Written by Jaylee Ismay
25 May, 2022

After two years of COVID hiatus, we have now been back on the courts across the state for the last couple of months. This is of course very exciting for everyone especially the kids who have been missing the ability to participate in sport due to the pandemic.

This brings me to the flip side of our game.  We note an increase in discriminatory and threatening behaviour since we resumed playing in February. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AT ANY LEVEL. This includes any slurs or inappropriate posts on social media.  

All sports have lost a significant number of referees and umpired during the pandemic.  Many have chosen not to return due to the abuse they receive especially by parents.

We will not have a game without referees, and you will note the campaign NO REFEREES = NO GAME commencing shortly in conjunction with the NSW State government’s “SHOOSH” campaign which is running currently. I will also note that for an U12’s game the referees are often young teenagers, so you are verbally abusing kids.

In short, we will not tolerate any abusive or threatening behaviour.  Please do not embarrass the kids or yourselves. We have several policies supporting this including:  zero tolerance, member protection, competition by-laws and conditions of entry into each venue. 

Each venue has several BNSW staff at league rounds.  This includes the court supervisors who have the right to stop games should there be significantly bad behaviour and ask people to leave.  Ongoing threats of physical harm will be reported to the police. 

I am asking you to focus on enjoying fact that the kids are back playing and having a good time.

I am asking you to be level-headed and let us enjoy our game, be positive and be a role model for our children.  They see and hear everything always remember that.

For the love of our game.

Maria Nordstrom
Basketball NSW