No Refs – No Games Policy

Newton Abbot Rugby Club: No Refs, No Games Policy


Newton Abbot Rugby Club is dedicated to fostering a respectful, inclusive, and enjoyable environment for all members, supporters, and participants. Central to the spirit and integrity of the game is the respect and support shown towards referees, who play a crucial role in ensuring fair play, safety, and the overall success of rugby as a sport. The “No Refs, No Games” policy is established to underline the importance of referees within our club and our commitment to maintaining a positive atmosphere where mistakes are acknowledged as part of the human experience, emphasising learning and forgiveness.

Policy Objective

To promote a culture of respect, understanding, and support for referees by all involved with Newton Abbot Rugby Club, ensuring that rugby continues to be enjoyed in a fair, safe, and positive environment.


This policy applies to all Newton Abbot Rugby Club visitors, including members, players, coaches, volunteers, spectators, and any individuals associated with club activities, both on and off the pitch.

Newton Abbot Rugby Club (NARFC) is committed to upholding the highest standards of respect, sportsmanship, and integrity. This policy, titled “No Refs, No Games,” underscores our collective responsibility to create a positive, respectful, and supportive environment for everyone involved in the game – players, coaches, or referees. The essence of rugby is not just in playing the game but also in the spirit with which it is played. This policy outlines the expectations of all NARFC associates, emphasizing the importance of respect towards match officials and coaches.

Core Principles

  1. Zero Tolerance for Official Abuse: NARFC has a strict no-tolerance policy regarding the abuse of officials. This includes verbal, physical, or digital abuse. Any incidents of abuse must be immediately reported to
  2. Respect for All: All participants, including players, coaches, volunteers, and match officials, deserve to be treated with respect. Rugby, at its core, is a game meant to foster teamwork, discipline, and respect among all involved.
  3. Understanding and Patience: Coaches and referees are fundamental to the game. They contribute their time, effort, and passion. It’s crucial to remember that, like players, they are human and prone to mistakes. This understanding should guide our interactions with them.
  4. Communication Channels: Any feedback or concerns regarding match officiating should not be addressed during the match. Instead, such feedback should be communicated through the appropriate channels, as outlined by the coaches. This ensures that concerns are addressed constructively without disrupting the match’s integrity or spirit.
  5. Courtesy and Sportsmanship: Courtesy towards officials, coaches, and fellow players is non-negotiable and should always be evident. Demonstrating sportsmanship includes respecting the referees’ decisions, supporting the coaches, and maintaining discipline both on and off the pitch.


  • Education: Regular sessions will be held for players, coaches, and club members to reinforce the principles of this policy and the importance of respect in rugby.
  • Reporting Mechanism: A precise and confidential reporting mechanism for abuse or disrespect towards officials or coaches is established. Such reports can be made via email to
  • Disciplinary Actions: Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary actions, which may include warnings, suspension, or expulsion from the club, depending on the severity of the incident.
  • Feedback Process: Coaches will be provided information on the proper channels for offering constructive feedback to referees post-match. This ensures that any concerns are addressed appropriately and respectfully.


The “No Refs, No Games” policy is a testament to Newton Abbot Rugby Club’s commitment to the true spirit of rugby. By fostering an environment of respect, understanding, and sportsmanship, we ensure that the game remains enjoyable and enriching for everyone involved. Remember, rugby is more than a game; it’s a community built on mutual respect and love for the sport.


Mike Saxton

Director of Rugby