Refereeing nightmares

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Refereeing nightmares

Post by Fanster on Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:54 pm

I thought i'd start a thread about nightmare stories you've either witnessed or heard of.

In the wake of Poite getting acosted almost, I think it's an apt time to share how bad fans can be, and maybe restore a bit of respect to refs who have to do a really difficult job.

I'll start the ball rolling, with a personal experience as a ref, and as a coach...

While reffing an U23 v O30 charity match about 3 seasons ago, a kick went high into the opponents 22 where the FB caught the ball after a reasonable juggle, called mark and froze. The chasing player flew in at 100mph and made a huge dominant hit, which caused the ball to fall forward, but more importantly the FB to jump up swinging at the tackler. After about 2 mins of everyone rushing in, I had to explain that a mark can only be called from a direct catch, and that the juggle meant he couldn't mark (The incident happened so quickly I barely had chance to shout 'No mark'. As I proceded to red card the player who delivered 3/4 punches to the head of the tackler, the initial tackler (who had been treated for his bloodied face) stormed up to where I was standing and screamed at the red carded player 'You can't mark if you juggle the ball, I'm a ref you stupid Black see you next tuesday', and 'Have you red carded him yet for Frak sake, what are you waiting for you Tinkywinky' (I had already shown the card and was explaining to captain).
Which meant once FB had left the field I had no option but to red card the tackler due to his language and behaviour. (He took it surprisingly well considering).

This was in minute 23, and what followed for 60 more was a torrent of abuse from the touchline from both coaches, sets of fans and players (Bare in mind this was one club), and blamed for ruining a charity game, not knowing rugby, not knowing the laws etc...

I ended the game on 70 minutes, and told the president to not call me ever again (I was given 5/6 hours notice as another ref refused to travel on the day after finding out who the club were late on. Didn't make a complaint as it was a charity match and let it go (Never heard from anyone at that club ever again).

Ok to even things up, as a coach...

A random U16's match in 2011, I was hauled in front of a disciplinary committee for ref abuse. The ref in question had complained about my behaviour (By name) at said match, and claimed I had ordered the boys to assault him.

During the game, the inexperienced ref kept getting in poor positions at the ruck, and after being knocked over twice in the first half (once by each team) and bumped into 3/4 more times he approached me at half time to tell me to instruct my players if they hit him one more time he would yellow card them, clearly emotional I asked him to one side and explained to him the reason both teams kept bumping him is because of his positioning directly in front of the first receiver at every breakdown, and that if he tucked in, or used foresight to use the opposing side to the attack he'd fair better. He repsonded with 'Who the Frak do you think you are'.

5 minutes into the second half the ball carrier ducks left to right behind the ref, then reverses back and as he does he bumps the ref into an oncoming defender who is flattened by the ref, he yellow cards the defending player, then storms over to me to tell me 'See, I told you i'd do it, there you go' which was unfortunately heard by the defenders father who storms over to the ref to give him a peice of his mind. I seperate the 2 before shouting at both to grow up and get on with the childs game.

15 minutes later the ref again makes contact with another player (Opposing team), one of our players mouthed off along the lines of 'Watch what your doing you could've hurt him', and bang another yellow card. Again he marches over to me to call me disgracefull, anti rugby values, and a bad influence.

At match ends I clock an old friend (Ex girlfriend tbh) and chat with her about life and stuff, before commenting on the ref, who apparently she knows pretty well. Next thing I know i'm defending assault, causing children to assault, foul language, abusive nature toward a ref, and was delivered a sworn statement by a local PCSO who witnessed everything I did. I had no full name of the ref, no name at all of the PCSO, yet the governing body posted all complaints to my home adress, and within the complaint 2 people I do not know used my full name, and cited a row I had as a player 5 years previous (yellow carded at the time) as an example of my character.

So anyone else have nightmare stories?

Fanster

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by LondonTiger on Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:23 pm

the last match I refereed, whilst working my way through the the London system was a local derby. It just so happened that it was also a Cup final (I guess it was a Cup final first then a derby but the derby part is hugely relevant). These two sides had history and the assessor left me under no illusions that I was to tolerate no violence.

Now this was before sinbins, so when the first lineout descended into a brawl with both packs and half the backs involved I had the option of trying to identify culprits to send off, knowing I would have to write the report and could not afford mistaken identity, or give the captains a firm lecture. In hindsight I should have sent of a couple of players from each side, but tried to give the lecture.

Barely a minute later the home teams 10 is hit late, but not high. however incensed the home captain rushed in for 30 yards away and headbutted the tackler - breaking his nose. Easy decision to send him off. Not one the home fans agreed with though and while the game settled down from that point the crowd were getting increasingly abusive. At half time a comittee member off the home club comes on to the pitches (o leaving the field then, 5 minutes huddle then turn around) and verbally abused me. After being told to leave the field he pushed me. I then informed him that he had been sent off and must remove himself from the pitch and the playing surrounds. He refused to leave, I refused to restart the game until he did. He was dragged off by a friend, but 10 minutes into the second half he was back on the touchline abusing me. I stopped the game and told him to leave the entire playing surrounds. He refused, I refused to restart the match. After 10 minutes I called a halt to the game and the visiting side won by default and got the trophy. I was spat at, phisically abused on my way to the refs changing room and on my way to seek out the assessor. Whilst he tried to convince me I had done everything correctly the combination of feeling I should have handled matters better, and the treatment I received meant I immediately stopped reffing and bought a tigers season ticket instead.

To top it all off the club decided not to pay my expenses and at the disciplinary hearings stated that both me and the assessor were lying about the incidents. While the club was found guilty enough doubt had been created that the punishment was minimal. They did however have a problem with refs pulling out of games very late on for a few seasons.

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by Knackeredknees on Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:53 pm

I've been sinbinned for hands in the scrum..............pretty impressive as I had been playing out of position in the centre. Ref was adamant I had used my hands to control the ball in the scrum. even when the opposition captain pointed this out to the ref his reply was I've made my decision end of

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:33 pm

LondonTiger wrote:the last match I refereed, whilst working my way through the the London system was a local derby. It just so happened that it was also a Cup final (I guess it was a Cup final first then a derby but the derby part is hugely relevant). These two sides had history and the assessor left me under no illusions that I was to tolerate no violence.

Now this was before sinbins, so when the first lineout descended into a brawl with both packs and half the backs involved I had the option of trying to identify culprits to send off, knowing I would have to write the report and could not afford mistaken identity, or give the captains a firm lecture. In hindsight I should have sent of a couple of players from each side, but tried to give the lecture.

Barely a minute later the home teams 10 is hit late, but not high. however incensed the home captain rushed in for 30 yards away and headbutted the tackler - breaking his nose. Easy decision to send him off. Not one the home fans agreed with though and while the game settled down from that point the crowd were getting increasingly abusive. At half time a comittee member off the home club comes on to the pitches (o leaving the field then, 5 minutes huddle then turn around) and verbally abused me. After being told to leave the field he pushed me. I then informed him that he had been sent off and must remove himself from the pitch and the playing surrounds. He refused to leave, I refused to restart the game until he did. He was dragged off by a friend, but 10 minutes into the second half he was back on the touchline abusing me. I stopped the game and told him to leave the entire playing surrounds. He refused, I refused to restart the match. After 10 minutes I called a halt to the game and the visiting side won by default and got the trophy. I was spat at, phisically abused on my way to the refs changing room and on my way to seek out the assessor. Whilst he tried to convince me I had done everything correctly the combination of feeling I should have handled matters better, and the treatment I received meant I immediately stopped reffing and bought a tigers season ticket instead.

To top it all off the club decided not to pay my expenses and at the disciplinary hearings stated that both me and the assessor were lying about the incidents. While the club was found guilty enough doubt had been created that the punishment was minimal. They did however have a problem with refs pulling out of games very late on for a few seasons.

That is... very discouraging indeed. Unfortunately there does seem to be a real ref bashing culture that has become the norm and is quite clearly stepping into aggressive and abusive territory. It isn't healthy for the game as a whole, it isn't healthy for those involved and the sad truth is that it seems to be getting worse, if anything.

Do you miss refereeing at all, given the last incident? It is becoming increasingly difficult to see why anyone would enjoy doing it.

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by Fanster on Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:45 am

LT

I think the sad part of your story is that when we have a bad day, or game it isn't easily wiped away post match. I've really gone home upset and unhappy with myself at times, and i've seen refs at match teas visibly upset. The even worst part is when we do have a good day, and things go well your still left feeling bad, mostly because there are always a few incidents that you feel you should and could have handled better, and well theres always a whinging team at the end of the match.

It seems some days that win or lose we actually lose, no matter how tough your skin is theres only so many times you can here the same bilge from the touchline week in week out before ou just think to ourself 'Why do I bother'?

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by LondonTiger on Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:58 am

I miss the early days of reffing, the lower teams, sometimes second string, who were just grateful to have a ref that new the laws and could keep up with play. One memorable night the home team, who had lost, invited me on to their post match entertainment and put me into a prepaid taxi at the end of the night. As I worked through the ranks it became less enjoyable as the whole atmosphere became more serious and the clubs almost viewed the ref as the enemy to be hoodwinked.

Too fat and slow to go back now.

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:39 am

I’ve considered refereeing when I retire from playing, but it is a concern knowing that I’ll have to start at the bottom of the ladder (which is generally very poor quality rugby in Scotland in some complete dumps), plus the fact that you could get yourself in some difficult situations.

Luckily I’ve never played in games where I’ve feared for the ref’s safety, but one sticks in the mind due to the fact that it should have been a friendly, banterful game but it descended into a farce which lead to red cards.

It was a friendly against a well known private school FPs team 3rd XV, and we only had 13 players and got a couple of their guys so it should have been a bit of a laugh and a chance to throw the ball about and have fun.

Then we saw the referee arrive.

Turns out he was 17 but looked about 12. I’m not sure his voice had fully broken yet. He arrived dropped off by his mum and wearing what looked like his dad’s suit – it didn’t fit very well. I feared the worst when he gave us the pre-match briefing – he didn’t inspire confidence at all.

He was utterly useless and had no control over the game. His decisions were so baffling and majorly against our team – to the point that the opposition even tried to defend us when he made yet another baffling decision! It got to the point that he actually told our captain that he no longer wanted to speak to him because he kept speaking to the ref to ask him to explain the decisions. So not only was he penalising the crap out of us but we had no means to talk to the ref!

He had a very experienced assessor on the touchline who gave him a thorough chat at halftime, because the match was spiralling out of control – some of the more hot headed members of our team were getting incredibly frustrated to say the least. It was strange because it was a very clean game – all of the angst was against the referee!

Anyway it ultimately led to one of our props being yellow carded for something fairly innocuous – despite the opposition captain asking the ref not to card him it still stood. Anyway our prop lost the plot and started shouting and swearing at the ref and calling him an effing disgrace and that he had absolutely no clue what he was doing. He was never going to attack the guy but had to be dragged off because he was so raging. Our captain tried to intervene and speak to the ref and was red carded too for ‘backchat’ having already been told not to speak to the ref anymore.

It became a bit of a shambles after that as the opposition needed to take their players back and we ended up with 12 men – I think the ref called it a day early and ran off to the changing rooms.

I do feel sorry for the guy – the SRU should never have put him in the position of refereeing senior rugby at the stage he was at. Apparently they were looking to fast track him but our game showed he just didn’t have what it takes. He hasn’t ref’d a senior game since and has been doing mini-rugby apparently. Hopefully once he’s grown up a bit and developed more as a ref he’ll stick with it, but his first experience of senior rugby really wasn’t a good one!

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

Post by Fanster on Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:33 pm

RDW

Sadly that isn't the first time I've heard a horror story about a ref at the SRU, or indeed a Whos the ref coordinator (His legend comes before him).

The SRU run academies for refs, and hand select them young (Young = potential right?)

I'm heading to a meeting tomorrow in Scotland to discuss student refereeing, and how students can take ownership of their own refereeing needs, the only example of a student referee currently is an academy prospect who is learning the ropes in womens rugby. He's not good, not strong and regularly gets emotionally blackmailed, poor bugger!

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Re: Refereeing nightmares

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