NEWS: BC & commission get tough on discipline as team managers in the firing line

British Cycling and the Cycle Speedway commission are aiming to get tough on future misconduct of riders by holding team managers, as well as riders, to account for the behaviour of their team.

In an email to team managers, Paul West said:

To all BC Team Managers

The BC CS Commission is dedicated to tackling the unacceptable level of abuse against referees and other officials within Cycle Speedway. The issues confronting the sport through this lack of discipline threaten to destroy it from within. The number of individuals willing to work as referees in the centre green is shrinking year on year whilst the potential to attract television and sponsors and other agents on a long term basis has greatly diminished.

To date, whilst offending individuals and clubs have been subject to disciplinary action against  them as a result of their actions, team managers who are ultimately responsible for the actions of their riders rarely have.   No longer will this be the case. The BC CS Commission has every intention to ensure that team managers are considered for possible further action when looking at the behaviour of their riders. On many occasions, such officials have been seen to ignore the actions of their riders or sometimes goad them to make things even worse –

Team managers are expected to observe the ‘Well Played, Sport’ Athletes and Coaches charter which appears each year in the BC CS Directory –

– Respect the decisions made by the Referee

– Take defeat graciously

– Remain in the Team Pits and do not enter the Track Area unless given permission to do so by the Match Referee

– Play by both the rules and spirit of the rules.

The above does not in any way diminish the responsibility of riders and other club officials from maintaining a high level of discipline both on and off the field of competition.

Bad behaviour has blighted the sport in recent years, with referees often the main target for abuse. The man (or woman) in the middle has the hardest job in the sport and they will make mistakes. Perhaps even seeing things differently from their unique vantage point in the middle of the action, to what is seen in the pits or around the sporting arena. Passion is a good thing and gives us explosive racing on track, but letting it spill onto the centre green is always an ugly scenario and the fact is, without referees, we would have no sport.

Hopefully, this season Cycle Speedway can take a leaf out of Rugby’s book, in offering a greater respect towards our officials and scenes like the picture above from the 2014 DMP Polish series can be avoided.