Respect the Game

Thousands of people participate and officiate in football each weekend across northern NSW.​ 

Over time, a minority have unfortunately decided that it is ok to:​ 

  • Abuse referees, both official and volunteers​ 
  • Scream and yell at players, coaches and officials​
  • Criticise performance rather than celebrate effort​
  • Ignore, manipulate and question rules and decisions 

Many of us have experienced this poor behaviour firsthand. Its impacts include: 

  • People stop playing the game​ 
  • Referees stop officiating​
  • Volunteer numbers dwindle
  • Mental health suffers​
  • Tensions between clubs rise​
  • Clubs’ reputations diminish


We need your help!

It doesn’t need to be like this, but it will take all of us to fix the problem and create a genuine culture shift.​ 

This needs to occur at all levels. We need to Respect the Game.​ 

It’s our collective job to keep our game strong and provide a safe, enjoyable environment that protects participants, match officials, club administrators, volunteers and spectators.

Respect our game pledge

Share your support and Respect the Game by taking a pledge to respect others and call out bad behaviour.

How it works: 

  • Head to our online pledge page
  • Pledge your support to Respect the Game
  • Encourage others at your club to do the same
  • Join a community of people committed to greater respect in football

The pledge

I pledge to Respect our Game and will not tolerate abuse in our game directed towards referees, players, coaches, spectators, officials or volunteers.​ 

I will call out behaviour that undermines this pledge and drive a culture of respect within our football community. ​

Sign the Pledge Here

You know the rules

The IFAB Laws of the Game provide us all with a better understanding of decisions made by referees. 
But how well do you know the rules? Take our quiz to find out.

Rules of the Game Quiz

Report poor behaviour 

Poor behaviour comes in many forms: 

  • It can be verbal, written, physical or emotional
  • It can happen during play, on the sidelines, at training, in the clubhouse, outside the sporting arena or online
  • Coaches, players, parents, spectators, officials or administrators can behave poorly and be victims of poor behaviour 

Poor behaviour can look like: 

  • Undue pressure 
  • Abuse
  • Taunting or sledging
  • Poor sportsmanship
  • Foul language
  • Harassment
  • Bullying
  • Victimisation and more 

We know there is a spectrum of poor behaviour and there are reporting options to match.

Ranging from monitor the situation to making an official complaint find out what your options are here.

Complaints + Complaint Handling  

Share your experiences

We want to know about your football experiences, good and bad, and ideas to improve the culture within our game.​ 

Share Here  

Mental health help is available ​ 

If poor behaviour is impacting your mental health, consider talking to the services below.