[quote_left]Please do your bit to keep respect in our game.[/quote_left]

You may have noticed that referees come in for some stick. Sometimes, a lot of stick. But, it’s a largely thankless job, not least because it is entirely voluntary in our leagues.

You will also have noticed that not all parents and spectators show respect for the person in the middle – and it is being noticed. We have received this letter from Nigel Ansell with a request for things to change.

[blockquote]I recently communicated to our referees that they need to earn respect and in the main this is achieved, as demonstrated on the feedback from your captains when they fill in the feedback forms.

My concern is that I am getting emails from referees that indicate that discipline from people on the touchline is not what it should be.

Could you ensure that your coaches and captains are reminded that our referees are volunteers, and we need to ensure the referee numbers do not decline due to a nasty ‘work’ environment.

I know that these such incidents are rare but when they occur, referees have been known to give up the whistle – which does not help rugby to flourish.

If you want to contact me regarding this email, or anything else, please call my mobile 07776 144 509 and or send me an email at nick.ansell@londonrugby.com.

Best regards,
Nick Ansell
South West Regional Manager, London Society of Rugby Football Union Referees[/blockquote]