THREATENED: James Maggio abandoned the McKittrick Park match after an alleged physical threat to his safety.
THREATENED: James Maggio abandoned the McKittrick Park match after an alleged physical threat to his safety.

Abusive players face harsher penalties to protect refs

HOW HARD is it to keep your mouth closed?

Penalties for dissent and back chatting are all too rife in both Group 2 and NRRRL competitions.

In two weekend games, four players were sent off for reasons stemming from their attitude when addressing match officials.

Without a referee, there is no game and there aren't enough referees like Group 2's James Maggio willing to volunteer.

Group 2 and the NRRRL must come down hard on guilty players or the problem will continue.

NRRRL president Brian Rix said his competition would crack down, with offences relating to abuse to receive higher gradings.

"It seems to be a rampant problem across all sports so we'll be taking a strong stance," Rix said.

NRRRL Referees secretary Wil Constable said the behavioural code of conduct outlined the responsibilities of players, officials and spectators.

"The code of conduct is an integral part of our operations manual and clearly sets out the obligations," he said.

Physical and verbal abuse of match officials in Group 2 is considered so serious that in two seasons, one player has been banned for life while another received 20 years for making death threats.

The referee on both occasions was James Maggio.

Constable said continued abuse could see referees walk away from the game.

"(On Monday) I had one member call and say he had had enough," Constable said.



‘Don’t sell us out’: Calls for justice centre relocation

premium_icon ‘Don’t sell us out’: Calls for justice centre relocation

Corindi residents believe the soon to be defunct Grafton jail would be a more...

Teen scampers onto rocks to avoid shark attack

premium_icon Teen scampers onto rocks to avoid shark attack

VIDEO: Surfers escape two close calls on same beach this week.