vote on formalising the Tough Love document.

"No previous suspensions will change but from the beginning of 2012, everybody will start with a clean sheet for the future," Thomas added.

"I'm confident we've managed to get on top of all or most of our former problems but this is an extra bit of ammunition to make sure everything stays on track."



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