To our Manly Touch players, parents, carers and spectators,

We are writing this open letter in the hope of reaching you all with some simple requests. Although these requests may be simple, their impact will have far reaching effects so please read on.

In the almost 50 years Manly Touch has been in operation, our Junior Summer Competition has become the pinnacle of the competitions we administer. With almost 400 teams participating across Thursday and Friday afternoons & evenings, we believe it is the biggest local touch football competition in Australia.

With such scale comes many operational challenges, and each season we look to improve on the competition to ensure we continue to offer a social, fun and ultimately safe environment for our players to participate in and their family and friends to enjoy watching touch footy.

In the last two seasons we have unfortunately experienced an increase in behaviour that is unruly, dangerous and even abusive. From yelling and swearing at other players, referees and spectators, to tackling players during a game, to knocking referees to the ground under the guise of trying to run through a gap, to tearing around and on fields during games on e-bikes, to throwing eggs from the sideline at the opposition. As surprising as some of these things may sound they have all occurred over the first 7 rounds of the Junior Summer Competition. 

To combat any adverse behaviour, Manly Touch has in place Ground Supervisors located at each Club House and Ground Managers walking around the fields overseeing games. Unfortunately this has not had the desired effect of eliminating, or even significantly reducing, bad behaviour as players and spectators appear to be waiting until the Ground Manager has moved past a game to then act up, or ignoring directions given by Ground Managers entirely. Here is where we need your help with the following simple requests:

  • All teams need to have at least one adult present on the sideline of their game, for the entirety of the game
  • All players, coaches, managers and spectators need to respect that the referee’s decisions are final. Team captains may respectfully enquire of the referee, matters of varying interpretation or causes of penalties. Any discussion is to be brief and polite and must not delay play. Other team members, coaches, managers or spectators should not talk to the referee
  • If there is an issue at your field that is impacting the game or the welfare of players, referees, or spectators, we ask that rather than taking matters into your own hands, that you find a Ground Manager or Ground Supervisor, and ask them to attend your field
  • e-Bikes are not to be ridden on fields or the grass areas between/around fields
  • e-Bikes to be parked in either of the designated spots marked with an X on the map shown following (click the image to enlarge it), behind the old Clubhouse (Kentwell Road end) and behind field 11

We appreciate that the majority of our players and spectators do behave in a manner that is in keeping with our Code of Conduct and for this we are grateful. If the above simple requests can be adhered to by all attending our Junior Summer Competition we are sure that the incidents that have occurred to date this season will be reduced, if not cease completely.

Yours respectfully,

Manly Touch Executive Committee