Abuse towards referee....

Owen Bisto Taylor

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Basically, in my game today there was a flash point in that there was a little bit of pushing as shoving (as far as I could see) in a Colts game. Now i played advantage to black, and then subsequently reversed the following penalty to black after a white penalty due to the reaction of White 8 (who was 'fighting' with black 13)... both players received a yellow card due to their reaction (which as far as I could see, did not see throw any punches). Following the game i was approached by a parent who called me (paraphrasing this) a disgrace for turning a 'blind eye' to fighting, and then after getting changed and asking if he was alright now subsequently told me to " f*** off, before i lose my wrag with you"... as this is the first (and hopefully last) experience of abuse, what is the best way to approach this, as nobody was willing to give me his name, and the club in question we're lovely and showed as much hospitality as i have been used to from them. Cheers :frown:
 

dave_clark


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repeat the entire conversation, verbatim, to your society. they will have dealt with people like this before.
 

OB..


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Talk to your society disciplinary officer. The behaviour is unacceptable.

Even if he was from the home club and they were otherwise brilliant, they should not condone this. If he was from the opposition, then they may need to be contacted. Your society will know if there has been any previous, but they won't know about this one unless you tell them.
 

Simon Thomas


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Tell your Society and they will deal with it in the most appropriate manner. They have seen and heard it all before !

Don't just ignore it as the next referee May gave the same, or worse.
 

menace


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Basically, in my game today there was a flash point in that there was a little bit of pushing as shoving (as far as I could see) in a Colts game. Now i played advantage to black, and then subsequently reversed the following penalty to black after a white penalty due to the reaction of White 8 (who was 'fighting' with black 13)... both players received a yellow card due to their reaction (which as far as I could see, did not see throw any punches). Following the game i was approached by a parent who called me (paraphrasing this) a disgrace for turning a 'blind eye' to fighting, and then after getting changed and asking if he was alright now subsequently told me to " f*** off, before i lose my wrag with you"... as this is the first (and hopefully last) experience of abuse, what is the best way to approach this, as nobody was willing to give me his name, and the club in question we're lovely and showed as much hospitality as i have been used to from them. Cheers :frown:

Not condoning his behaviour, and just playing devil's advocate, but why did you go back for a second go? Was the first conversation abusive? If it was just calling you a disgrace, then I don't consider that abuse, but just a muppet with an opinion. (Was there anymore to it or was their actions intimidating?). Whereas the 2nd conversation clearly was abusive, but why did you go back to him? Poking a cornered and angry cat is just asking for trouble, and you got it.

Personally I don't think it's a good idea to go back to a person who offered you an unsavoury opinion, just report it if it's abusive.

Ps. Unfortunately it will not be the last time you'll be abused...so be prepared for it.
 

Owen Bisto Taylor

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Ironically menace, I didnt really have a choice as he was stood at the door to the clubhouse... and I really wanted a beer, so no choice but to walk past him
 

TNT88


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That's got to be the most hypocritical ref abuse ever.
 

TNT88


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Having a go at you for turning a blind eye to violence, and then telling you to **** off because he's about to lose his tempter with you?

Maybe next time he'll come out with, "oi ref, why'd you turn a blind eye to all the f*cken swearing?"
 

menace


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Ironically menace, I didnt really have a choice as he was stood at the door to the clubhouse... and I really wanted a beer, so no choice but to walk past him

Ok. Fair enough..but don't talk to him nor give the ****** eye contact. If he's at the club house door and is doing that to wait for you and intimidate you and have another uninvited crack at you...then definitely report that.

Also, what a piss poor club for no one to giving you his name...they're just closing ranks and that is just as bad IMO. It shows the club does not respect that the referee needs to be respected.
 

Blackberry


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Hi OBT, don't for one moment think that this is normal, for every angry muppet who doesn't understand how rugby works there are hundreds, no, hundreds of thousands who love the game, understand its morals, and appreciate what you do.

We must always report these incidents as it allows the societies to build a picture, you add to the jigsaw and adding your piece will not only send a clear message that the rugby culture will be protected, but it might just also complete the picture and allow serious action to be taken.

Something else hampers us at times like this, we sort of feel partly responsible. AGGGHH!!!! Listen, there are 100 ways of dealing with any new event, so 99 of them are always not as good as the 100th. If the way you dealt with it is in the top 20, and you use it as a chance to learn, you are doing fine. Do not for a moment think "Well, he's out of order but maybe I could have whistled sooner" or something similar. His attitude is a threat to the game, while your handling of the situation was at least as good as we have a right to expect, probably even better.

Apologies for repeating a story, but I had to put up with a similar muppet at a national cup colts game, sent him from the field of play, received subsequent abuse in the clubhouse, and reported him. His club graded my refereeing as "excellent" for that match, he received a substantial ban, and I discovered the rest of the management team and the supporters were delighted that he his actions had finally been curtailed.

I reffed their senior team later on and they treated me like fragile glass, I felt a bit mean to be honest.
 

FightOrFlight


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Sadly this is becoming more common. Personally I groan when I get assigned an underage game(up to 19s anyway).

It seems the game means more to the parents than the kids and game after game you get some ill informed arsehole on the sideline with his cup of take away coffee having his say on all decisions. I did a 15s game a few weeks back and they were all out in force. Every dropped ball was a knock on no matter how far back it went. Captains were being dispatched with stupid question and observations from ill informed coaches and parents and it was all just becoming a mess!
From a kick off the ball went in to in goal and was grounded by a defender. I went back for the scrum on half way to shouts of "ref that's a 22...what are you doing?"
I YCed a kid for constant dissent and when he returned from the bin the coach said to him "tell him they are offside and he needs to watch it".....I mean seriously... If ever it seemed like a coach wanted a red card it was there.

Sadly in Ireland it seems to me that clubs are doing little real work to combat it. The society can try but it it is hard to gain traction. For me it is simple. If Bob shows up with his kid and is always giving hassle then as most clubs are private property Bob gets a 5 week ban from the premises. If he comes back and keeps it up it's 10 and if he keeps it up then he is out forever. If clubs get hard on it then it may help to really cut it down. In senior games people have their say but that is manageable. Adults will not be as influenced by adult opinion as kids. Many times out of control adults pull and pretty good hearted game down with their carry on. If you are 15 and adults are shouting abuse then you are likely to get wound up too as it transfers to the team. Adults are less like sheep in that respect.
 

beckett50


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As others have, you must report it to the 'Powers that be'.
 

Toby Warren


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Report it. His behaviour is unaccpetable.


Then as with things in life good and bad reflect upon see if there's anything positives you can take or any areas that you'd handle differently.
 

Ciaran Trainor


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and of course never ref a game at that club again until the matter is dealt with.
 

Daftmedic


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Am I the only one who would of jabbed him on the jaw?
 

davidgh


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This is hardly Ref abuse, just a bloke being rude to you, you had already got changed and were in the club house.

When does your role as the Ref protected by TLOTG end?

Unacceptable, rude, report it, but a lower scale of issue than abuse on the pitch
 
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RobLev

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This is hardly Ref abuse, just a bloke being rude to you, you had already got changed and were in the club house.

When does your role as the Ref protected by TLOTG end?

Unacceptable, rude, report it, but a lower scale of issue than abuse on the pitch

I'm not a ref, but disagree. If the parent had left it on the pitch, then it might be lower end; but direct physical threats of violence after the match are not. Remember also that OBT is a student himself; so far as the parent is concerned, he was talking to a kid.
 

Dixie


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OK, let's break it down.

Firstly, whatever happened on the field is irrelevant to what people choose to say to you afterwards. In my mind, the only interesting aspect of the on-pitch scenario is that the parent was likely to be the dad of one of the involved players.

Secondly, per Menace:

Was the first conversation abusive? If it was just calling you a disgrace, then I don't consider that abuse

Aussie society is well-know to be rude, boorish and uncultured. {:wink:} Over here in Blighty, even in the North, we have higher expectations of our fellow man. Calling you a disgrace is most definitely abusive.

Thirdly, I think menace has a point - you may have had to get past the guy to get into the bar, but you didn't ahve to engage him in conversation...

after getting changed and asking if he was alright now subsequently told me to " f*** off


However, that's just a preventative measure. The fact that you did engage him in conversation is, IMO, to your credit and entirely in tune with rugby's ethos. You battle like hell for 80 minutes on the pitch than come together as fellow afficionados in the bar. So the fact that you could have skulked off and avoided the situation does not let the guy off the second instance of abuse.

Both instances need to be reported on the same referee abuse form, completed in consultation with your Society. Rugby has a developing problem with abuse (particularly at youth level), and is well aware of the need to nip it in the bud to prevent the sort of referee drain that football experiences. But the authorities can't do that unless unacceptable instances are reported.

Fouth, think hard about how it came about that no-one would give you a name. Did you ask a coach or a blazer from the offending club? If so, they are equally complicit and the powers-that-be need to know that the club is not prepared to act to deal with malfeasance among its memebrship and support. But if you just asked a busy barman and got a shrug, then perhaps he simply didn't know.

Fifth - looking at your post - are you at the same uni as Cody? If so take heart - he's come on in leaps and bounds since his first kindergarten-like efforts here. :)
 

Dixie


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This is hardly Ref abuse, just a bloke being rude to you, you had already got changed and were in the club house.

When does your role as the Ref protected by TLOTG end?

Unacceptable, rude, report it, but a lower scale of issue than abuse on the pitch
Wholly incorrect. We worry about this because it leads referees to decide to do other things with their weekends than put up with rude gits at rugby clubs. That damages the game. It is immaterial whether it happens on the pitch, in the bar or when walking to work the following Wednesday. Your role as the referee extends to any time when anyone wants to beat you up about it - physically or verbally.
 
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