We see it all the time.

Coaches, supporters or players yelling and screaming at the referee. It’s almost as if our society has given permission to people to treat referees with a level of disrespect that wouldn’t be tolerated anywhere else in our community.

This has to change.

We’re continuously seeing junior and senior referees traumatised by the abuse, to the point that they can’t continue in their role.

Club Respect believes that the way people treat referees is a good measure of where a club is at in relation to having a culture of respect, safety, fun, fairness and success.


When abuse of referees is not addressed properly, you’re risking:
  • Physical or emotional trauma for the referee
  • Difficulty recruiting referees to adjudicate games
  • Adoption of bad behaviour by others
  • Negative modeling to young people
  • A tarnished image of your club in the wider community.


So, what can you do?

Club Respect’s advice is:

  • 1.

    Start with yourself.

    Observe your own actions and correct them if you find yourself conditioned to abuse the umpire.

  • 2.

    Speak out. If it is safe to do so, let others know that their abuse toward the referee is unfair and causes harm.

    People will back you up. It’s often that people are afraid to be the first and only.

    Club Respect Smart steps can help.