Potomac Referee Abuse Protocol

USA Rugby Referee Abuse Directive; IN ADDITION, Potomac Rugby Referees have instituted further processes.  Please Read Closely.

Contact Ken Fraine, Potomac Society Training Officer for questions. (KenFraine@Verizon.Net)


Verbal abuse by team coaches, team staff or team substitutes directed at match officials or players should not be tolerated and the following process should be followed:

  1. The referee will ask the identified person to refrain from their behavior.
  2. On the second occasion the referee will EJECT the person from the grounds.
  3. Zero tolerance approach should be applied and if the person refuses to leave the referee should request that team’s captain to assist.
  4. Failing compliance the referee may abandon the match.

NOTE: The referee must restart the game according to the latest stoppage and must NOT award a penalty due to the sideline behavior.



  1. Match referee will strictly adhere to the USA Rugby directive outlined above.
  2. Match referee will report the incident to the governing Disciplinary Officer (DO). The governing DO is defined as the league official to whom the resulting disciplinary report would normally be sent.
  3. Offending persons (which may include coaches, assistant coaches, other sideline personnel, reserve players, or other sideline observers supporting a given side, and henceforward denoted the “TEAM”) will be given one warning by the governing DO to discontinue their abuse.
  4. A second ejection of any participant of the TEAM will lead to sanctions, which may include non-assignment of referees for future matches.
  1. Persons receiving first-time ejections must recertify with Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA)<http://www.positivecoach.org/> and send the certification to the governing DO upon completion.
  2. Repeat offenders may petition the Society for reinstatement of referee allocations. A PCA certification by the offending person(s) is required prior to the petition, which must be after the date of the 2nd offense by the TEAM.
  3. Further sanctions to be applied would be governed by World Rugby Regulation 17, per USA Rugby Disciplinary Policy.