View Full Version : Crowd enjoyment
With all the trouble of referee abuse at present and foul and abusive behaviour from players and spectators towards everyone and his dog, a light note that may be able to take away the tension. Just before a junior cup match held miles from the clubhouse, I walked to the touchline to ask the 40 or so spectators to just stand a couple of metres back so as my volentary touch judge could see the line. I then informed them that on this nice sunny cold morning that the teams and myself would try to do our best but if things went against there wishes, not to get to upset and to applaud good play on both teams who were only at an early stage of our great game.
Result ? a really enjoyable game lots of cheering and even the losers were smiling.
One wag at the finish did think that where as his son was putting the ball in straight he thought the other scrum half was feeding, Ive invited him to our next referees meeting.
An interesting tactic Ray, and I'm glad it worked for you... but I'm not too sure how well my 200 strong crowd at a level 7 league match would take it...
By the way, welcome to the forums!
That reminds me of another incident of pure crowd enjoyment at the Surrey A Mini/Midi Tournament a couple of years ago.
I was watching an U12s match from the touchline, from where a society ref was getting some unhealthy abuse from the coaches of a London club. One coach in particular was aggressively shouting at his own players as well as the referee. There was a reasonable sized crowd around the whole pitch, but conspicuous gaps around this phalanx of coaches.
The ball came towards the wing where the coaches were gathered, and a ruck formed with the ball coming out on the London club's side, from where the scrummie nipped a quick pass into the waiting stand-off's hands. Obnoxious coach is giving it plenty about hands in the ruck and other stuff that only he could see as the stand-off kicked the ball clear.....straight into this guy's chest, exploding a polystyrene cup of hot coffee all over him.
Much amusement in the crowd, but even more as the stand-off says "maybe you'll shut up now, dad!".
Ha ha, Bitter Sweet!
Yes agree pablo just trying to clean up and make enjoyment for all in the junior game, the large crowd at brixham would not take to that either. I thought as i arrived that was a very polite man on the entrance gate. As I drove out after the game he turned his back on me. one of those occasions when the ref,s a jolly nice chap :not:
Ha ha! We've all had that...
Reminds me of a similar story told to me while on Exchange.
Exchange refs from the East Midlands come over to California, and one ref is getting abuse from the coach all day long. Finally, after a penalty to that coach's team, the coach starts on another rant, at which point the UK ref marches them back another ten and says "And that's because you (points at coach) won't bloody shut up!"
It got a few laughs from the spectators, along with a few "How Rude!" from some of the snobbier types, but seemed to do the trick.
Similarly, I enjoyed the xenophobian comments of "Go home ref!" from supporters of a mainly Tongan-descent club in California. Ironic too, as I was probably more legal than they were! That same day, the referee I was with had his lawnchair stolen at the match. I am not making this up! The poor man's lawn chair got nicked as we were TJing for a US Super League Match!
Sometimes we get more than what we bargained for, but it's character building nonetheless!
At a County U16 Cup Semi-final a crowd of over a hundred were on the touchline - right on it ! Efforts to move them back were un-successful.
One of our refs asked for the usual Saturday posts and rope to be erected - 'jobsworth' council employee and Club 'risk assessment' officer said it couldn't be done as posts were dangerous for kids.
Quick thinking HRURS ref asks coaches to put out training cones 10 m back from touchline. All spectators went behind them, limited RTP activity, coaches and water carriers has plenty of room, and ref could get on with game.
This will be suggested as Best Practice to our County Community and Youth Committees and suggested to all our Society Refs handling junior matches.
An additional suggestion I am making is to limit coaches to areas between 10m and 22m lines of their defensive half - where technical areas not marked.
The most crowd enjoyment I've managed to get was at an U16 friendly. At half time one of the Cheltenham coaches asked if I'd been 'on the p*** last night' (due to my, at times confused state - I'd refereed them a number of times so knew it was a bit of a joke, not a bit of a dig at me). About two minutes into the second half I gave him much more ammunition as Cheltenham went over for a try. Doing my ususal backwards run over the line so it is grounded at my feet, it hit a bulge in the ground and landed unceremoniously on my backside. He was quick with the, 'Do you want to re-think your answer' and the manager called from the distance, 'Stop lying down on the job!'
Much amusement and enjoyment by crowd and players alike.
I am quite staggered that the club's risk assessment officer came up with the posts being dangerous for the children/players. A web search/google groups/rfu forums search on "westbury" and "Dennis Dredge" will illustrate the potential problems of NOT supplying a physical barrier at rugby matches.
Meanwhile I understand the intention of the coach's area - but I like to stand behind the posts at one end in order to see the backs alignments etc ... and its also keeps me away from supporters (of both sides!) and following one unpalatable incident especially away from rabid parents!
A web search/google groups/rfu forums search on "westbury" and "Dennis Dredge" will illustrate the potential problems of NOT supplying a physical barrier at rugby matches.
Can you tell us Didds?
This seems to clarify the issue...
In a nutshell AIUI there was no barrier and the father of one of the players (actually the player may well have been Dennis) standing close to the touchline got clattered and broke a leg.
Litigation was threatened but eventuially came to nothing but had it happened a successful case would have bankrupted the club and possibly its officers etc.
The above details are from a sketchy recollection and may not be entirely accurate but the num of the story is that litigation was threatened for some while following an accident where there was no barrier present.
.... I am able to confirm that the two pitches I regularly attend in this area of the world DO use rope barriers at every match now! (one of which is Westbury!).
I abhor swearing on the park which I think is becoming more prevalent, particularly among junior sides. An esteemed colleague will award a penalty kick in these circumstances.
I had a none too pleasurable derby game the other week where the air turned particularly blue. In frustration I turned to the player and said 'For goodness sake, find another word... like 'double decker bus' or something!', not then being able to think of anything more appropriate to say. A few moments later 'What the double decker bus are we doing lads?' rang out which caused a momentary meltdown.
With my junior side on tour this weekend; we notched up 3 games, losing two and winning one. Again, fairly free use of the 'F' word from some players. I refereed all three games (out of county - appointed by their clubs - honestly!) and, having advised Captains beforehand that I would not tolerate swearing unless accompanying extreme forms of pain such as childbirth or severe trauma, I hit on a dastardly scheme. Of the two miscreants I hauled up before their Captains for blatant usage, both willingly accepted summary justice of 10 pushups there and then instead of 10 minutes in the bin. More amusement and thanks from the coach.
Ah, that reminds me of the summary justice executed by an esteemed Hampshire colleague.
Upon spotting two players about to, or just having, swap handbags he offered the deal: either take the cards he was about to get out, or skip around the park hand in hand.
This could be (another) urban myth about this guy, but I like it....
Well, if it wasn't Morts it must have been Twiggy. Both are still at it apparently; I spoke to Twiggy at the last dinner and he told me of a potentially disastrous derby game he had been given 'oop North'. History related that any contact between the forwards would promote handbags so, when it happened, Twiggy reset the scrum for 8 consecutive iterations so that they were too tired for handbags afterwards.
Mark it down as another Morts legend...
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