Code of Conduct

The code of conduct sets out the expectations placed upon members of the club with respect to their conduct, both on and off the field, in all activities connected with the club and rugby generally. The Petersham RUFC has a long and distinguished history and a strong tradition of exemplary conduct. There is an expectation on all members of the club to uphold both this tradition and the spirit and ideals of rugby generally. All activities connected with the club should be undertaken with this in mind.

The following is the general conduct expected of all members of the club at all times. It applies equally to players, coaches, managers, officials and supporters:

  • Members must not engage in any conduct which may bring the Club or the game of rugby into disrepute.
  • Members must show due respect to the opposition, match officials and general public while watching and supporting the club, and must comply with any reasonable request by any match official or official of the host club.
  • Members must at no time engage in conduct or make comments which may offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate or threaten any player, match official or spectator.
  • Players must not verbally abuse or express dissent with referees or other match officials on the field of play.
  • All communication with referees or match officials on the field of play must be made through the team captain and must be made in a calm and respectful manner.
  • Players should at all times be conscious of the laws of the game and play within the rules. Consistent and regular foul play or misconduct may be grounds for disciplinary action by the committee.
  • All members should display good grace and sportsmanship both during and after a game irrespective of whether their team is winning or losing.
  • Members must conduct themselves in a courteous and friendly manner at all after-match functions, social functions and trips/tours and show due respect to the staff and patrons of the relevant venue(s).


Breach of Code of Conduct

A breach of this Code may result in the offender being disciplined by the committee as provided by the constitution.


Referee Abuse

  • Players should be aware the IRB has instructed all referees to adopt a zero tolerance policy with regards to any derogatory chit-chat .
  • If you are sent off for referee abuse, the referee will categorise the alleged incident as a high, mid or low level offence.
  • The judiciary has been instructed by the IRB that if a referee abuse send-off report is categorised as a high level offence then the sentence to be imposed in all cases must start at 6 matches on an escalating scale. If there are any extenuating circumstances the sentence will be extended past 6 matches.
  • If the offence is classified by the referee as low level then the judiciary at it’s discretion can take into account the players past playing career and any legitimate defence he may provide.  If the players playing career is exemplary he may get some dispensation and a reduction in the sentence from a starting point of 6 matches on a descending scale.


If you are having problems with a referee’s decisions or his interpretations, direct your comments through your captain who will speak to the referee at an opportune time.  Be advised that, if a referee is in earshot of a comment you make and he considers it to be derogatory and says so in his send-off report, the judiciary will interpret the comments as being directed for the referees consumption irrespective of whether you were facing the referee, talking to a team mate in a loud manner (with your back to the referee) or even if you were passing on your wisdom to your granny in the grandstand. Be smart, do not speak back to the referee he won’t change his mind.  Referee abuse is one of the bug bears of the Union and one which is totally preventable by displaying some discipline.  Be well aware, that if you are sent off for referee abuse not only are you disrespecting yourself, your Captain, your team mates and your club but all the players that came before you in this fine club.

So speak to the referee with the same level of respect afforded to your parents and if you don’t get on with them then don’t speak to him at all.