Respect to Referees: Green Whistles are a Win!

Promoting Respect for Referees in Sports with Green Whistles.

Referees play a critical role in maintaining fair play and sportsmanship in all athletic competitions. It is imperative that we create an environment where all individuals involved in sports, regardless of the sport they participate in, feel comfortable and respected. Unfortunately, instances of referee abuse and disrespectful behaviour are not uncommon, making it essential to address this issue across all sports.

Did you know? Basketball Victoria just started:

Introducing the Concept of Green Whistles for Refs under 18 years of age.

Inspired by the successful initiative by Basketball Victoria - Basketball Victoria - we believe that implementing a concept like the "Green Whistle" can be a significant step in the right direction to promote respect for referees in all sports. The Green Whistle serves as a symbol of our commitment to providing a supportive environment for young referees under the age of 18.

Recognising Young Referees

In every sport, we expect that all referees are treated with respect and courtesy. However, we acknowledge that it is particularly crucial to behave appropriately around referees who are children or teenagers. It's often challenging to discern the age of a referee solely by appearance or judging their abilities, which is why we have introduced the Green Whistle as a simple identifier to protect these young officials. This is the concept that Basketball Victoria has, and is a great idea that can cross into other sports.

Refereeing Across Sports

Referees under the age of 18 are a significant portion of the officiating community in various sports. Therefore, it is inevitable that some of these young referees may encounter negative behaviour in a supposedly safe and supportive sporting environment. It's important to recognize that adults who lose perspective in the heat of competition can have detrimental effects on the experience of all participants, particularly those under 18.

Community sports heavily rely on referees under the age of 18, both from an economic and logistical perspective. Furthermore, we understand that there is often a shortage of adult referees to cover all the games and sports events that take place at the community level each year. The fact that we depend on young referees to enable us to enjoy the sports we love places a significant responsibility on us to ensure they are protected and feel safe while officiating.

Our Responsibility is to Protect Young Referees. It's about Being Positive Role Models in Sport.

In all sports, we can be positive role models for referees, players, and fans alike. Consider these steps to contribute positively to your sports community:

  • Acknowledge and Appreciate Referees: Regardless of the sport, when you see a referee, especially if they're under 18, take a moment to express your appreciation for their efforts. This encourages them to continue and do their best.
  • Cheer Positively: Create an environment filled with great sportsmanship by cheering for both teams. Positivity on the sidelines contributes to a better sporting atmosphere.
  • Highlight Young Referees: In all sports, appreciate and highlight the contributions of young referees, officials and athletes. Your support and acknowledgment go a long way in ensuring they continue to feel valued.
  • Team and Coaching Etiquette: If you're part of a team or coaching staff, make it a standard practice to thank the referee for their efforts, no matter their age.

When you see a Green Whistle being used in any sport, pause and reflect on what you can do to enhance your game experience and the overall atmosphere. Together, we can create an environment of respect and sportsmanship that benefits everyone involved in sports.

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 Kids playing sports on play grounds, sports clubs and backyards kicking goals, playing soccer, having fun with teachers. SUMMIT supports young athelets and referees.



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