Play by the Rules (PBTR) is a unique collaboration between state and federal level organisations including Sports Integrity Australia, Sport Australia, and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
PBTR provides information, resources, tools and free online training to increase the capacity and capability of users, to assist them in preventing and dealing with discrimination, harassment, child safety, inclusion and integrity issues in sport.
PBTR also plays a key role in promoting appropriate conduct in all sporting environments – including community officiating – and throughout grassroots sport.
It’s widely acknowledged that Australia is facing a severe shortage of match officials with sports struggling to keep up with the demand for officiating services. This crisis is due to a combination of factors including an increase in levels of verbal and physical abuse of officials, increased competition sizes and reduced retention post-Covid, alongside the ongoing challenge of being an under-resourced area of sport.
The National Officiating Summit, in partnership with PBTR, will promote positive community messaging and to champion the need to create a safe environment within community sport via the e-learning, national campaigns and resources available to Australian sports available via the PBTR website. In the past 12 months over 40,000 people have accessed e-learning courses and the program has generated over 250,000 views of the PBTR website.
Event Director, Ash Synnott, said one of the Summit’s key purposes from the start was to support local officiating. The NOS 2023 partnership with Play by the Rules furthers that purpose by strengthening ties with community clubs looking to help their officials feel safe, supported and included at a community level.
“We’re elated to support a Community partnership with Play by the Rules as successful sport relies on strong community officiating. Without a buoyant local officiating environment, player development and safety is compromised. Further, a limited pool of quality officials coming through a sport’s pathway has impact on the standard presenting for elite competitions. We want our athletes to be safe, develop, perform and entertain, and there is a direct relationship to the arbiters of any sport”.
Elaine Heaney from Play by the Rules said,
“Play by the Rules mantra is safe, fair and inclusive sport. We want to see safe and welcoming environments created in all community sports clubs and throughout sport in Australia. For officials to thrive in their roles they need to be respected, protected and supported by everyone around them. Play by the Rules partnership with the National Officiating Summit means that together we can bring awareness to the importance of creating a safe and welcoming environment in which all officials can develop, grow and enjoy the sports that they are such an integral part of.”
ABOUT PLAY BY THE RULES
Play by the Rules provides information, resources, tools and free online training to increase the capacity and capability of administrators, coaches, officials, players, parents and spectators to assist them in preventing and dealing with discrimination, harassment, child safety, inclusion and integrity issues in sport. Play by the Rules is governed by a national Management Committee, made up of partners from multiple sport and recreation and human rights agencies.
More information can be found at www.playbytherules.net.au