North Midlands RFU are requesting clubs to provide pitch side stewards who will be charged with assisting referees in dealing with and/or recognising unacceptable pitch-side behaviour from spectators or coaches.
The joint initiative between North Midlands RFU and the North Midlands Society of Rugby Football Referees will see clubs issued with hi-vis jackets for the stewards who will be asked to try to address unacceptable, abusive, offensive or inappropriate behaviour by any individual, group or club.
The initiative reinforces rugby union’s core values of respect for match officials and acceptance of their decisions, respect for the opposition players and supporters, valuing coaches and administrators, observe fair play on and off the pitch and be dignified in defeat and enjoyment of the game.
The referees are being asked to report breaches to the NMSRFR and, in the worst cases, to the North Midlands RFU disciplinary committee.
North Midlands have also reminded clubs of the expectations of facilities and behaviour to host a game.
Medical and age grade guidelines should be adhered to, referees and match officials should be welcomed and supported, all matches are to have pitch barriers at least five metres from the touchline on both sides of the pitch, all pitches to have clearly designated technical areas which all team and match support personnel must confine themselves within.