Refs give official warning
GROUP 2 rugby league referees have taken the penultimate step before strike action by adopting a zero-tolerance policy toward abuse of match officials, starting this weekend.
The monthly Referees’ Association meeting voted for automatic dismissal without warning of any player who verbally abuses a match official or dissents from a ruling in an aggressive or anti-social manner within the field of play.
In addition, any association member hearing derogatory remarks of a serious nature made by any club or group official while this person is a spectator, must cite that official within 24 hours for breaching the CRL Code of Behaviour.
Association secretary Bill Gibbons said history shows previous attempts to curb the abuse had been an abject failure.
“Over the past two years there has been a general trend for an increase in unacceptable abuse of referees by club officials, players and spectators and this was borne out in a straw poll conducted at our meeting on Tuesday night,” he said.
“Several avenues and strategies have been adopted to combat this abuse, including the implementation of CRL policies in regard to ground managers and use of ‘on report’ procedure.
“Nothing has worked, match officials have had enough and will now draw a line in the sand.”
Gibbons insists the policy isn’t excessive.
“Players who abide by the laws of the game in regard to abuse have nothing to fear,” he added.
“Those who don’t . . . beware.
“Referees are not permitted to abuse players on the field and players should extend reciprocal rights.
“Referees have asked for the same rights and this has failed, so they are enforcing those rights by a zero-tolerance policy both on and off the field.’
Group 2 Referee’s resolution
- A zero-tolerance approach is adopted by members of this Association (who are appointed as match officials within Group 2 CRL) in regard to dissent from a match official’s ruling or abuse by a player.
- Such dissent or abuse must be made in a derogative manner while within the playing area.
- This zero-tolerance approach will result in any player who dissents from a match official’s ruling being immediately dismissed from the field of play and charged with misconduct under the Laws of the Game.
- This policy will remain in force until such time as it is reviewed by the Group 2 Referees’ Association executive and rescinded.
- Should any members of the Group 2 Referees’ Association hear any derogatory remark(s) of a serious nature made by any club or group official while this person is a spectator, the member shall within 24 hours, cite that club official for breaching the CRL Code of Behaviour.