Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: Part of the Game

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  • Emma Hart,

    hopefully someone pointed out that the thugs who said homophobic slurs were "part of the game" were clearly wrong because they were saying them to a gay couple.

    She was at the game with her brother, not her girlfriend, but the reason they were wrong is even more compelling: she was captain of her high school rugby team.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Please be polite to referees. Rugby, like many sports has terrible problems with how referees are treated on sports fields at all levels on weekends. Many of them are unpaid volunteers just trying to make the sport happen as best they can.

    And if it's OK at Eden Park or any other major stadium to abuse the referee, then it becomes OK at a game with a bunch of 10 year old kids. Be unhappy with the call, but don't hurl abuse.

    From my sport, this page here is getting some traction around facebook:

    Hey Ref - Through an official’s eyes.

    This weekend I'm entering the fire again and refereeing Dunedin vs Queenstown in our national ice hockey league. Be nice not to be called a "fucking faggot" by the players this time. :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Emma Hart,

    She was at the game with her brother

    Hey I don't have time to read the news, just be outraged by it. :P

    she was captain of her high school rugby team.

    Awesome

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Connelly,

    The homophobes at Eden park represent one side of how civility and politeness have declined in this country. The language you use in this post is just as bad.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2012 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    It all basically comes down to tolerance by those in power. In the case of Eden Park it's those running the venue. If they think that it's up to society to sort out then perhaps they think it'd be a good idea for those being abused to get in a verbal stoush with them, or smack seven shades of shit out of the abuser(s) right there in row 33, section 6? Would they find that to be part of the solution? I doubt it.

    In terms of abuse of referees at local sports fields the most power is with the referee. No ref = no game. They have to seize it. When I played in the 90s we would get penalised for saying things like "c'mon ref" after a call we didn't like so we pretty much knew not to go there. In hundreds of games I played in I can't clearly recall a ref being directly abused by a player or spectator (not that I could hear anyway :) ). We were conditioned like little puppies what to say, and what not to say.

    The larger sporting bodies are very supportive of their referees and when games get called off for violence or abuse of referees they tend to be quite harsh with their punishments. But there's not much they can do if it's put up with by the victim and then whinged about later. What is interesting is that the referees at higher levels actually would stop the game and order the abuser from the ground. By ground I mean basically outside the park boundaries. I've seen it happen when I've been a spectator more than once when they've been able to identify the abuser at small suburban grounds. So the authorities at stadiums should be mindful of their role in policing that sort of thing when it's happening out of ear shot of the match officials. That's their zone.

    So good on this lady for calling these losers out and doing the stadium authorities job for them PROPERLY. Perhaps next time they'll do it themselves or else pay those who do it for them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    The homophobes at Eden park represent one side of how civility and politeness have declined in this country.

    Is that true? I'd say it's got better, but it's got a ways to go. Gawd I remember one of the only games of cricket I went to in the 90s there was some guy who yelled loudly "Pussy on a Stick!" over and over for hours. It was his only contribution. The most common chant was "Tufnell's a Wanker", accompanied by stomping feet and clapping. That one went all day.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to BenWilson,

    I'd say it's got better, but it's got a ways to go.

    It has absolutely improved. I mean, what's more polite than the "Give us a wave" chant?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Off Stuff

    Hard hitting Ozzie Army Chief

    "The standard you walk past is the standard you accept"

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1588 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Yamis,

    When I played in the 90s we would get penalised for saying things like “c’mon ref” after a call we didn’t like so we pretty much knew not to go there.

    It was common when I played waterpolo for penalties to be given for even raising one's eyebrows about a referee's call. To say something about it was considered disrespect and could easily result in ejection for the whole game. To actively harass the referee almost never happened, and in the one case I remember, the player was suspended from playing for about 3 months. Furthermore, the referee had the power to eject spectators from the pool complex for anything they didn't like.

    I used this in one schoolgirl's game once, where an annoying Dad who had absolutely no idea was abusing me from the the stands. I stopped the game, took the ball, went up to him and told him that the game would not continue until he left the complex for 5 minutes to cool down. The look of shock and shame was well worth it, and he did what I said, and apologized to me after the game.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    In terms of abuse of referees at local sports fields the most power is with the referee. No ref = no game. They have to seize it. When I played in the 90s we would get penalised for saying things like "c'mon ref" after a call we didn't like so we pretty much knew not to go there. In hundreds of games I played in I can't clearly recall a ref being directly abused by a player or spectator (not that I could hear anyway :) ). We were conditioned like little puppies what to say, and what not to say.

    The other week I tossed a former member of our national senior mens ice hockey team out of a game for making a wanking gesture at me with his stick. He played the next game. Another member of his team called the opposing captain a "fucking french faggot". I'm just saying that rugby is well ahead of some other sports in this regard.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    The language you use in this post is just as bad.

    Generic use of "fuckwit" is an equal opportunity profanity and calling someone a "faggot" is homophobic abuse. The latter is several orders of magnitude worse than the former. Your argument is a false equivalence. Also known as "full of shit".

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    civility and politeness have declined in this country

    Oh fuck I'm sorry! Nah, I'm not :) But I will say this, I have spent a long time removing gendered insults from my general lexicon. I will use certain ones among friends whom I have known for a long time or when referring to the particular body part.

    As Danielle points out, "faggot" (a word I even hate to write), is a knife-edge insult to a particular group of people. I will loudly decry anyone who uses that term as a fuckwit...

    ...because honestly, the good guys swear too

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Please be polite to referees. Rugby, like many sports has terrible problems with how referees are treated on sports fields at all levels on weekends. Many of them are unpaid volunteers just trying to make the sport happen as best they can.

    This is an excellent point well made and frankly should've been the basis for my post. I am guilty of harassing refs, though usually through the TV. I also staunchly defend them after the game (mostly). But I have to yell at someone... let me drink about this

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    the good guys swear too

    fuck yes

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Hadyn Green,

    But I will say this, I have spent a long time removing gendered insults from my general lexicon

    What do you call dicks then?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    We've gone through this at some length in my thread, but basically, you're wrong. Eden Park is a far more civil and safer place than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Many women attend games. I can't recall the last time I saw behaviour like that in question. Which made the park's weird, dismissive response all the more odd and unacceptable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22743 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We've gone through this at some length in my thread, but basically, you're wrong. Eden Park is a far more civil and safer place than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Many women attend games. I can't recall the last time I saw behaviour like that in question. Which made the park's weird, dismissive response all the more odd and unacceptable.

    That's the weird thing to me. In some places and some respects things ARE more 'civilised' than they used to be. I find sport a lot cleaner than it used to be in terms of less on field violence. I could crank out a decent chapter in a book on violent incidents I saw in games played in (rugby league and rugby union) or saw growing up, but I find in most of the school and club games I see now that the players show more self control towards each other in league and union, but LESS to the refs/umpires. I was embarrassed to hear what was being said to umpires in cricket games I saw. And the umpires didn't deal with it. I escorted one of our abusive spectators (student) out of the school grounds a few years ago and he and his mum and mates were all pissy with me for being so 'strict'.

    But I guess it depends on where you've been and what you've seen. When I was at school in the 80s and early 90s I don't remember hearing anybody swear within earshot of the teacher. Now it's a steady battle with a significant chunk of kids. The F-bomb (both of them) and C-bomb are regularly heard in the playground. Even in the class room I have to tell kids off fairly regularly for overly colourful language.

    I was going to ask you guys if you'd kicked anybody out of the 'ground' or seen anything like that but then saw that you had which gives me a warm fuzzy because that's exactly what all refs and umps should be doing so keep it up. Backslap them fools err, metaphorically speaking :)

    I was running the touchline for a game a couple of years ago and one of our boys dived in in the corner at great speed with tacklers involved and he planted and went through the corner post at basically the same time so benefit goes to the attacker especially given I had no chance to see it in slo-mo and so I told the ref it was OK and got called a "cheating c*nt" by the opposition team for my troubles. I went over to the ref and told him and he says to me "Ha, I've been called worse than that" and walked off.

    Well mate, so long as you ref you'll continue to be called way worse, and regularly.

    A lot of these refs ref in the same comp everyweek so you get ones that you know, because you'll have them 2, 3, 4 times a season, so if you know what they'll accept and not accept then you'll adjust. And the same goes for most other places, classrooms, schools, stadiums, fields, wherever...

    Planet Earth, it's a battle ground.... :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Well mate, so long as you ref you’ll continue to be called way worse, and regularly.

    My rule of thumb is, if I fuck up, the players are allowed to swear within some reason, because they have the right to expect that I do a better job. I completely missed an Auckland player that threw an elbow the other week and right clocked a guy from Dunedin. Fair enough that the injured party gets up and says "for fucks sake ref, open your eyes" when I tell him I missed it, because it was a shit job on my part and he's right.

    If they want to accuse me of cheating or just abuse me because they don't like my calls, I'll exercise all the powers available to me to remind them that I have infinite times more power than they do in the situation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Way down the list of things that's fucked up about Eden Park's "it's just part of the game" attitude is, well... it's pretty damn insulting to straight male rugby fans.

    I have plenty of straight male rugby fan friends whose default setting isn't "homophobic, misogynistic, racist dickbag" and, en mass, keep their animal penis brains in check. Really.

    Or put another way: I expect more from people, because I have a (perhaps naive) belief that they are capable of getting there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    adding fuel...

    What do you call dicks then?

    isn't a bundle of dicks called a fagot (Faggot Brit)
    or was it sticks?
    : - )

    hannibal lictor...?
    perhaps a bundle of dicks would not be dissimilar
    to a bundle of rods with a projecting axe head...
    a.k.a. fasces - which is of course the root of fascist
    and sounds a bit like...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll,

    Slightly, but maybe not really, off-topic: watching the (FTA) buildup to French test, and the (female, not that it matters maybe) presenter tells a *funny* story about how the guy she was interviewing liked to wind people up, and he was throwing bread at a lunch until his captain took a fork and drove it through his hand, pinning it to the table.

    "That's one crazy Frenchman," she said with a smile.

    Cause, you know, that's just rugby players... they're funny like that.

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    My rule of thumb is, if I fuck up, the players are allowed to swear within some reason, because they have the right to expect that I do a better job. I completely missed an Auckland player that threw an elbow the other week and right clocked a guy from Dunedin. Fair enough that the injured party gets up and says "for fucks sake ref, open your eyes" when I tell him I missed it, because it was a shit job on my part and he's right.

    I suppose it depends on what the sport is because in league, rugby, soccer and maybe other sports you can stop and give the lecture, but in others it is supposed to flow. I don't know.

    I always appreciate a ref who says "shut the &^%# up" after they have given a call. Provided it isn't against any team I support and is following a correct call :)

    I was never a captain and found that the first time I asked a ref a question like, "what was that for?", I got a verbal response, and the second time I got penalised :(

    Mad props to them.

    F&%ken cheats ;(

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Ben McNicoll,

    Slightly, but maybe not really, off-topic: watching the (FTA) buildup to French test, and the (female, not that it matters maybe) presenter tells a *funny* story about how the guy she was interviewing liked to wind people up, and he was throwing bread at a lunch until his captain took a fork and drove it through his hand, pinning it to the table.
    "That's one crazy Frenchman," she said with a smile

    Melodie Robinson? errr....

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    It was common when I played waterpolo for penalties to be given for even raising one's eyebrows about a referee's call. To say something about it was considered disrespect and could easily result in ejection for the whole game. To actively harass the referee almost never happened, and in the one case I remember, the player was suspended from playing for about 3 months. Furthermore, the referee had the power to eject spectators from the pool complex for anything they didn't like.

    I like this. Passion and abuse are distinguishable, and should be kept separate. Ugliness manifests in sport in many different ways, and often comes out as thinking it's acceptable to abuse less powerful members of society.

    Asking what the call was (in the expectation that you're seeking information so that you won't do it again) shouldn't be an offense. But in this era of videocameras, you're probably better to watch the game afterwards and try to figure it out post-facto. Making light of the ref's decisions, even in a neutral light, doesn't seem like a winning strategy in any sport.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Davidson,

    I was lucky enough to be at the second test at Headingley last month. We were pretty much in the thick of it (i.e. ground zero - the head of the verboten beer snake - started in the seats right in front of us). In the six of seven hours we were there I don't remember one single swear word or "offensive" remark, but the commentary-from-the-cheap-seats ran all day. And it was bloody funny, and bloody good fun.

    But is seems such a shame then that with zero offensive insults and homophobic slurs we were somehow missing out on "part of the game".

    Sydney • Since Mar 2007 • 59 posts Report Reply

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