Group 16 Rugby League returns with added measures to reduce game day abuse

April 11, 2024 7:32 am in by

Local rugby league returns this weekend and instead of just a whistle in their hand, senior referees in the South East will have small video cameras strapped to their body.

The Far South Coast’s senior rugby league competition will trial the use of Go Pro cameras strapped to referees, in the hope it will stamp out game day abuse.

Body cameras will be worn by senior and reserve grade Group 16 referees every round throughout the 2024 season, to deter or capture incidents of player and spectator abuse.

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Tathra local, Daytona Porter is a teenage Group 16 Referee, who told East Coast Radio that having a safe work environment is crucial to increase participation and retention of referees in the South East.

“We’re really excited to have these body cameras on the referees this season,” Porter said.

“It’s going to help reduce abuse towards match officials and will not only make the at ground experience better for families but also improve referee retention which will improve the quality of refereeing by having a larger pool of developing referees willing to do the job,” she said.

Ms Porter said four Go Pro cameras will be used as part of the trial to collect video and audio footage at matches this season.

“Hopefully it gets players and spectators to think before they act, as a preventative measure,” Porter said.

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“But if abuse happens like how it does during games, at least we will have something for the judiciary and things like that for people to be held accountable.”

Men’s First Grade Group 16 Rugby League gets underway on Saturday when the Snowy Rivers Bears take on the Bombala Blue Heelers at Jindabyne. Eden will travel to the Cooma Showgrounds to take on the Stallions.

While on Sunday, Tathra host the Moruya Sharks, which re-enter the competition after being forced to withdraw from the 2023 season due to a lack of numbers, something that has occurred at the Narooma Devils this year.

Meantime, Batemans Bay will travel to the Bega Rec Ground on Sunday to face off against the Bega Roosters.

Round 1 of Group 16 Rugby League:

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SATURDAY 13.4.24

JJ Connor Oval – Jindabyne

1pm – Reserve Grade.
2:30pm – Women’s League Tag.
3:45pm – First Grade.

SUNDAY 14.4.24

Tathra Country Club
10:10am – Under 18’s – Narooma Devils v Moruya Sharks.
11:25am – 2nd Grade – Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs v Moruya.
12:50pm – 2nd Grade – Tathra Sea Eagles v Snowy River Bears.
2:15pm – 1st Grade – Tathra Sea Eagles v Moruya Sharks.

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Bega Rec Ground
10:30am – Womens League Tag – Bega Chicks v Merimbula Pambula Hot Doggies.
11:30am – Under 18’s – Bega Roosters v Batemans Bay Tigers.
1pm – 2nd Grade – Bega Roosters v Batemans Bay Tigers.
2:30pm – 1st Grade – Bega Roosters v Batemans Bay Tigers.

Image: Daytona Porter