The EPRU highly values the work of all of the referees that handle our matches. In particular we have long running relationships with the East Penn Rugby Referee Society and the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Referees that have been extremely beneficial. In response to recent reports of referee abuse EPRU Vice-President Liz Malazita has issued the statement at the bottom of this post.
EPRU members should be made aware of the fact that we will be taking a zero tolerance policy towards referee abuse and that the sanctions for misconduct can be significant.
Under World Rugby’s Section 17 you can find the punishments for referee abuse under 9.28. The following sanctions are the MINIMUMS for conduct that violates these rules:
A player must not disrespect the authority of a Match Official: 2 matches
A player must not verbally abuse a Match Official: 6 matches
A player must not make physical contact with Match Officials: 6 matches
A player must not use threatening actions or words towards Match Officials: 12 matches
A player must not physically abuse Match Officials: 24 matches
Again, it should be noted that these are the minimum sanctions. The EPRU Disciplinary Chair will NOT hesitate to hand down harsher punishments as needed.
Statement from Liz Malazita:
It has come to the attention of this board that there have been multiple reports of referee abuse since the start of this fall season. This abuse is across all levels of rugby in the Eastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware areas of our union. This type of behavior will not be tolerated by EPRU.
Constant challenging of calls by players and coaches (chatter on and off the field or backchat), aggressive actions or running purposely into a referee, cursing, or physical aggression directed toward a referee is categorized as referee abuse.
We would like to remind the players, coaches, staff and members of the EPRU that referees are an integral part of this game and important to the growth of this sport.
Continuation of this abuse will lead to significant club or individual sanctions. Clubs are responsible for fans’ actions toward referees.
“Respect for teammates, opponents, match officials and those involved in the Game is paramount.” – World Rugby
This is an official notice to all members and clubs a part of the EPRU. If you have further questions please reach out to Liz Malazita at email@example.com
EPRU, Vice President