View Full Version : 11 year old attacks referee

Dickie E
23-08-15, 03:08
21 Aug 2015 In New Zealand an 11-year-old player has been suspended for two-and-a-half years.

His offence? Attacking a referee!

The incident happened in June 2015 at a match played at the at the Papatoetoe Sports Centre in South Auckland between Papatoetoe and Marist Eastern Junior Rugby. Both clubs are affiliated to the Auckland Rugby Union. In fact Papatoetoe is the fifth biggest club in the union.

In the second half the referee showed the player a yellow card for a high tackle. According to a witness, the player was walking towards the posts when he turned and made a rude gesture in the direction of the referee who had his back to him. The player then charged at the referee from behind, grabbed him around the neck and felled him. Player and referee were on the ground when the player is alleged to have punched the referee.

there was a hearing in July and on Thursday the Auckland Rugby Union handed the two-and-half-year ban down to the player.

The club are likely to appeal against the sentence, which they feel is harsh.

No adult responsible for the boy's behaviour was suspended!

It seems that a wiser way of dealing with a player guilty of a high tackle would be to call his coach onto the field and discuss the matter. The boy could then walk off with his coach for the sin-binning. Brandishing a yellow card my not be the best way of dealing with a juvenile offender.

This is from sa refs. My bold.

I can see the pros in involving a coach in foul play management but wonder too about the cons. Is it wise to have a coach, who may not be on the referee's side, involved?

23-08-15, 09:08
I would hazard there are deeper issues here than the boy "losing it".

23-08-15, 10:08
I definitely involve the coach; at that age, the coaches have much more influence and the responsibility to set an example and teach the appropriate attitudes.

Here it's very rare to card players ato this level. The last case was a full-on tantrum (it wasn't a sending-off offence, but his response was), and I called the coach over and asked him to substitute the player out. He had to carry the kid off the pitch, and I talked to them both after the game - the kid was effectively sent off, the coach didn't have the added stress of being a man down, and everyone was calmed down for the discussion.

I'm 6'5 and can look after myself, but a lot of refs at under-11 level are teens and have to be pretty self-confident to face down a belligerently competitive adult coach. I think it's important for everyone to really emphasise a culture of mutual respect at this level - not just for moral fibre and all that, but out of practicality.

23-08-15, 17:08
In England we don't have cards for u11 (cards start at u13), but a referee can require a u11 player to leave the pitch (he is replaced)

23-08-15, 17:08
I think the SA refs opinion is pretty shabby
. I agree with them about cards but the issue here is not how to deal 11 year old who makes a high tackle, it's how to deal with an 11 year old who attacks a referee..

24-08-15, 11:08
Part of me is pleased that the youth has received such a sentence. We discussed this in another thread and I believe we were all agreed that a lifetime ban would be a bad thing, so I suppose 2.5 years is ok and allows the individual to return to the game - let's hope as a more controlled character.

I too have issues with the sarefs statement highlighted by Dickie E and feel it smacks a little of "responsibility abdication". The coaches and the club should, IMO, have some form of sanction - if only a suspended fine or responsibility to educate/nurture their 'troubled' players in a better manner.

What of the referee? One suspects that as the innocent party he is having to cope with the trauma of this which affects people in different ways.

An example has, I suppose, been made, but this is not an isolated issue in SA.

Dickie E
24-08-15, 22:08
An example has, I suppose, been made, but this is not an isolated issue in SA.

It happened in NZ.

On first reading I thought the SAref comment was shabby. However, I now don't think they're criticising the referee. I think they're suggesting that the system allow the coach to have more equity in resolving foul play issues at this age group.

The problem I have is how a ref then deals not only with the player but with an invited coach who goes on the "that was never a high tackle ref and what about the shoulder charge from their player and, by the way, that last lineout throw was never straight" rant. Particularly if the ref himself is a junior.