INTOUCH Refs copping spectator abuse
I referee junior age groups from U12s through to U16s and recently I’ve seen, and been subjected to, a large rise in parents criticising from the touchline.
I know rugby is subjective but more often than not these are people who won’t volunteer to help and certainly won’t volunteer to referee. Plus, how is a player expected to listen to and respect the referee when his or her parents don’t?
In a recent match, one parent actually told his son on leaving the pitch that the result was purely down to my bad decisions and nothing to do with anything else! How can we expect our young players to thrive when this is the example being set by some parents? RW says: Spectator abuse is a tricky area as referees’ powers don’t extend to sanctioning members of the public. Sadly, match officials need a thick skin but for serious cases, clubs should step in to curb such distasteful behaviour.
Top ref JP Doyle