Disciplinary Information

Message to all Berkshire Clubs on Discipline

In light of reports of an overall trend of lowering of pitch side behavioural standards, the Berkshire Disciplinary Committee would like to take this opportunity to remind all Clubs of their responsibilities to the game.

At the recent RFU Disciplinary Conference, increasing examples of poor behaviour from across the country, particularly at (but not exclusively to) Sunday Junior matches, were noted. These included incursions onto the playing area and extreme abuse of referees and opposition teams management. This is similar to feedback provided at the RFU Safeguarding Conference. The County Safeguarding Manager will work in partnership with the Disciplinary Committee and have fostered an excellent working relationship.  

The Disciplinary Committee would ask that all Clubs take the matter very seriously, we must work hard to retain the very special nature of our game and be proactive in eliminating this type of behaviour.

With the RWC2015 taking place in England, we can expect an upsurge in interest in our game and hopefully new people joining our Clubs, who maybe new to the rugby environment and ethos. It is incumbent on all Clubs to set an example on behaviour and we would ask that you promote the five core values of England Rugby at every opportunity.


Last season at senior levels, although we saw the usual numbers of players appearing before the Disciplinary Committee, there was no marked deterioration in behaviour, however some Junior sections of clubs appear to have embraced the wrong culture: with over-zealous coaches and spectators, the ‘win at all costs’ attitude; referee abuse, which drives away our referees, players and parents new to the game; and other selfish and uncontrolled behaviour. It takes all the fun and enjoyment out of Rugby – for everyone.

Clubs may like to take the opportunity to address the issue at the start of the season by speaking directly to all those involved, so they are left in no doubt exactly what standards of behaviour are expected and acceptable. They are role models to the youngsters under their control and should act accordingly

 For all the above reasons, we ask that: 

  • Posters (such as The Code of Rugby) distributed by the RFU to all clubs are displayed prominently
  • Club Disciplinary Committees not be reactive, but proactive, enrolling other club members to help and report poor behaviour to the officers of the club
  • Your Club responds firmly, but fairly, to bad behaviour both on the pitch and on the touchline
  • Prompt action is taken against coaches and others who ferment trouble e.g. touchline bans for a specific period 
  • Clubs support the work and training of their Safeguarding Managers
  • Your Club deals with any disciplinary matters strictly in accordance with RFU Regulations.

Referees are justified in abandoning games where they believe that poor behaviour warrants it and clubs and individuals can, and will be, called before the CB Disciplinary Committee if their conduct brings the game in to disrepute. If offences are admitted, or proven, the “appropriate punishment” can include, but not be limited to:

  1. For a person: a reprimand, a financial penalty or suspension from playing and/or administration
  2. For a Club: financial or other compensation, deduction of league points or relegation, exclusion or disqualification from any competition.  Where a competition does not fall within the jurisdiction of the RFU, a Club may be required to withdraw from that competition.

Berkshire County RFU and the Disciplinary Committee acknowledge the good work already carried out in some Clubs and hope that others with work to do, can raise their game, so we can all go on enjoying our Rugby.

Steve Cullen                                           Colin Pole

President                                                Chairman

Berkshire County RFU                            Berkshire Disciplinary Committee

20th August 2015

Berkshire RFU


RSS Facebook Twitter Linkedin RFU