Date               Friday, October 09, 2009

To                   All Affiliates


From              NSWTA BOARD

Subject          Continual Breaches of Tournament Condition 27


Please note that the Board of the NSWTA is concerned with the continual breaches of the Tournament Conditions that have been occurring, relating to referee, coach and player communication. This has been ongoing in all tournaments despite measures put in place to try and curb the abusive nature that some of this communication has taken. As such the Board of the NSWTA are no longer willing to put up with such occurrences.


Coaches / Players / Managers are not to approach the Referees after the game.

All complaints, disputes or feedback are to be placed in writing and forwarded to the Operations Manager by 12.30pm on the Monday preceding the Friday           night game. The same time frame applies to Sunday washout games.

All Affiliates are hereby on notice to immediately advise all their participants, whether players, coaches, managers or officials that commencing October 1st, 2009 a ZERO TOLERANCE policy will be in place in this regard.

With the number of incidents on the increase by both players and coaches alike not abiding by the rule we are notifying affiliates that breaches of the Zero Tolerance policy will incur an automatic one match suspension and possible fines for both the individual and affiliate. Further to this they may find themselves before a judiciary whereby the penalties may be increased.

We are well aware that some individuals will not like this policy, however many coaches and players have abused the opportunity afforded to them to the point now where we are forced to control the situation before it gets out of hand and a serious incident occurs. Also disturbing to the Board is the incidents of referees walking away from the game and leaving the sport because of the treatment and levels of abuse they are receiving, something we as a sport can not allow to continue.

We, as a sport, have implemented procedures in the past in an attempt to alleviate these situations; however some players, coaches, managers and officials have ignored all reasonable measures. It is also acknowledge that on occasions some referees have encouraged this communication. These channels immediately following the conclusion of the match are now closed.

All are advised of the following under the Zero Tolerance Policy.

  • No player, coach, manager or official is to approach, engage or communicate with the referees at the half time interval.
  • No player, coach, manager or official is to approach, engage or communicate with the referees following the conclusion of the game.
  • Referees will no longer engage with the player, coach, manager or official.
  • The signing of the referee’s card will only take place by the two managers of the teams. Should either try to engage the referees in discussion about the game or decisions in the game, the referees will immediately stop those discussions and direct the manager to the tournament control. The referee will advise tournament officials that this breach has occurred whereby the Zero Tolerance Policy will be enforced.
  • Any dispute of the score must be raised in writing either at tournament control or in the case of Vawdon Cup, no later than COB of the Monday following the game.

A player, coach, manager or official may not agree with the way a referee officiates a game, nor may he/she agree with decisions made, however there are proper procedures and avenues to handle such matters. Approaching referees after the game is not the measure we allow. We do however welcome feedback, reports or consultation under the proper guidelines.

These are:-

  • Should you have an issue with a performance of a referee you may
    • Consult, in a calm manner, with a State Referee Panel member.
    • If necessary they will orchestrate a meeting with the referee, coach and panel member.
    • Disputes or feedback are to be placed in writing and forwarded to the Operations Manager at tournament control, or for Vawdon Cup 12.30pm on the Monday following the Friday night game. The same deadline applies to Sunday games.

The Board under the auspices of the Technical Director and Referees Director have a clear view to have coaches, players and referees all working in the same direction, however incidents of abuse and confrontational behaviour that has now moved to provide opportunities for a confrontation to  escalate can not be allowed to continue. Hence why the Zero Tolerance policy has now been engaged and put in place. In doing so it is still our wish and intention to purse these partnerships to provide a better outcome for the game.

All need to be advised that while Rule 18 Player note A will remain in force, referees have been instructed not to tolerate abusive behaviour from the sub box during the game, and deal with it appropriately should it take place, by removing a player from the field.

Further to this referees have been instructed not put up with abuse from players, coaches, managers or officials, emanating from the sub box or on the field. Should this occur, the referee will do the following:-

In relation to on field abuse-

  • Penalise immediately or march the team 10 metres should it be the result of a penalty. Should the abuse continue normal powers of Sin binning or sending off will be available to referee. The substitution rule will not be used in instances of abuse.

In relation to off field abuse or that emanating from the sub box-

  • The referee will first warn the captain to control the abuse from the box.
  • Should this continue, the Captain or a player designated by the referee will be sin binned. Should the abuse continue normal powers of sending off a player, coach, manager or official will be available to referee.

As a matter or course the onus is on you and your affiliate to ensure all your personnel, are aware of this policy. Ignorance of the same will not be accepted as a defence.

This is not a course of action we wish to take however we are now forced to take such action as we are trying to present the game in a more professional and less confrontational environment and some team’s and individuals seem not to want to work with us.

We would ask for your assistance to please ensure that this policy is stringently followed by your members.

Dean Russell

General Manager

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