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The spirt of Rugby

Recent incidents have suggested an unwelcome trend developing, which could undermie the true values of rugby. The purpose of this guide is neither to be prescriptive nor to set a framework for disciplinary action or sanctions. it is a gentle reminder of what, for most people is intrinsic in our sport. There are points for clubs, their officials, players, spectators and parents of younger players.


Host Club

: Ensure that referees, their advisors, visiting teams and officials and spectators are made welcome both in the clubhouse and at the pitch.

: After the match ensure that the referee is looked after and offered his expenses

: Make sure that the visitors know about "tea" arrangements and buy the first jug.


Visiting Team

: Make yourself known to your hosts and the referee

: After the match stay for a meal and a few drinks, accept the hospitality. Not all clubs have top class facilities. They all do their best and rely on your support.

: Do not vandalise or leave mess in the clubhouse. Do not steal their property



: Do nothing that will undermine the enjoyment of the match or after match socialising

: Do not promote or encourage violent or anti-social behaviour on or off the pitch

: Do not use verbal abuse or threats against referees, players or spectators

: Do learn the laws of the game so that your encouragement of referees and players can be well informed

: Do support the referee. He is doing his best. Accept all of his decisions without dissent. there are no perfect players so don't expect perfect referees. without them there is no game.

: Accept that defeat is a consequence of your teams failure to score more points that your opponents. It's not the fault of the referee.

: Do not put match reports in your local press which criticise referees or opposing players.

 : Do accept the decisions of the county disciplinary panel. They are volunteers with a wide experience and understanding of the game

: Do try to settle any disputes with other clubs or within your club without recourse to the county, the R.F.U. or to litigation. Don't let them arise in the first place.

: Do everything you can to ensure that playing, refereeing or watching rugby at all levels is a rewarding experiance for all concerned, one that they will wish to repeat regulaly and one witch they wish to encourage others to join.





This article was printed in the January 2002 edition of Informer. the magazine of the Middlesex Rugby Union. 

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