Haves vs Have Nots

Constantine

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#1
This isn't strictly rugby related, but it often strikes me as I referee games between schools with strikingly different demographics. That is - one is rich, the other is poor.

A few weeks ago I had St Kentigern vs Otahuhu College. Otahuhu didn't have a full set of jerseys - they had borrowed some from the local club as they wear the same colours. St Kents looked absolutely spick-and-span - each boy likely owned his jersey, as they didn't have numbers on the back.

And the thought came to me "how is this fair?" How can we call it a fair contest when there will be boys on one team who haven't had breakfast because there isn't any food in the house, and the other team are all well fed and have never gone hungry? Where boys on one team can't practice as much as the other, because they have to look after their siblings, or can't miss the school bus home?

I'm not blaming the kids or parents from St Kents (hell, my brother sent his son there) they want the best education for their kids and that's admirable. It's a much greater issue than one school, it was just hammered home to me during that match.

I don't quite know where I'm going with this, but how can I say I referee a fair game when one team has the deck stacked against them right from the beginning?
 

Rushforth

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#2
Look at the bright side. If you become an international referee, you won't be asked to ref NZ v Holland. Not even if you become Aussie.

Hint: life isn't fair.
 

menace

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#3
IMO...you're thinking too hard about it. Let the footy do the talking...not their jersey, not their haircut, not the colour if their boots. You're there to be an unbiased game manager...not a human rights advocate to even the deck up (As hard as that may be when you're dealing with human nature)

Ps. Look at it this way...you have the golden opportunity to give both teams equal treatment about the game...not give anyone any special treatment because of which side of the bank balance they reside!
 
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Taff

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#4
What was their respective attitudes like?

I was talking to a teacher mate of mine recently who had to ask the private school parents to set an example. Apparently they wound the boys up so much that it got out of hand. As he said "If that's what public school education does to you, you can shove it".
 

damo

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#6
What was their respective attitudes like?

I was talking to a teacher mate of mine recently who had to ask the private school parents to set an example. Apparently they wound the boys up so much that it got out of hand. As he said "If that's what public school education does to you, you can shove it".
Hang on. When you say public school do you mean public school or private school?
 

Blackberry

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#7
I was housemaster at a public school for a few years and coached the First XV. The state schools we played were always great, especially Forrest School in Winnersh who were very tolerant of my sheep dog who escaped and ran onto the pitch to save a certain try. Some of the other public schools were not warm, fuzzy places to visit, and the boys would pick up vibes very quickly.

The problem is often caused by the coach's career being so closely linked to the team's results, he then infects the mood of the squad, this is transferred to the parents, and Bob's yer uncle, welcome to Sh**sville.

There were of course many funny moments. For a couple of years I was housemaster of the junior house. A young Ghanaian lad whose father had just died joined us and was thrust straight into the rugby team. He had taken two kicks at goal, one went wildly left, the next went wildly right. We were awarded a penalty, and although he had been crying in frustration at life in general and rugby in particular, he stomped up to take the kick. I called out to him "Dave!" and as he looked round I mimicked two rugby posts with my arms and mouthed the words!"Between them". This could have gone wildly wrong, but to his credit he shamelessly mimicked a "bulb going off above his head moment". He took the kick, which sailed perfectly between the posts, then he ran over and sarcastically, but respectfully, high fived me.
 

crossref

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#8
This isn't strictly rugby related, but it often strikes me as I referee games between schools with strikingly different demographics. That is - one is rich, the other is poor.

A few weeks ago I had St Kentigern vs Otahuhu College. Otahuhu didn't have a full set of jerseys - they had borrowed some from the local club as they wear the same colours. St Kents looked absolutely spick-and-span - each boy likely owned his jersey, as they didn't have numbers on the back.

And the thought came to me "how is this fair?" How can we call it a fair contest when there will be boys on one team who haven't had breakfast because there isn't any food in the house, and the other team are all well fed and have never gone hungry? Where boys on one team can't practice as much as the other, because they have to look after their siblings, or can't miss the school bus home?

I'm not blaming the kids or parents from St Kents (hell, my brother sent his son there) they want the best education for their kids and that's admirable. It's a much greater issue than one school, it was just hammered home to me during that match.

I don't quite know where I'm going with this, but how can I say I referee a fair game when one team has the deck stacked against them right from the beginning?
How did the game go?
 

crossref

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#9
I went to an independent school. Our fixtures were all against other independent schools.. Except that each season we also played the stare school that was in the same village.
Those were good games!
 

ctrainor

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#10
I went to grammar school in Barrow in Furness so played rugby most Saturdays against other grammar schools in Lancashire. We were always more fired up when we played fee paying private schools. The local schools only got chance to kick us at soccer as they all played RL, though our soccer team was usually a match for most.
 

Taff

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#11
Hang on. When you say public school do you mean public school or private school?
This could be a wind-up, but here (stupidly IMO) Public / Private schools (Eg Eton) are the same thing. I have no idea why private schools are called "public schools" but they are.

State schools are the ones the vast majority of pupils go to.
 

damo

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#12
This could be a wind-up, but here (stupidly IMO) Public / Private schools (Eg Eton) are the same thing. I have no idea why private schools are called "public schools" but they are.

State schools are the ones the vast majority of pupils go to.
Not so much a wind up as a joke. The post I quoted is very confusing because it refers to both public and privates schools. :shrug:
 

didds

, Resident Club Coach
#13
something to do with private tutorship leading to schools open to "the public" (although they were fee paying" - or somesuch?

didds
 

OB..

, Advises in England
#14
I have no idea why private schools are called "public schools" but they are.
When many of them were founded, the rich had private tutors for their children, so public schools were charities set up to educate the poorer people in society. William Webb Ellis went to Rugby School because after his father was killed in the Peninsula War, his mother realised that she could get a free education for her two sons by moving to live in Rugby.

Edward VI chartered many public schools, including Bedford School (1552).
 

Taff

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#15
Not so much a wind up as a joke. The post I quoted is very confusing because it refers to both public and privates schools. :shrug:
I wasn't having a dig; it's a good question. But people often ask "Why are private schools called public schools"? The honest answer is I haven't got a clue - we just accept that they mean the same thing. Ie a school which costs the parents a fair wedge per term.
 

crossref

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#16
I wasn't having a dig; it's a good question. But people often ask "Why are private schools called public schools"? The honest answer is I haven't got a clue - we just accept that they mean the same thing. Ie a school which costs the parents a fair wedge per term.
because before those schools existed schools were run by churches, or other closed institutions. There were no state schools - they cam much later.
Public schools were open to any member of the public (who could pay)

nowadays they call themselves independent schools.
 
#17
This isn't strictly rugby related, but it often strikes me as I referee games between schools with strikingly different demographics. That is - one is rich, the other is poor.

A few weeks ago I had St Kentigern vs Otahuhu College. Otahuhu didn't have a full set of jerseys - they had borrowed some from the local club as they wear the same colours. St Kents looked absolutely spick-and-span - each boy likely owned his jersey, as they didn't have numbers on the back.

And the thought came to me "how is this fair?" How can we call it a fair contest when there will be boys on one team who haven't had breakfast because there isn't any food in the house, and the other team are all well fed and have never gone hungry? Where boys on one team can't practice as much as the other, because they have to look after their siblings, or can't miss the school bus home?

I'm not blaming the kids or parents from St Kents (hell, my brother sent his son there) they want the best education for their kids and that's admirable. It's a much greater issue than one school, it was just hammered home to me during that match.

I don't quite know where I'm going with this, but how can I say I referee a fair game when one team has the deck stacked against them right from the beginning?
Its not fair that my parents handed down the ugly gene, or that they've afforded a house in a nicer area ..... Or that I wasn't born in slumdog millionaire district......... Constantine, if you can level this issue, then I've got the middle east disputes next for you to tackle ... : )
 

damo

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#20
This isn't strictly rugby related, but it often strikes me as I referee games between schools with strikingly different demographics. That is - one is rich, the other is poor.

A few weeks ago I had St Kentigern vs Otahuhu College. Otahuhu didn't have a full set of jerseys - they had borrowed some from the local club as they wear the same colours. St Kents looked absolutely spick-and-span - each boy likely owned his jersey, as they didn't have numbers on the back.

And the thought came to me "how is this fair?" How can we call it a fair contest when there will be boys on one team who haven't had breakfast because there isn't any food in the house, and the other team are all well fed and have never gone hungry? Where boys on one team can't practice as much as the other, because they have to look after their siblings, or can't miss the school bus home?

I'm not blaming the kids or parents from St Kents (hell, my brother sent his son there) they want the best education for their kids and that's admirable. It's a much greater issue than one school, it was just hammered home to me during that match.

I don't quite know where I'm going with this, but how can I say I referee a fair game when one team has the deck stacked against them right from the beginning?
Getting back to the original point, which wasn't solely rugby related, I have to say that I am broadly in agreement that the current state of disparity amongst schools is deplorable. Not only public v private either, though that is where it is most glaringly obvious. It is a very bad state of affairs where some kids go to school hungry.

I have no solutions, and I broadly speaking I am a moderate capitalist so I don't know if there actually is a magical solution, but your point is well made and I hear you.