Making junior rugby league games in Ipswich safer and more friendly for the kids.
Making junior rugby league games in Ipswich safer and more friendly for the kids. File photo

Zero tolerance on abuse

THE Ipswich Junior Rugby League (IJRL) has agreed on tough new measures to deal with out of control players and spectators at games.

The IJRL committee met on Wednesday night and decided to pass laws that enable referees to abandon games or deregister players if they, or their family members, prove to be repeat offenders.

IJRL operations manager Caitlin Boyd said the model was based on one adopted by the South Sydney Junior Rugby League and comes in the wake of the bashing of a man at a junior rugby league game in Sydney last weekend.

The measures were agreed upon unanimously by the 10 clubs that attended Wednesday's meeting.

“We have voted to introduce this policy where the game will not continue if there is a breach of the code of conduct, such as abuse of referees from players or other spectators,” Boyd said.

“There will be zero tolerance of abusive language, disputing the decision of a touch judge or ref.

“The person responsible will be asked to leave, if they don't the match will be terminated.”

They will then be charged as per normal by the IJRL judiciary and if guilty banned from games.

In extreme cases the child involved can now be deregistered from the competition.

“It empowers referees to stop a game or terminate it if needs be,” Boyd said.

“Unfortunately parents can get emotionally involved in games.”

Boyd admitted that children could lose out if their parents were guilty of poor behaviour at games, but said that would only happen in extreme cases.

“It probably is a little harsh on the kids,” she said.

“But we have seen that it tends to be the same ones over and over.

“The provisions are not in our by-laws now.

“We've banned some families for up to five years but we find them still turning up to games.

“The main thing is that we do now have that course of action available and the ability to terminate games.”

There have been some incidents in the IJRL this year that have prompted stronger action but Boyd admits that incidents outside Ipswich have influenced the IJRL's pro-active approach.


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