CHILD PROTECTION AND WELFARE ISSUES - JUNIOR &
YOUTH RUGBY LEAGUE
I am delighted that - as a consequence
of the successful development programmes headed by the Rugby Football League - the number of junior referees per sae being
appointed to and accepting matches in the North West Counties competitions has grown tremendously. Such has been the increase
that I am able, without encountering insurmountable difficulties, to assign match officials to every junior game scheduled
on Sundays .. something which from past experiences and until now would not have been remotely possible.
has been greatly appreciated and felt not only by myself but the clubs too who, with a core responsibility of ensuring that
on match days the younger referees are given a fair "crack", know that any misdemeanour or abuse of them by officials/spectators
will, in extreme circumstances result in an instantaneous withdrawal of match officials. This deterrent well documented in
the past but rarely used by the local area referee appointments officer has proved successful without leaving a referee vulnerable
to further injudicious attacks from insidious individuals who care not a jot for anyone.
I must however reiterate that
referees too have a responsible role to play by acquainting themselves with and adopting resolutely on every occasion Child
Protection measures - a summary of several key facets given below - aimed at the welfare of children before during and after
the playing of games.
* Conduct thoroughly and professionally a pre-match check of players' equipment. Leave no stone
unturned. Rings and bangles to be removed with sharp studs filed. Use on the forearm by junior/youth players of shin pads
is not permitted.
* A pre-match address to the players
- optional - should be conducted ONLY in the presence of a qualified coach or other officials operating an administration/
* At the onset of injury to a child play
ceases immediately or at least at the next stoppage/tackle to allow for his being treated The game must NOT proceed until
either the injured player following treatment is fit to resume or in a more serious instance is substituted. Referees by their
demeanour must at all times guard against possible lawsuits due to negligence of responsibility or a rigorous application
by match officials of Duty of Care pre-requisites where children are involved.
* Where a communal area exists allowing
no separate amenity for use at their disposal, referees should access the showering arena either before or after the players
have gathered. If because of practical difficulties this step becomes impossible then referees showering in the presence of
children must wear shorts or briefs.
David C Lowe
RFL Services Competitions’
The Rugby Football League
Telephone/Fax (01744) 454804 Mobile 07795 973733