GROUP Three Rugby League players and spectators at games have been put on notice that offensive language will not be tolerated.
Clubs were warned before last weekend's round that immediate action would be taken if players use loud offensive language, whether it be to other players, match officials or in general.
Group Three chairman Wayne Bridge said this will remain in place for the rest of the season and beyond.
This follows a letter sent to the group by MidCoast Council deputy mayor, Alan Tickle, following the Old Bar/Forster-Tuncurry game at Old Bar on Saturday, May 4.
Cr Tickle was working on the gate in a voluntary capacity for Old Bar. His youngest son, Jonathon, is a player and official with the Pirates.
"The letter stated that four women who were there on the day won't be going to a match again because of the foul language used by some players,'' Mr Bridge said.
"So we've decided to take action.''
Mr Bridge said players will be sent off, either to the sin bin or for the game, for using audible offensive language.
He stressed that said the spectators using offensive language also face penalties. This can include being told to leave the ground and even lengthy bans from attending matches.
"The ground managers will be instructed to approach spectators and tell them to cut the bad language out,'' Mr Bridge said.
"If it persists, clubs can ring the police. Any players in the crowd using foul language will also come under the group's control and further action will be taken.''
Mr Bridge said the group has the full backing of the NSWRL and that it is part of the governing league's policy. He added the reaction from clubs when contacted by the group on the matter was generally positive and supportive.
"After the Wingham/Taree City game last Saturday I went into both sheds and congratulated the teams on the way they conducted themselves,'' he said.
"We want spectators to be able to come to our games - particularly family groups - and enjoy a day at the football and not have to put up with loud and offensive language.''
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