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Mark Levy fires up over referee abuse as retention crisis deepens

There are calls for a crackdown on abuse of junior referees amid a spate of recent attacks.

Mark Levy shared a scathing editorial with listeners, calling out the bad behaviour of parents setting a poor example for their kids and revealing his own traumatic experiences as a junior ref.

“I’ve had parents spit at me on the sideline after a game, I’ve been called every name under the sun by grown men and women in front of their own children.

“While I applaud the threat of life bans, I think it’s time for parents and spectators to realise the damage they’re doing and the dangerous message they’re sending to the kids.”

Click PLAY below to hear Mark’s comments in full

In recent days, the coach of the Terrigal Sharks was charged with common assault after allegedly pushing a player of the opposing under-12s team to the ground, while two referees in their 20s were allegedly punched in the face and physically threatened in separate incidents.

NSWRL Referees Association President Peter Filmer told Mark the situation is even worse than he alluded to, giving a case involving a 14-year-old perpetrator as an example.

“Mark … what this bloke did, you could not read in a fiction novel. If I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t have believed anyone was capable of what this bloke had done.”

Mr Filmer estimates 85 per cent of referees recruited are lost within three years.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Getty