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Many on here are ready and willing to criticise match officials yet do we all realise that there is a crisis brewing in terms of availability? What can be done to improve matters?

The referee drain: does rugby league have a match officials crisis? | Love Rugby League

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Sport, amongst other things, is a dream-world offering escape from harsh reality and the disturbing prospect of change.

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6 hours ago, Blind side johnny said:

Many on here are ready and willing to criticise match officials yet do we all realise that there is a crisis brewing in terms of availability? What can be done to improve matters?

The referee drain: does rugby league have a match officials crisis? | Love Rugby League

I think this has been slowly happening for quite while now and perhaps it's great opportunity for those who for various reasons don't play the game anymore to get involved again

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1 minute ago, The Future is League said:

I think this has been slowly happening for quite while now and perhaps it's great opportunity for those who for various reasons don't play the game anymore to get involved again

Referees are subjected to huge abuse now, I think an ex-player would be subjected to far worse levels from "fans". The "He always hated us and cheated when we played them" brigade would have an absolute field day.

I am amazed so many referees stick at as long as they do, I admire them all for it.

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When i go to games I made a promise starting at the 2019 season which has continued that as a fan if I used any bad language regardless of who it was aimed at I would donate money to the oppositions community foundation charity. That included any displays of disputing any decision made by a referee and only offering positive feedback. Since I have adapted that to going to York games I havent yet donated any money and found that I have actually enjoyed the matchday experience alot more. The sub title I gave it too was although kids might pick up bad language from elsewhere we don't want them to be picking it up from York fans on the terraces. 

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5 minutes ago, Harrogate Fire Ants said:

On a separate note of more referees when academy's are playing again are they refereed by younger refs do we know or are there not enough to go around in general? 

They will be refereed by the Grade 2 and 3 officials

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8 hours ago, Blind side johnny said:

Many on here are ready and willing to criticise match officials yet do we all realise that there is a crisis brewing in terms of availability? What can be done to improve matters?

The referee drain: does rugby league have a match officials crisis? | Love Rugby League

Give them some proper leadership might be a good starting point. There was an excellent structure in place under the previous Head of who along with his support staff had decent man management skills which, in my opinion, the current incumbent lacks

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2 hours ago, Mr Frisky said:

Pay them a decent wage.

Any idea what they earn? I couldn’t even hazard a guess, though I expect it’s pitifully low compared to their training and skill. 

Edited by Eddie
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I suspect, but can't prove that the problem starts way before and below the pro ranks. One hears stories of refs in the amateur games being abused etc. Why would anyone want to be a ref if that is commonplace?

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Four legs good - two legs bad

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29 minutes ago, JohnM said:

I suspect, but can't prove that the problem starts way before and below the pro ranks. One hears stories of refs in the amateur games being abused etc. Why would anyone want to be a ref if that is commonplace?

I often think that about football refs too, a thankless task. 

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38 minutes ago, M j M said:

A few years ago I think I saw it was £60k a year.

The top premier league football refs get about £70k, I can’t imagine RL refs would get anywhere near that?
 

Let’s hope that unlike football refs, their annual pay isn’t approximately one week of an average player in the league’s salary though. 

Edited by Eddie
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Refs are generally a pretty thick skinned bunch though, I think being out there in such a position of authority, literally making tough decisions in rapid succession, and having them followed would reinforce the authoritarian streak that I think that most referees naturally have, especially the ones that work their way up the ranks. I think if you didn`t have that streak you would quickly find it wasn`t for you.

If there is a decline in refereeing numbers, and we have the same problem over here, there was a plea on our local TV two nights ago by our Group President for more officials, I think the problem lies more in the fact that people have other things to do on weekends and perhaps are also unaware of the remuneration available.

As our Group President said they have just relied on the same blokes for year after year and all of a sudden now have been caught out by a lot retiring at once, I think the covid thing has done that to a lot of people, it has disrupted their routine, there has been a similar situation with playing numbers. 

 I think with a decent campaign amongst junior playing ranks could quickly refill the ranks, however in the meantime I`m not quite so sure what they can do, perhaps coax a few of the older blokes to go around again.

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2 hours ago, JohnM said:

I suspect, but can't prove that the problem starts way before and below the pro ranks. One hears stories of refs in the amateur games being abused etc. Why would anyone want to be a ref if that is commonplace?

You should hear the abuse Referees get in junior games from the parents. It is disgraceful, and sometimes they are only teenagers as well.

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Several years ago, I was behind the posts at a Wakefield v Featherstone game, and the Linesman was getting abuse from both sets of spectators as he checked the post protectors were secure. The game hadn't even kicked off!

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4 hours ago, Gooleboy said:

You should hear the abuse Referees get in junior games from the parents. It is disgraceful, and sometimes they are only teenagers as well.

I saw a referee getting a real sustained mouthful at a junior level game a few years ago so I approached him at full-time to apologise and to thank him, he turned to me and said he couldn`t give a f*#k and as long as he got paid. What surprised me was that he was a lot bigger up close than he looked out on the field, and he was real riled up, I don`t think too many of the tough guys in the crowd were so brave when he was up close. Still it shouldn`t be like that, unfortunately that`s the type of crowd League attracts all too often, although it is important to remember they are in a minority, well here anyway.

 

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10 hours ago, M j M said:

A few years ago I think I saw it was £60k a year.

It was about £30k when the first full timers started and I don’t think it is anywhere near £60k now

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Like I've said before, try being a ref when your  a pom..You would not know what abuse is. But it's a great to take it up and I always enjoyed it.

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Bring back silverwood,he dident take no nonsense,and it would get leeds off to a good start too.:kolobok_good: a few ex traffic wardens on here could do a decent job too for sure.

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11 hours ago, M j M said:

A few years ago I think I saw it was £60k a year.

I can’t see the figure been that high, plenty of Super League players earn less. 

The biggest problem for both recruiting and retaining match officials without doubt is the abuse they face, be it at Super League, Championship, Amateur or even Junior rugby league. If we put a stop to and have a zero tolerance attitude to verbally abusing referees the match officials crisis would soon sort itself out at all levels.

Edited by Sir Kevin Sinfield
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I seem to remember that Karl Kirkpatrick declined the opportunity to go full time when the idea was first floated, as he earned more from his day job in financial services. He seemed to be "managed out" of Super League refereeing not long after - presumably the RFL didn't want him undermining the idea that full-time officials wouldn't necessarily make better referees. 

I'd suspect that even if the salary at Super League level is on the low side, the issue is probably further down the chain. Even at amateur level and semi-pro, it's a lot of abuse and a lot of weekends given up for what is, I suspect, mostly beer money-levels of pay. No wonder we don't have a lot of people wanting to start that journey. 

Edited by whatmichaelsays
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