Respect for the Referees

13 May 2021 _______________________________________________________________ Dear all,

Over the past two weeks Rugby Victoria has seen an increase in Referee abuse cases by players, team officials and spectators. Rugby Victoria has zero tolerance to Referee abuse and poor sideline behaviour. Negative behaviour is not welcome.

The Rugby Victoria Board and Executive encourage positive sideline behaviour, particularly towards referees. There have been several Code of Conduct hearings to date dealing with Referee abuse and two further incidents under investigation.

The Judicial Committee has been briefed to impose lengthy sanctions for Referee abuse and poor sideline behaviour.

I request that you as Club and School leaders ensure all patrons associated with your Club / School behave appropriately and abide by Rugby Australia’s Code of Conduct.

Rule 5.4 of the Code of Conduct states: 5.4 Accept and respect the authority of a referee, assistant referee, touch judge or other match official. Do not abuse, threaten or intimidate, use crude language or gestures, or show unnecessary obvious dissension, displeasure or disapproval towards a referee, assistant referee, touch judge or other match official, whether on or off the field, or a selector, coach, manager or other team official.

Should you witness any referee abuse or negative behaviour, please inform the Ground Manager immediately to ensure it is reported. We rely on club and School representatives to enforce the above and I ask that you please forward this email on to your Members.

Thank you for your assistance and good luck to all teams this weekend.

Chris Evans
CEO Rugby Victoria