Discipline: Areas of Concern and Action Required by Clubs

Please see extract from e-mail received from Chair of Discipline Essex RFU which has been sent to ALL constituent clubs.



We are now reaching the end of the season and the overall level of discipline this season has been very disappointing compared to previous seasons with an increase in cases of some 50%. As this time in the season also sees the culmination of league and cup campaigns, when passions can run high, there are two areas in particular that clubs need to address:

  1. Match Official Abuse – quite simply there is too much of this, ranging from casual swearing, to serious and persistent abuse from players and also spectators, and this is unacceptable. The potential consequences to the game are huge: not only do we risk losing referees but our claims to be “not like football” are becoming empty boasts. With immediate effect anyone found guilty of Match Official Abuse will be given an additional ban of up to 4 weeks as an aggravating factor over and above the entry point sanction. This could mean a ban of 10 weeks for even a low end offence.
  2. Behaviour at Youth and Mini Matches – a number of youth matches have been abandoned in recent weeks as a result of players fighting and adults becoming involved with on field matters. This is also unacceptable and the amount of damage that it is doing to the game is massive with the adverse publicity on a national level actively discouraging parents from involving their children in the game. Any further incidents of abandoned matches, and other spectator issues, will be treated with the utmost seriousness and substantial and wide ranging bans will be imposed on any clubs and individuals involved. 

If clubs fail to control their players and spectators with regard to the above issues, sanctions may be imposed against clubs themselves which for the most serious offences might include whole club bans or the deduction of league points from their 1st XVs.


Please note the Executive Committee and Club Officers expect all members and visitors to adhere to the advice received and uphold the RFU core values of Teamwork; Respect; Enjoyment; Discipline; Sportsmanship.

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