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Referee abuse

  • 15-12-2019 9:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,062 ✭✭✭ Shelflife


    Seems to me that its getting worse.

    A friend of mine reffing a game today was roared at that he was Fu#king useless and hadnt a clue ! The same ref is a very good ref and highly thought of by his peers.

    What possesses people to think that they can hurl abuse constantly at volunteers who travel long distances and give of their time freely.

    Would you should something like that at one of your own players ? or an opposition player ? or one of the coaches ?

    Im a ref myself and was being assessed a few weeks ago, after the game He told me I had a good game and was very happy with my performance. He said he couldnt believe the abuse being hurled in my direction and he said in every case I had got the decision right and he said he knew a lot of these people were long time rugby supporters of the club.

    Im not talking about ahh cmon ref theyre offside or YC ref ! Im talking about when they call you a cheat (ref bothsides Ref) or your fu#kn useless. When youre getting that in every game from both sets of supporters it does wear you down. Of course they never say it to you in the clubhouse afterwards only happy to shout it from the safety of the crowd.

    So what is it that makes people think that just because your a ref that they can hurl abuse at you and its acceptable ?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,371 ✭✭✭✭ molloyjh


    Shelflife wrote: »
    Seems to me that its getting worse.

    A friend of mine reffing a game today was roared at that he was Fu#king useless and hadnt a clue ! The same ref is a very good ref and highly thought of by his peers.

    What possesses people to think that they can hurl abuse constantly at volunteers who travel long distances and give of their time freely.

    Would you should something like that at one of your own players ? or an opposition player ? or one of the coaches ?

    Im a ref myself and was being assessed a few weeks ago, after the game He told me I had a good game and was very happy with my performance. He said he couldnt believe the abuse being hurled in my direction and he said in every case I had got the decision right and he said he knew a lot of these people were long time rugby supporters of the club.

    Im not talking about ahh cmon ref theyre offside or YC ref ! Im talking about when they call you a cheat (ref bothsides Ref) or your fu#kn useless. When youre getting that in every game from both sets of supporters it does wear you down. Of course they never say it to you in the clubhouse afterwards only happy to shout it from the safety of the crowd.

    So what is it that makes people think that just because your a ref that they can hurl abuse at you and its acceptable ?

    They arent thinking. Thats the problem. They are far too engrossed in the game and involved in it to see it rationally. The lack of thought continues on after the abuse is uttered. I guarantee you most dont really remember any if what they said. Heat of the moment with absolutely no self awareness. It's awful to listen to even as a spectator.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,078 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Steve


    If it's a player abusing the ref then he has several options.

    Award a penalty against the abuser.

    Card them.

    Give a 10 meter advantage against them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,473 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    Shelflife wrote: »
    Seems to me that its getting worse.

    A friend of mine reffing a game today was roared at that he was Fu#king useless and hadnt a clue ! The same ref is a very good ref and highly thought of by his peers.

    What possesses people to think that they can hurl abuse constantly at volunteers who travel long distances and give of their time freely.

    Would you should something like that at one of your own players ? or an opposition player ? or one of the coaches ?

    Im a ref myself and was being assessed a few weeks ago, after the game He told me I had a good game and was very happy with my performance. He said he couldnt believe the abuse being hurled in my direction and he said in every case I had got the decision right and he said he knew a lot of these people were long time rugby supporters of the club.

    Im not talking about ahh cmon ref theyre offside or YC ref ! Im talking about when they call you a cheat (ref bothsides Ref) or your fu#kn useless. When youre getting that in every game from both sets of supporters it does wear you down. Of course they never say it to you in the clubhouse afterwards only happy to shout it from the safety of the crowd.

    So what is it that makes people think that just because your a ref that they can hurl abuse at you and its acceptable ?

    I'm not sure if reffing is for you if you are surprised that this occurs. I completely disagree with it but, unfortunately, it is very common place.
    I am surprised to see this posted in the rugby forum as I understood that there still largely was respect for the ref in that sport.

    People become illogical with subjective bias depending on how their team is doing or what is riding on the game, or parents who are especially keen that their child is successful so as to gain opportunities with more senior or country teams.

    Be thankful though that they don't say it in the clubhouse, in GAA and soccer there have been stories of amateur referees being attacked and assaulted after games.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,686 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    Dealing with numpties to be honest, they believe they are right no matter what....

    Most of the time best not even giving an answer and let it one ear out the other....

    Wouldn't let it fester inside and put it down that they are the absolute fool.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21,032 ✭✭✭✭ Squidgy Black


    Steve wrote: »
    If it's a player abusing the ref then he has several options.

    Award a penalty against the abuser.

    Card them.

    Give a 10 meter advantage against them.

    Most of the time it's some clown on the sideline.

    It's the same across all sports these days. There's always some muppet on the sidelines who for some reason gets a kick out of screaming abuse at the ref, and the scary thing is it happens quite often at underage games too.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,473 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    Most of the time it's some clown on the sideline.

    It's the same across all sports these days. There's always some muppet on the sidelines who for some reason gets a kick out of screaming abuse at the ref, and the scary thing is it happens quite often at underage games too.

    Underage games have gotten very unruly by all accounts. I think I read about several games in the DDSL being called off because of unruly behaviour.

    It wasn't just aimed at referees either but at players on both teams. That lead to trials of silent matches where no shouting from the sidelines is permitted.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,078 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Steve


    Most of the time it's some clown on the sideline.

    It's the same across all sports these days. There's always some muppet on the sidelines who for some reason gets a kick out of screaming abuse at the ref, and the scary thing is it happens quite often at underage games too.

    Sounds a bit like being a mod here tbh.

    I've had crap flung at me from the sidelines for years, just need to stay focused on the job at hand.

    Refs get it wrong the odd time, and when you've 40k people booing at you (like in Landsdown last night) I can't imagine what was going through his head.. it certainly wasn't arrogance or condescension, more likely 'oh fcuk'.

    The people on the sidelines don't matter, and a good ref knows that. Their job is to be fair, impartial, and control the game.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    I reffed GAA for a few years from the age of 15 to about 21, so quite a while ago. You develop a thick skin but it is quite intimidating to have older adults roaring at young referees just learning their "trade" so to speak. If refs were allowed to stop games the first time it happened, and blow it up altogether if it happened again you would soon see a change IMO. There should be zero tolerance for ref abuse.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,416 ✭✭✭ PCeeeee


    I played both soccer and Gaelic. From what I've seen of rugby both amateur and pro ye are light years ahead. Some of the reffing in the two aforementioned sports is diabolical which is no excuse for the abuse.

    But it's a vicious circle. Competent, interested, knowledgeable people will just not volunteer their time to be disrespected and abused (by morons most of the time). Leading to worse and worse officiating.

    Rugby, rightly, is lauded for the respect shown to officials. If grassroots rugby people feel that's changing then please do something about it now.

    Just a view from the outside.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,062 ✭✭✭ Shelflife


    I'm not sure if reffing is for you if you are surprised that this occurs. I completely disagree with it but, unfortunately, it is very common place.
    I am surprised to see this posted in the rugby forum as I understood that there still largely was respect for the ref in that sport.

    People become illogical with subjective bias depending on how their team is doing or what is riding on the game, or parents who are especially keen that their child is successful so as to gain opportunities with more senior or country teams.

    Be thankful though that they don't say it in the clubhouse, in GAA and soccer there have been stories of amateur referees being attacked and assaulted after games.

    Ive been a ref for nearly 10 years now so Id say that its for me. Usually its just white noise that you hear/block out from the sidelines and god knows the crowds arent big. But from time to time you will hear something nasty from the sidelines.

    Yes we know that its usually fools that shout the loudest but it can still give you that sinking feeling in your stomach when you hear it.

    I genuinely think that the club crowds have gotten worse, that they feel they have a right to shout abuse at you, sometimes its hard ignore it when they are literally 6 feet away from you, its something thats creeping in more and more and its really beginning to leave its mark on the game.

    The average journey for me is a 2 hour round trip, shortest is an hour longest is 3 1/2hours, I ref to a J1A level and I worked hard to get to that level and to remain at that level, so its not something that I/we take lightly.

    The drop out rate on new refs is high and many of the older refs are packing it in earlier and one of the reasons is abuse, one ref told me he cant bring any of his family to the games anymore as they just get upset with the bile thats directed at him while hes out there.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,742 ✭✭✭ c.p.w.g.w


    Don't think it's helped by the rules.

    Watched the Munster & Leinster games at the weekend. It was like both referees had different rule books.

    The breakdown is one of the messiest areas along with scrum time


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    Shelflife wrote: »
    Seems to me that its getting worse.

    A friend of mine reffing a game today was roared at that he was Fu#king useless and hadnt a clue ! The same ref is a very good ref and highly thought of by his peers.

    What possesses people to think that they can hurl abuse constantly at volunteers who travel long distances and give of their time freely.

    Would you should something like that at one of your own players? or an opposition player? or one of the coaches:cool:?

    Im a ref myself and was being assessed a few weeks ago, after the game He told me I had a good game and was very happy with my performance. He said he couldnt believe the abuse being hurled in my direction and he said in every case I had got the decision right and he said he knew a lot of these people were long time rugby supporters of the club.

    Im not talking about ahh cmon ref theyre offside or YC ref ! Im talking about when they call you a cheat (ref bothsides Ref) or your fu#kn useless. When youre getting that in every game from both sets of supporters it does wear you down. Of course they never say it to you in the clubhouse afterwards only happy to shout it from the safety of the crowd.

    So what is it that makes people think that just because your a ref that they can hurl abuse at you and its acceptable ?
    Is happening a bit more than before.
    I think we as refs need to report more on it. Match reports to include specific sections about abuse..

    I dont think we can say it's people new to sport who dont exactly know traditions of rugby because plenty of abuse comes from people with long involvement in the sport.
    molloyjh wrote: »
    They arent thinking. Thats the problem. They are far too engrossed in the game and involved in it to see it rationally. The lack of thought continues on after the abuse is uttered. I guarantee you most dont really remember any if what they said. Heat of the moment with absolutely no self awareness. It's awful to listen to even as a spectator.
    it needs people within clubs/schools wherever to challenge their own members to an extent and
    I'm not sure if reffing is for you if you are surprised that this occurs. I completely disagree with it but, unfortunately, it is very common place.
    I am surprised to see this posted in the rugby forum as I understood that there still largely was respect for the ref in that sport.

    People become illogical with subjective bias depending on how their team is doing or what is riding on the game, or parents who are especially keen that their child is successful so as to gain opportunities with more senior or country teams.

    Be thankful though that they don't say it in the clubhouse, in GAA and soccer there have been stories of amateur referees being attacked and assaulted after games.
    that's nonsense and I've seen shelf life ref and they're excellent ref....
    I dont see wht it should be a surprise this is in the rugby forum. It happens in rugby just much much less than in other sports.
    Most of the time it's some clown on the sideline.

    It's the same across all sports these days. There's always some muppet on the sidelines who for some reason gets a kick out of screaming abuse at the ref, and the scary thing is it happens quite often at underage games too.
    ref abuse happens more at underage as refs in general will be newer and less experienced so more likely to make mistakes.
    PCeeeee wrote: »
    I played both soccer and Gaelic. From what I've seen of rugby both amateur and pro ye are light years ahead. Some of the reffing in the two aforementioned sports is diabolical which is no excuse for the abuse.

    But it's a vicious circle. Competent, interested, knowledgeable people will just not volunteer their time to be disrespected and abused (by morons most of the time). Leading to worse and worse officiating.

    Rugby, rightly, is lauded for the respect shown to officials. If grassroots rugby people feel that's changing then please do something about it now.

    Just a view from the outside.
    It has got slightly worse but respect still there from vast vast majority
    I wouldnt call reffing in other sports diabolical but level of on going training they receive isnt a patch on rugby. Refs in rugby who are full association members get monthly meetings on the laws from a ref who's officiated at the very top levels of the sport. Get regular assessments/games where they are coached by experienced ref who will give them advice on what theyve been doing well and what they need to improve on.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,961 ✭✭✭✭ Shefwedfan


    People are gobs**ts

    If you turned around and walked up to them 99% of them would turn on their heel and walk away....problem is 1% are also lunatics as well as gobsh**ts

    Really unless other people in the crowd turn around and tell them to shut up it will continue

    People grow up watching ref get abuse, think its funny and do it. Like the US soccer fans trying to have a riot and shouting abuse at each other in English accents.....idiots


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,473 ✭✭✭✭ Tell me how


    that's nonsense and I've seen shelf life ref and they're excellent ref....
    I dont see wht it should be a surprise this is in the rugby forum. It happens in rugby just much much less than in other sports.

    Oh, I take it all back then......

    You're definitely a fair and impartial observer. Whether or not they truly are an excellent ref has no bearing on my point. Shelf life responded to it more appropriately.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,419 ✭✭✭ evil_seed


    c.p.w.g.w wrote: »
    Don't think it's helped by the rules.

    Watched the Munster & Leinster games at the weekend. It was like both referees had different rule books.

    The breakdown is one of the messiest areas along with scrum time

    1. Laws not rules.
    2. You're point is very valid. The refs are allowed their own interpretation of the laws. Which is daft as it's all there in black and white.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,062 ✭✭✭ Shelflife


    evil_seed wrote: »
    1. Laws not rules.
    2. You're point is very valid. The refs are allowed their own interpretation of the laws. Which is daft as it's all there in black and white.

    With respect , I understand your the point your making. That still doesn’t give anyone the right to shout abuse at a referee. I’m not talking about the professional game here, I’m talking about volunteers who give up their whole day nearly to facilitate a game between two clubs.

    Btw just because you don’t get the decision you wanted, doesn’t mean that the decision is wrong.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators, Regional West Moderators Posts: 6,715 Mod ✭✭✭✭ connemara man


    It is getting worse TBH people are going after the person not the decision.

    It doesn't matter what level hurling personal abuse at a ref isn't in IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,880 ✭✭✭ kooga


    is your friend a member of a society or association e.g. ARLB, MAR etc.

    If so for future reference get the persons details and fill in a ref abuse form and forward to Local hon secretary for warding to the branch


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,062 ✭✭✭ Shelflife


    kooga wrote: »
    is your friend a member of a society or association e.g. ARLB, MAR etc.

    If so for future reference get the persons details and fill in a ref abuse form and forward to Local hon secretary for warding to the branch

    Both of us are members, the problem is youre not going to know the name of the few individuals that are hurling abuse at you. Clubs need to step up and do more than put up a sign saying respect the officials .


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    For me, it has to come from clubs. There have been a few I've heard of who have pledged to do something about it and half stuck to it.

    There needs to be accountability. Coaches report it to committees and to presidents and sanction those who do it. I know it sounds wishy washy in principal but there are clubs out there who are serious about refs not getting abuse


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,046 ✭✭✭ arsebiscuits1


    Side note.

    I played a game a few years back and the poor ref totally lost control of it. Neither team did themselves much favours but they were riled up by a pretty rowdy crowd on the touch line. A load of guys came down and were having drinks on the touch line.

    Nothing overly bad was said that I heard but it clearly got the ref. He penalised the home team for something their supporters said on the touchline.

    Coach asked for clarity and the ref was adamant that until he got the supporters (about 40 of them) to be quiet he would continue to penalise the home team. I felt bad for the ref. But it was strange logic


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,067 ✭✭✭ ClanofLams


    Outright abuse is still relatively rare, as far as I can see, though has increased from being non existent, but the amount of one eyed supporters who dispute literally every call the referee makes against their team is increasing and very annoying. It’s worse at pro games but has even seeped into club scene.


  • Registered Users Posts: 847 ✭✭✭ vintagecosmos


    I was playing junior rugby in a club in Wicklow a few years ago. The ref was abused constantly on the sideline by the home team. Awful derogatory and rude slurs for 80min. As the visiting team we felt terrible for him. And to make it worse, his wife and child had come out to watch him ref and had to listen to him been called a "c*nt" for 80 mins. Disgusting stuff.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    I was playing junior rugby in a club in Wicklow a few years ago. The ref was abused constantly on the sideline by the home team. Awful derogatory and rude slurs for 80min. As the visiting team we felt terrible for him. And to make it worse, his wife and child had come out to watch him ref and had to listen to him been called a "c*nt" for 80 mins. Disgusting stuff.

    They're not known for their respect for referees in Wicklow. He could count himself lucky he wasn't put in the boot of a car! :rolleyes: :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,731 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins


    Shelflife wrote: »
    Seems to me that its getting worse.

    A friend of mine reffing a game today was roared at that he was Fu#king useless and hadnt a clue ! The same ref is a very good ref and highly thought of by his peers.

    What possesses people to think that they can hurl abuse constantly at volunteers who travel long distances and give of their time freely.

    Would you should something like that at one of your own players ? or an opposition player ? or one of the coaches ?

    Im a ref myself and was being assessed a few weeks ago, after the game He told me I had a good game and was very happy with my performance. He said he couldnt believe the abuse being hurled in my direction and he said in every case I had got the decision right and he said he knew a lot of these people were long time rugby supporters of the club.

    Im not talking about ahh cmon ref theyre offside or YC ref ! Im talking about when they call you a cheat (ref bothsides Ref) or your fu#kn useless. When youre getting that in every game from both sets of supporters it does wear you down. Of course they never say it to you in the clubhouse afterwards only happy to shout it from the safety of the crowd.

    So what is it that makes people think that just because your a ref that they can hurl abuse at you and its acceptable ?
    I am also a Ref.
    Firstly, I am very sorry to hear you had bad experiences. You should report them back up to the branch and they will follow up and resolve.

    Secondly, you are right to differentiate between the different types of verbals. There are some stupid ones which you can just tune out of and others which you should not have to take. So, if it is bad, stop the game and tell the offender they have to leave the ground.

    Thirdly, there are lots of people who will help you here. Get on to your area rep and some more senior refs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,162 ✭✭✭✭ KKV


    I'm not a sports person at all. Mostly a bit of WWE I'd watch, but never really took an interest in 'real' sports. Have wandered into this thread from the main page of boards.

    But I'm curious,
    So, if it is bad, stop the game and tell the offender they have to leave the ground.

    Can you do that?

    Surely if you can eject the person from the grounds, then that would be swift enough reason to prevent this from happening? Nobody will want to be seen as 'the one that had the game stopped until he left'?


    I'd assume that part of the issue is that the ref is involved in watching the game, and moves around the field a lot, so if I shout something abusive at you, it's probably very tough to actually pinpoint that it was me that said it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,967 ✭✭✭✭ The Lost Sheep


    I am also a Ref.
    Firstly, I am very sorry to hear you had bad experiences. You should report them back up to the branch and they will follow up and resolve.

    Secondly, you are right to differentiate between the different types of verbals. There are some stupid ones which you can just tune out of and others which you should not have to take. So, if it is bad, stop the game and tell the offender they have to leave the ground.

    Thirdly, there are lots of people who will help you here. Get on to your area rep and some more senior refs.
    Tim not everyone has an area rep. They dont exist in most provinces but if bad enough it should be going straight to provincial level.
    The laws cover the playing enclosure etc and while you can ask for name of someone giving you abuse where exactly does it state you can ask then to leave the ground as without any powers to do anything like that it's fairly easy to figure out what kind of response you will get if you try that


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,731 ✭✭✭ Tim Robbins


    KKV wrote: »
    I'd assume that part of the issue is that the ref is involved in watching the game, and moves around the field a lot, so if I shout something abusive at you, it's probably very tough to actually pinpoint that it was me that said it?
    After a while when you nail the basics of reffing, things become easier to spot and knowing what to do is a bit easier. It becomes more enjoyable and addictive.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    Tim not everyone has an area rep. They dont exist in most provinces but if bad enough it should be going straight to provincial level.
    The laws cover the playing enclosure etc and while you can ask for name of someone giving you abuse where exactly does it state you can ask then to leave the ground as without any powers to do anything like that it's fairly easy to figure out what kind of response you will get if you try that

    You might not have power to do that, but if I was still refereeing and got serious abuse I would seriously consider stopping the game until the offender was asked to stop or leave by his own team's coach/manager. The embarrassment alone of that would shut most people up. If the abuse continued I would seriously consider blowing up the game and refusing to continue. You're giving up your time to provide a service to the teams, you don't have to accept abuse as part of that.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,899 ✭✭✭✭ BBDBB


    Interesting debate so far, I agree with much of whats already been said

    Can I also offer an opinion that its also down to the behaviour that goes on at the senior levels. I believe Ive noticed more and more players chirping in, demanding decisions of the ref (YC, penalty etc) and ignoring the requests to "go away" and leave the ref to chat to his touch judge. These are only minor things but they all suggest an erosion of the respect for the officials that has crept into the game, especially since the advent of professionalism.

    Add to that the increasing popularity of the game, which means bigger, partisan crowds who feel more able to voice their dissenting views when they are amongst a big crowd. When those fans attend the smaller amateur matches some of them think its ok to carry on and abuse the ref there too.

    If Im correct with the above I think the solution also has to come from the top of the game
    Players need to be sanctioned earlier with the 10 metre march back, which rarely happens these days. I also urge that the time to do it is now before the standards of whats acceptable drift even further


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