Twenty-five year veteran Goff Moorcock and fellow referee Ali Payne have stood themselves down for the rest of the season after being abused during Tui Cup games and other senior matches in the Wairarapa.
Mr Moorcock said abuse and vitriol from the sideline during the 2012 season had been the worst he could recall after two-and-half decades in the middle.
”The spectators are having a go at referees, and the players are having a go too.’’
Following a club match between Pioneer and Carterton earlier this month, the Pioneer captain had to be held back by teammates and officials from having a go at the referee after being red-carded for dissent, Mr Payne told The Dominion Post.
He also said the effects of drink and drugs could turn things nasty in the stands.
”It’s people on the sidelines, some under the influence of alcohol and marijuana – you can smell it wafting over the field – and one of them starts up and then everyone takes it up.
”It just makes you think ‘Why do I bother doing this?”
Following an emergency meeting of the Referee’s Association, the Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union was to meet to discuss the issue.
The pair’s action comes just days after a referee called on the Horowhenua-Kapiti Rugby Union region to “fix” referee abuse in that region following a senior club match.
Peter O’Keefe started refereeing Horowhenua-Kapiti rugby games this season, and said other than one particular incident, the rudeness directed to referees in the region was the worst he had experienced.
IMAGE: OnTask via Wikimedia Commons