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costa

My husband refereed a Super League game tonight and was abused

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Start with the coaches. Every time a coach goes into print or on T.V. complaining about the Ref. fine him a couple of thousand pounds.It will soon stop. Any supporters like the idiot on this site from Wakefield,the club should find him and ban him for life from entering their ground. I believe Wakey have done just that this last couple of weeks with unruly speccies. Find this idiot and do the same with him.

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I can’t believe some of the comments on here.

Do refs make a mistake, yes

Is it intentional, definitely no

Are they closer to the action than the crowd and have a better view, yes

Do they know the rules better than the crowd, yes

Some folks on here need to have a go at being a ref themselves. Leave them alone they’re doing a great job.

 

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Various posts (and one poster) removed for personal abuse. Somewhat ironic considering the point of the thread.

We won't put up with it on here, whether it is aimed at a referee, a player, an official or another forum member.

Thread reopened, as it is a very valid discussion.

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We live in a world where fly on the wall documentaries and reality TV shows of people behaving appallingly is entertainment.

I don't think that there is that much more anti social behaviour than there was say 20 or 30 years ago (if any) but it is normalised more with people now just accepting it as a part of life.

As for our referees... at all layers of the game. A big thank you for what you do and what you have to put up with at times, I wouldn't blame anybody them for giving it up but I sincerely hope you don't.

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I’m not sure I’ve posted this previously, but I was in the Carnegie terrace a couple of years ago and there was a woman stood behind me hurling abuse incessantly during the first half, both at the ref and opposition players. After enduring this for about 10 minutes, I politely turned around and asked if she would mind her language because there were young children around. She proceeded to goad and make snide remarks at me during the rest of the half. I didn’t react but chose to stand elsewhere in the second half. 

It’s clearly a societal issue and it requires the leadership from the top - RFL, clubs and coaches to deliver this message of respect and so far it has been far too ineffective. What will it take for people to take notice? Will it take a Caroline Flack moment of one of our officials? I sincerely hope we can address this before it gets to that stage. We should be encouraging officials to join the game and I’m worried about the stock of refs we have. We can I’ll afford ones to walk away from the game for these reasons

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One of the best things I did for myself was to stop attending Cas games regularly (who were challenging for the top 4, finals etc) and head to my local club York City Knights (who at the time were mid level League 1 and about to be made homeless).

I went from being a staunch Cas fan thinking every ref hated us, the RFL wanted us out etc etc, to being able to attend York matches as a bit more of a neutral - sure, I still want York to win but I’m able to be a bit more balanced at games now. I’ve been to about 100 York games and there’s only 1 match (vs Barrow in the Challenge Cup in 2017) whereby I think the official had a huge bearing on the result.

But I see it in the diehard York fans now. I remember one ‘gob on legs’ York fan arguing with me at Odsal in 2018 because York weren’t awarded a 40/20 - York had kicked from just inside their own half but that fan was adamant it was a 40/20, even though they agreed with where the player had kicked it from. Another had a bee in his bonnet cos York weren’t allowed a quick tap - there were 2 balls on the pitch. Some people you just can’t reach.

Last night I watched Warrington vs Castleford, Rob Hicks the referee (original poster - not sure if he is your husband. I thought he handled the game very well). I’ve seen Rob a few times as a spectator at Batley games with I assume his young son which I think is great, and I know he had death threats against him last season. Last night I really wanted Cas to win, no doubt about it, but I thought he handled the game well. It looked a possible forward pass in the build up for the Wire try but on the flip side I thought Cas got away with a lot of holding down, a different ref might’ve sin binned a Tigers player. This morning I’ve read a few Cas Facebook groups, it’s full of people calling him a cheat etc. Just not deserved. 

Maybe it also helps that I’ve been a touch judge at a handful of amateur matches and it’s tough. 

Edited by AB Knight
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2 hours ago, The Hallucinating Goose said:

 

I've had people sit round me before giving it all that and how the stewards haven't heard is beyond me. It makes me wonder if the stewards do hear it all and are a bit afraid to get involved for fear of being attacked themselves which I can understand. 

I think that is the case. I’ve witnessed racism at just one game since I started watching the sport in 1995, a group of idiots aiming monkey chants at a player (who ironically joined that club a couple of years later). It was reported to the stewards straightaway who came over and almost apologetically told them to quieten down. 

We either need to police things better and clubs will have to shell out for police presence and/or bouncers. Or we make the punishment so severe (10 year ban from the sport for example) that people won’t risk shouting abuse. 

Right now we are doing neither, it reminds me of the mobile phone while driving situation - people are still driving around with a phone to their ear, look at when a car is sat waiting at traffic lights and the driver is more often than not looking between their legs, texting. Why do they risk it? Because it’s, what, a couple of hundred quid fine and a handful of points? Plus the chances of being caught are low.

Change the punishment so that if caught you instantly lose your licence for 5 years, and/or your car is crushed and only the most idiotic would risk it.

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2 hours ago, fairfolly said:

Start with the coaches. Every time a coach goes into print or on T.V. complaining about the Ref. fine him a couple of thousand pounds.It will soon stop. Any supporters like the idiot on this site from Wakefield,the club should find him and ban him for life from entering their ground. I believe Wakey have done just that this last couple of weeks with unruly speccies. Find this idiot and do the same with him.

Do you mind me asking which idiot you are referring to?  Apologies if I missed a deleted post but am assuming you meant me. In which case, can you explain clearly why you think I should be banned.  

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2 hours ago, fairfolly said:

Start with the coaches. Every time a coach goes into print or on T.V. complaining about the Ref. fine him a couple of thousand pounds.It will soon stop. Any supporters like the idiot on this site from Wakefield,the club should find him and ban him for life from entering their ground. I believe Wakey have done just that this last couple of weeks with unruly speccies. Find this idiot and do the same with him.

It's the coaches who coach their players to to be offside to get an advantage.

It's the coaches who encourage their players to slow down their opponents play the ball.

The ref is only following the laws of the game its just sad that some coaches are not aware of them or ignore them.

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12 hours ago, costa said:

Tonight I went to watch my other half officiate at a SL fixture (I shan't say which one). 

From minute 1 to 80 he was called all the names under the sun, in front of our little boy and girl. 

Is this really the state of our game? 

I don't know the rules as well as he does  but to me it looked like a really exciting game with drama right until the end. We were on our feet for the entire match, and so was everyone around us. 

But as soon as he got in the car I knew something was up. 

It's getting to him: homophobic language, paedophile allegations and being called a bent cheat. 

Why should he put up with it? 

Why should I? 

Why should our kids? 

 

The 'rugby league family' is something we like to talk about when Rob Burrow falls ill, but go to any top level game and you will witness something completely different.

I hardly ever go now: I just get into arguments. 

 

The absolute state of our game. 

You can always say to them morons that the RFL are always looking for match day officials and it wont take these morons wrong to climb the refs ladder as they already know the laws of the game.

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It's sad to see a thread like this, even more so because of the fact it's not remotely surprising.

The only thing I disagree with really is a number of previous comments that I need to be a referee to have a valid opinion on their performance. I've tried refereeing (albeit football) and it sucked. I was terrible at it, couldn't keep up with what was going on, players claiming fouls every two seconds and challenging even the most obvious decisions with volleys of abuse and bad language. And that was a charity six-a-side match.

But I don't need to be a referee to see and call out where they make, in my opinion, a number of mistakes and perform poorly. Sure we can accept that mistakes are part and parcel of being human but we're entitled to demand better performances - as I'm sure they demand of themselves as professionals.

The same goes for coaches and players. I don't need to be a coach to know that Woolf playing Morgan Knowles at centre for 65 minutes last night with an actual centre on the bench was up there with the most ridiculous tactical decisions I've seen in many years. I don't need to be a player to see where they're missing tackles and conceding penalties. Frankly I pay their wages so I'm entitled to an opinion on all of their performances whether offering praise or criticising.

Do I do that by hurling personal abuse at them? Well no, because I'm not a moron. But sadly our grounds, and in fact much of society, are populated by many such morons and it needs stamping out because if we drive those people out of the sport then we won't have a sport left. The players and clubs (my own included) need to be the start of that. Both of those have official routes to question elements of performance and/or air grievances and shouldn't ever be resorting to public criticism or abuse. Most clubs seem to have lost sight of that in one way or another over the years and that ultimately extends to the fans and threads like this.

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Rugby League is not inclusive at all. Many fans like to take a pious position and pretend it is but it isn't. It's got a fairly thick streak of bigoted nastiness running right through it which has always been the major underlying reason the game has failed to grow. 

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30 minutes ago, north yorks trinity said:

Do you mind me asking which idiot you are referring to?  Apologies if I missed a deleted post but am assuming you meant me. In which case, can you explain clearly why you think I should be banned.  

I think he was referring to suggy (gingdong) who posted earlier and has had his posts removed and is now banned......

No-one on here will know the irony of this. It made me chuckle and grimace at the same time.

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1 minute ago, RMBJ said:

Rugby League is not inclusive at all. Many fans like to take a pious position and pretend it is but it isn't. It's got a fairly thick streak of bigoted nastiness running right through it which has always been the major underlying reason the game has failed to grow. 

I see evidence of this regularly at every rugby league ground. Just have a gander at facebook banter pages....

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In 2015, a 27 year old referee Chris Leatherbarrow committed suicide. Media reports suggested he had no history of mental health problems.

We do not know if abuse in his job contributed to his death. I hoped at the time that this would help spark a wider conversation.

Maybe those who tell obscence abuse would think about the person behind the jersey. Maybe those who champion mental health causes would think how their comments may impact the mental health of referees. Sadly it has not happened.

I was also at a match last night, St Helens vs Huddersfield. The perception by some was that Saints had some calls against them.

Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. But even if the calls were wrong, it did not excuse the abuse I heard. Even in the event that decisions are made that are below a competent standard, it would not excuse what I heard.

Reading this thread, it has made me think whether I should have turned around and said something. I didn't. I didn't because I didn't want a confrontation or the abuse to turn on me. I don't want to go to a game and sit near people who I have argued with.

Equally I don't want my experience at the game to be worsened, which is perhaps selfish. The worst thing is, I don't sit in a particularly vocal part of the ground. In other parts of the ground, I anticipate the abuse would have been far worse.

I don't know the answer (aside from a withdrawal of labour) or what is best to help. I do however hope that some reading this thread may think on next time they are at a game. And of course that the referee is question is doing ok.

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I don't go to as many live games as I used to now, but when I do I have noticed the pack mentality that is now part of society has increased the abuse of officials and players. You used to get the odd bloke who would berate a ref at every opportunity but it was so obvious that they hadn't a clue that the rest of the crowd ignored them, now foul language is a everyday part of life for some be it with their kids, partner, or shouted out loud in public. I swear regularly but there are times when I wouldn't or think better of it but to many that's a alien concept.

As said if you watch a game as a neutral the refs part in it is very little, they make mistakes, not as many as player's do, but so do I and I don't believe you if you say you don't either. Before the advent of the video ref, it was true to say they didn't change their minds so you just got on with it, now player's and crowd's want every decision reviewing even those that don't come under the system.

I have long thought that every player whilst a junior with a club should have to take and pass a referees course before they can be registered, it might even encourage some of those who don't make it to take it up later which would be a good thing.

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The RFL can`t do much about wider society, but they could make more effort to explain the rules and how best to apply them. The referees themselves are the best people to publicly do this. There is a part of refereeing which is about accuracy, right or wrong calls. The other part is a subjective application of the rules in the best interests of the game. This latter part is open to opinion, civilised disagreement and is more subtle in RL than Soccer. In relation to right or wrong calls our refs achieve a higher level of accuracy than most of us watching do. You know this from TV games where frequently you see something in real time, think the ref got it wrong, then watch the replay, and realise you got it wrong.

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6 minutes ago, unapologetic pedant said:

The RFL can`t do much about wider society, but they could make more effort to explain the rules and how best to apply them. The referees themselves are the best people to publicly do this. There is a part of refereeing which is about accuracy, right or wrong calls. The other part is a subjective application of the rules in the best interests of the game. This latter part is open to opinion, civilised disagreement and is more subtle in RL than Soccer. In relation to right or wrong calls our refs achieve a higher level of accuracy than most of us watching do. You know this from TV games where frequently you see something in real time, think the ref got it wrong, then watch the replay, and realise you got it wrong.

Some coaches need to know the rules as well.

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As I have said in a few other threads, we have placed our referees in an awful position by asking them not to apply the laws of the game any more but make some kind of subjective call on what they are prepared to tolerate. How on earth can we put them in this position and then expect everyone to agree with their calls... particularly those partisan fans on the terraces.

The people who could make the biggest difference here is the coaches and players (and club officials if they are vocal) by actually crediting the referees for their performances and not treating them like some kind of common enemy.

I realise this is unlikely in the modern world but it would be nice.

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13 hours ago, north yorks trinity said:

Really sorry to hear that. Personal abuse is totally indefensible.  Don't know which game you were at but James Child had an absolute stinker in the first half at Wakefield tonight and does seem to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder about Wakey.  I'm quite happy to admit that I was making it clear what I thought about his refereeing and I think that's part and parcel of the game but if it got into the realms of what you allege then it absolutely needs rooting out.  A bit of video footage shouldn't be hard to obtain these days and then the idiots can be dealt with.  ATEOD I'm still really disappointed in both the result and some of the officiating but it's a game and there are things in life which are much more important, or if you think there aren't you should be taking a good look at yourself.

It’s this type of male genitals that typifies what the original poster was talking about.

If you really think that a particular referee has a problem with your club, you are either thicker than canteen custard or you need medical help.

Get a grip of yourself.

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Have to wonder whether video technology has made this worse over the past 20 years. If people are compulsively obsessing over tiny things, spending minutes gawping at a big screen trying to detect from multiple angles whether a ball brushed against the top of someone`s fingernail etc, is not likely to cure the sickness.

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1 hour ago, unapologetic pedant said:

Have to wonder whether video technology has made this worse over the past 20 years. If people are compulsively obsessing over tiny things, spending minutes gawping at a big screen trying to detect from multiple angles whether a ball brushed against the top of someone`s fingernail etc, is not likely to cure the sickness.

In my opinion it has.

The justification you hear when every sport adds in video technology to their officiating is 'we know this in intrusive on the game and takes time etc but it is worth it to get the decisions right'. 

The implications of this mentality is that the decisions the officials make are the most important factor in the outcome of the game and so every decision and every performance is scrutinised. Every mistake a ref makes is highlighted and repeated ad nauseam. 

If we removed all technology from officiating in all sports we may see some wrong decisions given but the best players and best teams would still win the leagues and the tournaments.

And who knows, we may even enjoy it more.

Edited by Dunbar

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2 minutes ago, Jim Prendle said:

If you really think that a particular referee has a problem with your club, you are either thicker than canteen custard or you need medical help.

Don't know if he does or not but it appears that way at times; why do you feel it couldn't be possible? 

Saying he has a chip on his shoulder may have been clumsy as it could be that as he was born in Wakefield, he subconsciously ensures he doesn't appear biased toward them.  Of course it could be my perception that's utterly wrong too and it could be random chance that we have a win rate with James Child of under 10% compared to our average of around 37% over the last 5 years.  (I'm using other people's statistics regarding the matches which Child has officiated.  You'll have to trust me that I'm not so sad as to keep these figures myself!)

However, if what you imply is true that no referee would ever be more beneficial to one side or the other, why do so many otherwise reasonable people argue for neutral referees for internationals?

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36 minutes ago, north yorks trinity said:

Don't know if he does or not but it appears that way at times; why do you feel it couldn't be possible? 

Saying he has a chip on his shoulder may have been clumsy as it could be that as he was born in Wakefield, he subconsciously ensures he doesn't appear biased toward them.  Of course it could be my perception that's utterly wrong too and it could be random chance that we have a win rate with James Child of under 10% compared to our average of around 37% over the last 5 years.  (I'm using other people's statistics regarding the matches which Child has officiated.  You'll have to trust me that I'm not so sad as to keep these figures myself!)

However, if what you imply is true that no referee would ever be more beneficial to one side or the other, why do so many otherwise reasonable people argue for neutral referees for internationals?

To assuage unfounded cynical perceptions.

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North Yorks,

             If you are the poster who said having a go at the Ref. was part and parcel of the game and that a Ref had a chip on his shoulder about Wakefield then ,Yes, it was aimed at you. As far as I am concerned having a go at the Ref. every time a decision goes against your team,in your opinion he was wrong,when in all probability he was right,then in my opinion it is not part of the game.Referees give what they see is the correct decision,the name of the team he is penalising does not come into it.Of course they make mistakes,tell me anybody that does not.Next time you think a Ref. has given a wrong decision against your team, stop and think for a few seconds and think wait a minute two minutes ago he gave a penalty to us that was unjustified. You will find over the season wrongs and rights seem to even themselves out.

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