Sporting leagues in the Bendigo region say they are looking at new measures to clamp down on bad spectator behaviour.
It comes after Melbourne's Eastern Football League introduced 'Silent Sundays', where shouting, talking to the umpire and coaching from the sidelines has been banned.
The Bendigo Amateur Soccer League introduced its own silent round last month as part of a wider 'Respect the Game' initiative from Football Victoria.
League president Aaron Shooter said while the silence was "eerie" during the match, the round was a success.
"We only had the one round where parents, spectators and even coaches were asked to limit their support to applause only," Mr Shooter said. "The concept was to draw attention to the noise people make to players and officials.
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"We tried really hard to inform players, spectators and coaches ahead of the round. We only had very few instances where people or coaches were unaware or not happy. On the whole, everybody held onto the intent of the round."
While the league will not implement silent rounds for the remainder of the season, Mr Shooter said there would be a similar one-week concept next year.
"It was one round and it was just a reminder," he said. "It was meant to be taken lightly and just a chance to do something to encourage positive change.
"We've been reviewing behaviour on and off the ground and I can honestly say that in the last three years, instances of behaviour that would break codes of conduct have been reduced significantly.
"People are becoming aware of their behaviour which is all part of our respect initiative."
Some of the junior football leagues in central Victoria have also introduced new measures to change spectator behaviour.
"The Bendigo Junior Football League have a new initiative with signs that encourage people to enjoy and have fun but remember that it is just a game," AFL Central Victoria Regional Operations Manager Norm Sheahan said.
"We also have awards for the most disciplined club, where the umpires of the game rate spectators and officials on their behaviour throughout the game.
"If a club is rated below average, we ask that club for a please explain. But at the end of the year, we reward the clubs who have had the best behaviour as an incentive to continue that behaviour. We try to reward good behaviour rather than always focusing on the bad."
There are about 5000 people who participate in football across north central Victoria each week. Mr Sheahan said there was, at most, only a couple of concerning incidents each round.
"It's very minute," he said. "We don't have any trends where behaviour is consistently bad."
A continuation of good behaviour means there won't be the need for a silent round, Mr Sheahan said.
"We won't be having a silent round or anything of the sort," he said. "There's still an understanding that you can barrack and support as long as you do it respectfully.
"For country Victoria and our region, the behaviour from all leagues and clubs have been quite good but we are always monitoring things."
There are almost 300 umpires across the football leagues in the Bendigo region. Umpire manager at AFL Central Victoria, Sharon McColl, said the umpires would be open to any changes that would make the game easier to umpire.
"We absolutely would support a silent round if the leagues thought it would be worth a trial," she said. "But we don't mind parents and spectators shouting encouragement and positive things. We just don't want abuse.
"Every league is different, but at a senior level our umpires know that if there is too much abuse they can pay a free kick or report the player.
"It does happen sometimes that it goes to a report but often just paying a couple of free kicks can stop the behaviour.
"Ultimately, the game needs umpires because they ensure the game is played in the safest way.
"If more umpires are abused, then it leads to an increase in umpires leaving the sport. They don't come back the next week because they say it's not worth it.
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"I believe complaints are down but all of the different commissions across Victoria are working on stamping out abuse and it is something that we will work on in the summer period."
The Bendigo Strathdale Netball Association also have signs up at local stadiums and courts, encouraging parents, spectators and players to be respectful towards one another.
"It's something that we try to be proactive about," BSNA president Hannah Mildren said. "We have people involved like court supervisors and if something happens we try to deal with it on the spot."
But Ms Mildren said the introduction of silent games would be detrimental to local netballers.
"We work with players from grade three all the way to 18 years old, so coaching is still such an important part of the game," she said.
"Verbal encouragement is still important. It's great for the players to hear mum and dad cheering them on. It wouldn't be great for their development if they received no coaching instruction."
While Ms Mildren said the BSNA prides itself on its positive spectator culture, there were always exceptions.
"Like all leagues, there are all sorts of parents," she said. "People need to remember that kids are just kids and they are there to learn.
"We're all trying to do our best and if they have an idea on how the game should be umpired, we always need more volunteers!"
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