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Referees shortage

  • 07-12-2021 10:01am
    Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭

    To me this is the biggest issue facing GAA at moment. It's been mentioned on and off in different articles, etc but I reckon people aren't aware how bad it's getting.

    I know underage games in Cork which have been cancelled in last couple months as there was simply no ref available. It's same small pool trying to do a massive volume of games. There's refs doing 5 days a week reffing games, it's huge service

    County boards are having annual Conventions at moment and it's getting mentioned regards recruitment, etc. A good point made was it's the type of job really where someone should want to do it, pushing someone into it will never work long term. It's a bit of a calling really

    Social media has made it difficult to recruit, no ref wants to be recorded making a mistake and plastered all over Whatsapp or other platforms

    What are the solutions? How can the gaa make it somewhat attractive to become a ref? I'm struggling to find an answer


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    you generally dont see teams blaming refs on social media too much and i dont think thats what makes it difficult to recruit new refs but the whole culture of how refs are treated in every way isnt good and should be much better.

    The GAA has to train refs better, more ref coaches(experienced refs) giving assessmentsIand coaching sessions) to new and not so new refs alike.

    full time ref development officers working with all refs in their counties giving training sessions weekly/monthly where they discuss rule changes/how to best ref specific situations using video clips etc to help do that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,682 ✭✭✭greenspurs

    "full time ref development officers working with all refs in their counties giving training sessions weekly/monthly where they discuss rule changes/how to best ref specific situations using video clips etc to help do that."

    That would only happen in Dublin ....G€A

    Theres no 2 games the same, never mind 2 incidents the same.

    All the coaching in the world isnt much use compared to getting games, making mistakes and learning.

    But refs arent given the time to make mistakes and learn...

    Supporters/Bainisteoir/ players dont accept mistakes ....

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭big_drive

    What would anyone say is the oldest a ref could begin?

    Im just thinking regards ex-players who could potentially be very good at it. Would over 50 be too late?

    I know it depends what level they'd be expected to ref, juvenile or adult. Big difference between fitness required for u12's vs club senior

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Ah it wouldnt only happen in Dublin.... 🙄

    You can still pick trends from incidents and learn from video analysis and having full time ref officers who are experienced refs etc give their experience and pass on their knowledge.

    It works quite well in rugby. Just gettng more games and making mistakes in them and learning from that isnt enough. Needs to be far more off field coaching and learning.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,682 ✭✭✭greenspurs

    It would help.

    I dont think refs/potential refs would have the time to dedicate to analysis sessions.

    Who would compile the incidents for the refs assessors to show to the refs?

    Would these seminars/video sessions be monthly? bi monthly? at the end of the season?

    refs doing underage games - why would they bother? "Its 'only' an u14 match ..... "

    What age bracket would you introduce it at?

    If you ref u16 and up?

    Minor and up??

    You improve as a ref by reffing games mainly.

    Slow process, but people need to be allowed time to learn how to ref.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Im not talking about over the top analysis. The rugby refs can manage it so why wouldnt the GAA refs. You would have full time ref development officers who would compile the incidents, using mix of footage from inter county as well as club level, 3rd level games. These seminars would be monthly or more regularly if necessary. Refs doing underage games now still need to be up to speed with game management tips etc and plenty of these refs are the future senior club refs or higher.

    You improve as a referee by reffing games but unless you are assessed and coached then just refereeing games isnt enough

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭big_drive

    It's quite possible that underage games could be more difficult to ref than adult level, when you add in the parents you'll get on the line!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭franglan

    I think an increase in expenses might help tbh. Its definitely not worth the hassle financially currently. Think older players sinking into retirement from their playing activities would be a useful referee initiative. Stay fit, see it as a competitive exercise (bit of adrenaline which comes with being on the pitch, important role in competitive matches, buzz of being involvement in matches, stay involved). Think any of us who still play football see two things though:

    There is some atrocious club level refereeing going on. Being totally ageist here and it's not always this particular type but the older gent not keeping up with play who should have retired but is holding on due to a real shortage in refs. Id wonder how much review of performances is going on around the country. County boards may not want to do too much of it to alienate refs further while they are thin on the ground.

    At times decisions can be litterally 50/50 in the heat of battle and you will be critiqued what ever decision you make, do you really want to be in centre making that decision.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Expenses improving might help but you wont get better referees from better expenses. you get better refs from better coaching, training and assessment of performance. if you have refs being coached more they will be more aware of what to look for, what they need to do to improve. i ref rugby and get assessed regularly. i will have a coach on sideline watching me and taking notes. they come on at half time if necessary if they feel something needs to be improved on and will again have a chat at full time. the ref gets emailed a copy of report in the days after the game as well. i dont see how assessing refs will alienate officials if its done right.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭big_drive

    I couldn't see expenses being that attractive, nobody is going to be rich from it really.

    Something like a good amount of gear at start of year, maybe free boots, supplied with good quality stop watches, a season ticket pass or something would be more of a carrot I think.

    Another difficult thing for any ref must be trying to find people to assist him at championship games. Trying to find 2 linesmen and 4 umpires can't be easy. 6 people who are happy to give up 3/4 hours of their time for a game where chances are all they'll get is questioned and possibly verbally abused

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,325 ✭✭✭franglan

    Totally agree on the expenses point it wont bring in better refs but might make it more appealing. Getting 4 umpires for championship games - you'd need a big traditional irish catholic family for recruits!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Dont refs get a good amount of gear already. Free boots from who? I still dont see that getting more people to ref and doesnt help their actual officiating either.

    How many of these 6 do you need for all games? very hard to get them all but participating clubs in games need to do more especially for helping with officials for games like linesmen, umpires where you wont/dont necessarily need someone who is a qualified official.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,682 ✭✭✭greenspurs

    Have you ever reffed a Gaa match ?

    Totally different , especially in the tackling aspect of GF and /or camogie and hurling.

    And soccer also, but to a lesser extent.

    Its a common perception that rugby is 'easier' to officiate, than any Gaa code, or soccer.

    The respect for refs is engrained in the psyche of a rugby player, and that is then expected by every rugby player, and then of course theres penalties for players that show dissent to a ref or umpire.

    In GAA , its for the jersey, passion for the parish etc... so they get away with abusing officials etc...

    And in soccer, its just expected ...

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    I have at go games level so nothing above u12.

    Where is there the perception that rugby is 'easier' to referee. I havent and the tackle aspect is an issue because the GAA refuses to aid players, refs alike by making a better definition around the tackle and how to referee that area of the game

    And i dont see how assessing refs will alienate them. Its done by fellow members of the referees group in your division/county

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭big_drive

    I'd say a ref gets a jersey, shorts, socks when he does the refs course. That's basically it, presume they might get a new jersey every few years

    Boots should come from county board. One pair each year, give the ref a voucher to be redeemed at a sports shop.

    It could help I think as it would attach a greater respect on the position by showing it's valued by the organization. People may get involved if they at least know they'll be appreciated and supported

    You'd need 6 at a championship game. Probably smart to have 2 at least at a league game, one to umpire either end.

    You mentioned participating clubs helping but that can create more hassle as they give a tight call in favour of their own club. I've seen it lead to absolute chaos

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,682 ✭✭✭greenspurs

    "id say" ...... "presume" .... Hmmm ...

    Refs are tolerated, cos they are needed, not cos they are respected!

    If theres a shortage of refs , how are you going to have 6 at a championship game !?

    Participating clubs have to provide an umpire for each end (1 home + 1 away at each goal)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,947 ✭✭✭big_drive

    Ok so, they do get jersey shorts socks at end of course. And they get a new jersey depending on which division they ref in (I only know Cork, not other counties so that's why I said presume, perhaps other counties are different)

    Why not change the attitude in gaa so they are respected not just tolerated as you put it?

    I never said 6 refs at a championship game. One ref plus 6 lads/ladies assisting him as lines/umpires

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    You go id say they get x and y and thats it. So you are just guessing then? Plucking things from fresh air.

    I dont see why boots should be covered by county board. do any sports cover price of boots for their officials. Jerseys, shorts, whistles, flags yes but boots no.

    Do you really need 6 for all these games. probably not. I dont think participating clubs helping should be an issue if done right. rugby has participating teams have a club member involved and while it can sometimes can issue its better than the alternative because having 6 at each game isnt really practical.

    create a variety of courses for officials. some people may not want to become full referees. so create a sideline official course or designation and have clubs nominate suitable people as well as anyone else interested who may not be able to or want to commit to reffing games at all levels every week but would be available to run line/act as umpire for games. can help things.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,147 ✭✭✭celt262

    The county board appoints linesmen for championship games and the ref brings his umpires thats the way it is around here anyway. League games the two teams supply the umpires and linesmen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,682 ✭✭✭greenspurs

    A sideline offical course.??

    The ball is in or out - point the flag in the direction of the team that didnt touch the ball last.?

    Your suggestions would be a bit more valid if the GAA really did care about Refs, but they dont.

    Maybe the top level inter county lads get the courses and seminars , but the lads doing u14 d league games wouldnt.

    ! 'fitness test' and a written test (un failable) on the laws of the game is about it.

    Look up how Game development coaches are appointed to counties around the country, and then think how many Ref mentors/Assessors they would appoint.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,274 ✭✭✭Lost Ormond

    Give the officials on sideline more powers then. Help them assist the referee. The guys doing u14 d league games dont get the courses but do need them. you wont improve solely from doing games alone unless you are constantly getting coached, assessed in where you went wrong and what to do in certain situations.