For clubs and associations

Preventing abuse of officials: Through R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

There is no one sure way to improve the satisfaction and retention rates of officials in sport. Every official will have their own personality and expectations which will dictate what they need from their chosen sport in order to satisfy them as individuals. Group wide satisfaction is a complex issue, an officiating strategy which meets the personal needs of one official may not necessarily be the approach that satisfies all officials.

A good place to start when developing a system which encourages long-term commitment from an officiating group is the Australian Sports Commission’s Preventing abuse of officials - through R.E.S.P.E.C.T. PDF (35.4 KB) guidelines. The guidelines highlight seven key steps to implementing a systemic respect culture towards officials and within the official group.

  • Recognise - recognise and reward the invaluable contribution that officials make to running sport.
  • Encourage - Encourage and create an inclusive environment through induction processes, training and development and make officials feel needed and valued.
  • Support - Provide adequate resources, fund/supplement costs of travel, uniforms and training, cater to a diverse population and provide referee mentors and coaches.
  • Plan - plan strategies and programs to recognise and support the role of officials by setting goals and outcome-based actions.
  • Educate - Support training and development to improve the competencies, skills and confidence of officials at all levels. Promote codes of behaviour for players, officials, parents, coaches, teachers, administrators, spectators and the media to encourage fair play and appropriate behaviour in sport.
  • Communicate - Communicate openly with officials and the wider sport community, including updates on the organisation and involve officials in relevant decision making processes. Provide a safe and welcoming environment where officials feel empowered to provide their feedback.
  • Thank - Thank officials for their time, contribution and overall importance to the sport.

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Last updated: 14 August 2018

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