NRRRL warned: control your ground

NRRRL clubs are being warned they must control unruly players and spectators or they may end up forfeiting.
NRRRL clubs are being warned they must control unruly players and spectators or they may end up forfeiting. Debrah Novak

NORTHERN Rivers Regional Rugby League clubs hosting fixtures this weekend have been warned they risk forfeiting matches if they do not provide a ground manager to control unruly players or spectators.

During a meeting of the clubs on Monday night at the Lismore Workers Club, NRRRL president Robin Harley said the 14 clubs were on their last warning.

“Our main focus of the evening was highlighting the ARL's code of conduct and the role of the ground manager,” Harley said.

“Only about two clubs - Ballina and Cudgen - have ground managers at the moment so we've informed the referees not to referee this weekend if the host club does not provide a ground manager.

“The ground manager's role runs through a checklist and talks to both benches and warns players and spectators about any derogatory incidents or comments.”

The issue of appropriate behaviour at sporting events has been highlighted after the weekend bashing of a 42-year-old man at a junior rugby league match in Sydney's west after parents became embroiled in a fight.

“We tried to implement ground managers 18 months ago,” Harley said.

“Clubs being what they are with a lack of man-power have struggled to do it. But for the two clubs who have implemented it they said it has been great.

“It also creates a paper trail of incidents for investigators to follow if the ground manager documents everything.”

The meeting was also used to clear the air after allegations by Mullumbimby last week the local media about dirty tactics by Northern United players in a recent match.

“I think the meeting was good for everyone involved,” Harley said.

“It was all positive and about moving forward with things. We gave the clubs information about citing procedures in line with the Country Rugby League constitution and discussed how to go about it.”

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