Fixture Safety & Referee Responsibility

Posted by Sigrid Valk-Feeney on February 23rd, 2017

Good afternoon.  I have been asked to send out a reminder to all referees to be cognizant of fixture safety and conditions.  Over the past few weeks, we have had at least 2 instances where padding has not been established to protect player safety.  Even though one of the matches did have player contact, LUCKILY it was not a serious instance; however, it could have been extremely serious.  Thus, I send this reminder out to ALL referees within SCRRS and SCYR we have a responsibility to ensure the pitch conditions are safe for play.  Please keep in mind this is a requirement and not negotiable, the issue is to be addressed not by the referee or the Society but directly with the host’s governing body.

One of the reasons why we encourage you to arrive at your fixture early is to verify the safety of the grounds and determine any issues that may need to be addressed.  As a referee, you are under NO obligation to officiate a match whereby the conditions of a pitch may be subject and we encourage the host to immediately remedy the safety concerns where ever and however possible.  There is absolutely no reason for a referee to permit the start of a match without padding on all metal structures within the playing area (like Goal Posts) or very near by where reasonable tackle may occur.  All clubs within SCRFU, SCYR and GCCIR are aware of any unique situation BUT padding is required on all fixed objects.  I would encourage that referee’s take pictures of the issue if necessary, abandon the match and send the pictures as well as the description you may have had with the host in order for the issue(s) to be addressed.  All governing bodies are aware this is the standard expectation of all matches and they are also reminding their respective clubs of this issue.

As always, try to have it addressed immediately but if it is not, document the issue and remit to me directly so I can handle the issue with the respective governing body.  I thank you all for your continual efforts every weekend to provide a safe and enjoyable rugby experience for all.

Best Wishes, Phil

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