Increasing lack of respect?

Paule23


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
394
Post Likes
153
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
I'm wondering if other referees are noticing or experiencing a lack of respect from teams and coaches.

I have refereed 3 games this season where either the whole (losing) team and coaches, or the vast majority of them, have refused to shake my hand after a game. I appreciate they may have disagreed with the way I referred the game, not liked my decisions, thought I was rubbish etc. But I always thought you left that rubbish in the 80 minutes (or the bar afterwards!) and made sure you were sporting and showed respect afterwards by shaking the hands of the officials and the opposition. It's doubly frustrating in many cases it's not just players, but coaches and club officials. If they don't set the right tone it's probably not surprising the players behave in this way.

Has anyone else experienced this?

ive been lucky that on 2 of the occasions I had a referee coach with me who said I'd had a good game. Without that support I'd be seriously questioning whether it's worth it.
 

SimonSmith


Referees in Australia
Staff member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
9,397
Post Likes
1,510
It's a perennial challenge over here.

There isn't a season goes by where I don't threaten to send a coach from the field. It gets better in some places, and worse in others. One common thread seems to be teams who are on the slide from where they used to be. Yes, UVa, UMd and VaTech, that means you.
 

Pinky


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Apr 9, 2010
Messages
1,521
Post Likes
192
Paule23, make sure you feed back that sort of behaviour to your referee society. They will want to monitor that and may take some action if it is prevalent from particular clubs.
 

Nigib


Referees in England
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
342
Post Likes
70
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
I'm wondering if other referees are noticing or experiencing a lack of respect from teams and coaches.

I have refereed 3 games this season where either the whole (losing) team and coaches, or the vast majority of them, have refused to shake my hand after a game. I appreciate they may have disagreed with the way I referred the game, not liked my decisions, thought I was rubbish etc. But I always thought you left that rubbish in the 80 minutes (or the bar afterwards!) and made sure you were sporting and showed respect afterwards by shaking the hands of the officials and the opposition. It's doubly frustrating in many cases it's not just players, but coaches and club officials. If they don't set the right tone it's probably not surprising the players behave in this way.

Has anyone else experienced this?

ive been lucky that on 2 of the occasions I had a referee coach with me who said I'd had a good game. Without that support I'd be seriously questioning whether it's worth it.

It does happen from time to time - particularly if there was one single decision they feel you have got wrong, and they then blame you for losing the match. Good communication really helps reduce this, as does being close to the flashpoint incident. However, if their authority figures (captain, coach) start questioning you then the players tend to follow. If it's verbal abuse, speak with captain (your privilege to consult me does not extend to questioning my decisions...) and penalise/cards. Any verbal abuse from officials (or anyone else after the game) - report it. The quicker it's seen by our powers that be, the sooner any trend/repeat behaviour is spotted and dealt with at a higher level. If you do nothing, then next week's ref could get the same treatment, and may not be as thick-skinned/experienced as you, and may end up giving up reffing. I do blame the bleeding over of this behaviour from the round ball game, and do call it out as appropriate (that in itself can stop players misbehaving).

As to handshakes, I generally don't proffer my hand unless a player offers. Make sure you go through the players tunnel whatever. If you have a chance afterwards (typically when signing cards), have a conversation (what could I have done that would have helped?) to try and understand what teed them off - it may not be what you were thinking. I've uncovered simple lack of law knowledge or worse - "the ref training course I went on last week definitely said that couldn't happen..."
 

Pegleg

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,330
Post Likes
536
Current Referee grade:
Level 3
It is increasing and we are part of the solution. We MUST report stuff even if it does not bother us. Other refs may not be so strong.
 

Taff


Referees in Wales
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
6,942
Post Likes
383
It is increasing and we are part of the solution. We MUST report stuff even if it does not bother us. Other refs may not be so strong.

But what are you reporting exactly? Refusing to shake hands may be a bit "off" but it's hardly "abuse".

My point is, what exactly are the authorities expected to do about it?
 

SimonSmith


Referees in Australia
Staff member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
9,397
Post Likes
1,510
I remind clubs who are a bit "off" without being actually abusive that refereeing is a volunteer activity and I can't - and won't - force referees to go to a club they don't want to.

i'm not withdrawing service, just laying a possible set of consequences for behavior.
 

Pegleg

Rugby Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,330
Post Likes
536
Current Referee grade:
Level 3
But what are you reporting exactly? Refusing to shake hands may be a bit "off" but it's hardly "abuse".

My point is, what exactly are the authorities expected to do about it?

It;s part of the ethos of our game. So you make the appointment officer and other referees aware. You report the "welcome" to your society and should referees chose collectively or individually to boycott that team / club, so be it. Of course, you could just sit back and wait until it gets out of hand and then we can have lots of hand ringing when some poor begger gets the result.
 
Last edited:

Paule23


Referees in Scotland
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
394
Post Likes
153
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
Do any Societies have meetings or a forum for coaches in their area, where referees and coaches (or team officials) meet? This might be an idea as an education piece. An opportunity on a regular basis to re-emphasis referees are volunteers, are human and deserve at least respect for what they do. Recurring themes could be discussed from both sides. I am too junior to know if this happens and is just not shared, or if it has not been thought of.

I know logistics, organisation and apathy could be an issue, but is it a good idea?
 

Ciaran Trainor


Referees in England
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
2,869
Post Likes
379
Location
Walney Island
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
I've genuinely only had one game this season where 2 players from a team refused to shake my hand. They got beat by 40 points so clearly it wasn't a decision that cost them.
I usually get two chances to shake hands as the tunnel is formed where visitors walk through first then as a ref I walk through both teams etc.
I smiled when this happened then offered my hand and said well played 13 as he turned away.
Paule you will always get the odd knobhead in every team.
Always report abuse or perceived abuse to your society. We are encouraged to drop an email to our society. It may not be abuse to you but making the ref feel uncomfortable may be happening every week.
Don't ignore it.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
14,209
Post Likes
2,205
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
As to handshakes, I generally don't proffer my hand unless a player offers.

Ditto to this. Paul23, how did you know they wouldn't shake hands? Did they leave you hanging?
 

SimonSmith


Referees in Australia
Staff member
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
9,397
Post Likes
1,510
Do any Societies have meetings or a forum for coaches in their area, where referees and coaches (or team officials) meet? This might be an idea as an education piece. An opportunity on a regular basis to re-emphasis referees are volunteers, are human and deserve at least respect for what they do. Recurring themes could be discussed from both sides. I am too junior to know if this happens and is just not shared, or if it has not been thought of.

I know logistics, organisation and apathy could be an issue, but is it a good idea?
Tried it. A bunch of refs turned up. One coach.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
14,209
Post Likes
2,205
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Tried it. A bunch of refs turned up. One coach.

[cynic alert]
and the one coach who did turn up only wanted to talk about some decision he didn't agree with from last week's game
[alert over - resume normal transmission]
 

DocY


Referees in England
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
1,809
Post Likes
421
I had a coach refuse to shake my hand for the first time this season - he was quite unhappy about a particular decision and I've literally no idea why. His team went on to lose by over 100 points (I blew up 10 minutes early) even after I was, ahem, 'lenient' with them when it became apparent what was happening.

As Paule says, it does make you doubt yourself. I didn't have an assessor, but the home club have a retired ref on their committee who after the game asked "what the f*** was he on about?", which was reassuring. At least I hope he said "he" and not "you".

I mentioned it in the next society meeting. Nothing formal, just a "the coach of ****** is a dick, isn't he?".

I've not noticed anything with players, but I don't keep track. Maybe if a third of players didn't shake my hand I'd notice, but if a few don't, I don't think I'd notice.
 

Taff


Referees in Wales
Joined
Aug 23, 2009
Messages
6,942
Post Likes
383
I had a coach refuse to shake my hand for the first time this season .... I mentioned it in the next society meeting. Nothing formal, just a "the coach of ****** is a dick, isn't he?".
And I bet your passing comment wasn't even noted down, so nothing will happen, which brings us back to my earlier point - what exactly are we "reporting"?

At a monthly meeting, if I was to say "The coach for ******** looked at me a bit funny and refused to shake my hand" I'm happy to bet a pint that the comments would go along the lines of "So what? Don't be so precious" or "*$%£ him. That's his problem".

It does happen, but not often. Funnily enough it happened in my last game; I know I made 2 mistakes (both affecting the away team) but neither mistake affected the score.
 
Last edited:

Nigib


Referees in England
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
342
Post Likes
70
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
And I bet your passing comment wasn't even noted down, so nothing will happen, which brings us back to my earlier point - what exactly are we "reporting"?

At a monthly meeting, if I was to say "The coach for ******** looked at me a bit funny and refused to shake my hand" I'm happy to bet a pint that the comments would go along the lines of "So what? Don't be so precious" or "*$%£ him. That's his problem".

It does happen, but not often. Funnily enough it happened in my last game; I know I made 2 mistakes (both affecting the away team) but neither mistake affected the score.

You must gauge what level you report - in my society, I am assured, everything we report to the Disciplinary officer is noted and used to track trends. As I said previously, I don't actively seek handshakes; but I do now report profanity directed against me (however idiotic my decisions may seem or actually be). If I feel a gesture of any sort was sufficiently disrespectful then I will report it. The DO can then decide whether to press charges.

On a more positive note, I do try and reward positive/pre-emptive behaviour - for example if I'm getting too much backchat, I'll remind the captain of our prematch discussion where they agreed it wouldn't happen - if things shut up thereafter, I'll thank the skipper for sorting it out. Also, if I overhear the skip telling players to shut up/not complain.
 

TheBFG


Referees in England
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
4,392
Post Likes
237
Current Referee grade:
Level 6
I no longer walk through the tunnel, but stand to the side and clap both teams. At the whistle I will shake hands with any player that offers. On more than a few occasions, players will refuse, not my problem! If I get chance I may look them up in the bar after they've had chance to calm down.

I actually had a coach the other day say, "what have we got to do to get you on our side in a game" :wow: Mind you he was the one on the sideline earlier in the game shouting that a player being dragged along on his knees within a maul had been "tackled" and the other team had to release him :dickhead: Oh and guess what, his teams discipline was shocking, wonder where that comes from :chin:
 

Nigib


Referees in England
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
342
Post Likes
70
Current Referee grade:
Level 7
I no longer walk through the tunnel, but stand to the side and clap both teams.

I'm intrigued - what prompted you to stop going through the tunnel?
 

didds

Resident Club Coach
Joined
Jan 27, 2004
Messages
12,145
Post Likes
1,837
I no longer walk through the tunnel, but stand to the side and clap both teams. At the whistle I will shake hands with any player that offers. On more than a few occasions, players will refuse, not my problem! If I get chance I may look them up in the bar after they've had chance to calm down.

I actually had a coach the other day say, "what have we got to do to get you on our side in a game" :wow: Mind you he was the one on the sideline earlier in the game shouting that a player being dragged along on his knees within a maul had been "tackled" and the other team had to release him :dickhead: Oh and guess what, his teams discipline was shocking, wonder where that comes from :chin:

*shakes head*

I'm sure the majority of you know this, but whilst I can't claim to never ever get emotionally involved at times, this "baseline apoplexy mode" adopted bgy many coaches is weird to me. How on earth can you think what is happening if a game if you are borderline losing it all the time?

didds
 
Top