I have on several occasions mentioned the disgraceful behaviour of some parents and coaches at mini and junior rugby.
So it’s good to learn that a Junior National Rugby Tournament is doing something pro-active to discourage it –
The National Schools Rugby Tournament (NSRT) has introduced a weighted scoring system, with the potential to dock points if teams or their supporters do not respect officials.
The approach has been endorsed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
Organisers say it aims to “reward more positive aspects of the game of rugby”.
As well as awarding bonus points for tries and good defence, officials will also grade both the team and supporters on their sportsmanship and respect of others.
Zero points will be given if “a clear, and repetitive, lack of respect for the referee and his decisions” is displayed, while “exceeding the expectations of the RFU core values” will gain a team three points
I have no idea if this will work in practice but it is a positive attempt to bring back the traditional values of rugby – although frankly I wasn’t much of a fan of the punching and shoe-ing, when I played. Oh, I see – not those traditions!