Ask Ray… Week four revisited

Last week’s “Ask Ray” feature received some quite healthy discussion. I got a few emails though who said the piece was only up a short while, especially with the amount of midweek hockey last week, and would like if it would be given a bit more prominence… so here is last week’s “Ask Ray”.

Last week’s comment chain, has been added to the comment’s section.

The Query:

I have in recent weeks watched four men’s games in which the level of abuse hurled at the umpires was beyond belief. The abuse was both direct to them as to ” Whether they were watching the game” to foul-mouthed use of the F-word repeatedly, both at the umpires directly and to team mates.

My question for Ray is essentially what is the exact rule as regards use of foul language and what sanction should an umpire apply?

Ray’s repsonse
I would like to answer this question in two parts:
Foulmouthed use of the F word repeatedly both at the umpires directly and to team mates
a. People On The pitch
b. People Watching the game

i) is the technical answer (within the rules)
ii) is my own opinion.

i) For people on the panel, within the rules, this is regarded a MISCONDUCT .
Misconduct within our game, has got to be dealt with firmly. The captain is responsible for the behaviour of all the players. The umpire should work through the captain and deal with “Foulmouthed language”.

There are many options for an umpire to deal with this. I would suggest that common sense should prevail at all times in dealing with MISCONDUCT.

ii) This problem has been around for many years and we all must take some of the blame. Having said that, we, also, will all have to work together to find a solution.

Umpires alone will not be able to cure this on their own. I personally know for many years I have seen players receiving cards for “Foulmouthed language”. I do not believe that the administration, who receive the information about the cards have dealt with the offenders.

As regard to abuse-hurling spectators, there is nothing an umpire can do about that. We all have a responsibility in this area.

I do know of one of our best known clubs that has an area known as the “pigpen” where a gathering of spectators do exactly as described in the question: “a level of abuse hurled at the umpires was beyond belief.”

To take this forward and make a start at a cure, I believe it is time to put a firm protocol in place to deal with this. I do think that umpires can help but administrators across our game, must play their part. The question I ask is: are we all willing to contribute?

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