Forum aim is to promote debate
LOCAL rugby league fans have a new opportunity to make their views on the game known.
A bulletin board forum has been added to the Group 2 Referees Association website to enable all persons involved in the local game to comment or express positive opinions on matters relating to administration, match officials and Country Rugby League policies.
Association secretary Bill Gibbons said the forum was created in response to a rogue website set up last season which, despite being disowned by the club it claims to serve, has continued to make personal attacks on referees, administrators and personalities.
It had also created administrative problems for the association and the need to renovate the official website as any Google search on ‘Group 2 Referees' led to an article posted online making inappropriate claims.
“Misleading comments which are plainly untrue have been made which are no help whatsoever to helping improve the situation with referees,” Gibbons said.
“I'm a bit surprised that Group 2 management didn't jump on the idea first, as handled correctly this can get people really involved with the game. This is how things are being done now and I reckon we also should move with the times.”
Gibbons said the forum will not evolve like other blogs which have turned feral supporters into serial abusers.
“All items offered for publication go through a system which filters out any use of swear words,” he said.
“Again they are vetted and if the post is making a personal attack or obscene or untrue remarks, we won't allow it. There is no censorship of contentious items and constructive criticism will not be turned away but we won't be allowing this to be used to make attacks.
“All posts that are aimed merely at insulting or abusing individuals, clubs or CRL will be deleted and the user barred for a period of 90 days from using this forum.”
Once registered, participants may use a nickname, actual identity or remain anonymous.
Topics already open for discussion include the recently introduced zero tolerance policy, Group 2 administration, the NRL, the media, Laws Of The Game, Group 2 judiciary, and Group 2 junior league.
“Every stakeholder is welcome to use the forum and its aim is to promote open debate on what's wrong and what's right with rugby league in Group 2,” Gibbons said.
“Maybe we can improve on administration, refereeing or spectator knowledge. So go on and give it a go and get some of that frustration out of the system.”
The forum can be accessed on www.group2refereesassociation.com