Child Protection & 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.
The impact 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/ supervisory role.
- 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’ Administrator
The Rugby Football League
Telephone/Fax: 01744 454804 or Mobile: 07795 973733
Child Welfare Officer: Selina Kent
Blackbrook Royals JRLFC acknowledges its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of every child, young person and vulnerable adult who has been entrusted to its care and is committed to working to provide a safe environment for all of its members.
We subscribe to the RFL Safeguarding & Protecting Children & Vulnerable Adults Policy (Hereafter referred to as the ‘RFL Safeguarding.
If you have any concerns or wish to know more information please contact:
Email: Click here to email Child Welfare Officer