Proactive approach sets high standards in Central Division

Central Division has announced plans to expand its “Not In My House” initiative in a proactive move to improve spectator and player behaviour across rugby league grounds.

The four-step campaign, developed by Toowoomba’s Jodie Teys, puts the responsibility on all participants and spectators to meet ‘house rules’.

As part of the initiative; players, referees, club officials and spectators are listed as “family” who share a zone that won’t tolerate swearing, bullying and harassment.

Instead, all family members are asked to respect and encourage others – and those that don’t comply will be handed yellow cards as part of a unique strategy to expose those who breach the Code of Conduct.

QRL Division Manager Rob Crow said the campaign would be adopted across all 27 junior and senior leagues for the first time in 2019.

“We’re really proud of this initiative and would like to acknowledge the support and vision of our local leagues,” Crow said.

“Toowoomba and Bundaberg have adopted this program over the past two years; and the feedback has been extremely encouraging.”

The campaign is based on four steps as follows:

* Visuals: Posters with key messages will be displayed at grounds. 

* Signed Code of Conduct: Parents / carers and team staff will be required to sign a Code of Conduct.

* Yellow Cards: Clubs will be supplied with cards to distribute to spectators who disrespect players, coaches, officials or other spectators. The cards reinforce the need for “positive” support, and those who fail to comply may be asked to leave.

* Positive Reinforcement: The campaign aims to ensure that all fans who attend a match in “Our House” are aware of our rules and act accordingly.

“In simple terms, if you wouldn’t invite bullying and abuse into your house or workplace, then that type of behaviour should not be acceptable at rugby league matches – junior or senior,” Crow said.

“Ultimately, we want the entire football community, including players, partners, children and supporters, to really enjoy their day at the footy.”