At Páirc an Chrócaigh today GAA President, Liam O’Neill launched a new Recruitment Campaign aimed at bolstering the number of volunteers involved in refereeing at all levels of the Association.
The “Think you can do better?” campaign will involve Inter County Referees acting as Recruitment Ambassadors in their own counties. The aim of the campaign is to increase the number of referees officiating at club games throughout the country and consequently, pushing on to Provincial and National level over the next few years.
As part of the campaign the GAA has produced a Recruitment Video, Poster for distribution to clubs as well as an Advert which can be used in Allianz League and pre-season Provincial competition programmes.
Uachtarán, Liam Ó Néill said “I am delighted to launch the Referee Recruitment campaign today and thank the National Referee’s Committee for their efforts in this regard. It is fair to say that there is an ongoing requirement for new referees in our counties and this campaign should see an immediate swelling of referee numbers. I look forward to seeing the fruits of these labours as young referees progress through the ranks to eventually take charge of games on the biggest stage”.
Chairman of Coiste na Réiteoirí, Pat McEnaney said “Already a number of counties have plans in place for attracting new referees. The resources we are providing should assist in their drive to increase refereeing numbers. Our new recruits can look forward to a revitalised Club Referee Training Course in February and March next and, with ongoing training and mentoring thereafter we are confident that a considerable number will come through the system and, hopefully, progress to the highest level of our games”.
The GAA today also launched a campaign aimed at retired Inter-County players. A Pilot Project is planned whereby four former players (Two hurling/two football) will train as Club Referees in their counties. They will receive enhanced support, with the ultimate aim, based on their progress, of developing the individuals to Inter County standard. Counties will be asked to nominate retired players for inclusion on this project, and selection will be made from these nominees, to commence their training in February next.
From the commencement of the Allianz League the Inter County Referees will be sporting new gear, which was also launched today.
More details are available on www.gaa.ie/referee
Concern has been expressed across the Association as to the very small number of former Inter-County and prominent Club Players who are turning their hand to refereeing. The purpose of this document is to put forward a method by which more players may be enticed to take up refereeing and to enable them progress quickly through the system.
1.2.1 Four former Inter-County Players (two hurling, two football) will be the subjects of the initial Pilot Project where they will train as Referees in their respective codes and then be available for fast-tracking through the Referee Pathway.
1.2.2 It is accepted that there is a need to have former Players coming through the Refereeing ranks – this Project will give a number of former players that opportunity and, in doing so, increase the number of referees at all levels.
1.2.3 Referee Training would commence in January/February 2015 with the aim of including the referees on the Inter-County panel four years hence.
1.2.4 Detail of the Pilot Project is outlined in this proposal.
2.1 Club Referee Training
Basic Club Referee Training Courses are provided by trained Referee Tutors through the counties, with support through the Provincial Administrators, usually in January, February and March. The past-players involved in this Pilot Project will be trained as Club Referees in their own county.
Training as a Club Referee involves five distinct modules:
- Rules of Specification/The Play/Scores/Powers and Duties of the Referee
- Technical Fouls/Set Play
- Aggressive Fouls/Dissent/Referee’s Report
- Rules Test
- Fitness Test
Modules listed at 2.2.1, 2.2.2, and 2.2.3 above are “classroom” based and involve attendance and participation by the prospective referees.
The Rules Test is centrally organised, which the participants complete “on-line”, with a pass-mark set which must be achieved for successful progression.
A standard Fitness Test, i.e. a “Bangsbo Test” is used nationally following discussions with Prof. Niall Moyna at the School of Health and Human Performance at D.C.U. Again successful progression involves the achievement of a minimum standard.
Following successful completion of the Training Course the successful candidate is certified by Coiste na Réiteoirí Náisiúnta as a “Réiteoir Chlub” or “Club Level Referee”.
3.1 Pilot Project Progression
As the former players are participating in this Pilot Project with the full backing of Coiste na Réiteoirí Náisiúnta, Provincial Referee Committees and the County Committee and Referee Committee of the counties involved there is an expectation that the new referee will be given every opportunity to progress rapidly through the system. They will be monitored
3.2 Year 1
Club Referee will be appointed to a minimum number of club Juvenile games (up to and including Minor), in his county.
3.3 Year 2
Club Upon successful completion of Year 1 Referee will be appointed to club League and Championship games at adult level.
Will be nominated for inclusion on the Provincial list for College (Second level) matches.
Province Upon successful completion of Year 1 Referee will be included on panel to referee at Provincial Colleges’ level.
3.4 Year 3
Club Upon successful completion of Year 2 Referee will be nominated for inclusion on the Provincial Academy.
Referee to be appointed to latter stage club Championship matches.
Province Inclusion on Provincial Academy following nomination from County.
Referee to be appointed to Leagues, Subsidiary Competitions, Club Championships and non-Senior Championships in the Province.
National Inclusion on National Support panel. Being a member of the National Support panel will see the referee acting as Sideline Official and Linesman at Allianz League games and other non-Senior championship games.
3.5 Year 4
Province Upon successful completion of Year 3 Referee will be nominated by the Provincial Committee for inclusion on the Allianz League Referee Panel.
National Inclusion on Allianz League (National) Referee’s panel. The referee will be appointed to a minimum of two Allianz League games.
National Performances in the Allianz League, together with ongoing results in Fitness and Rules Tests will determine how quickly the referee progresses to the Championship panel.
3.6 It should be noted that progression is reliant on successful completion of each phase of development.
4.0 Other Initiatives
4.1 Refereeing Initiatives
In addition to the Basic Club Referee Training the participants of the Pilot Project shall also avail of a number of other initiatives provided by the Referees’ Committees at various levels.
4.2 Courses/Fitness/Rules Tests
Various Referee Training Courses, Fitness and Rules Tests at all levels will be made available to the participants.
4.2.1 Attendance at County In-Service Courses.
4.2.2 Attendance at annual “Club Referee Conference” organised by Coiste na Réiteoirí Náisiúnta.
4.2.3 Attendance at all Provincial Seminars.
4.2.4 Attendance at all Provincial Fitness Tests.
4.2.5 Attendance at all National Seminars.
4.2.6 Attendance at all National Fitness Tests.
4.2.7 Completion of all National Rules Tests.
4.3 Advisor Reports
Coiste na Réiteoirí, over the past number of years, have developed an “Advisor System” whereby trained Advisors monitor referees in games and report with the stated aim of “How can the Advisor make the Referee a Better Referee?” This system would be available to the aspiring referees.
4.3.1 An Advisor’s Report will be prepared for all games at club level.
4.3.2 An Advisor’s Report will be prepared for all games at Provincial level.
4.3.3 An Advisor’s Report will be prepared for all games at National level.
Each of the participants will have a Mentor who will be a member of the current Championship panel. The Mentor will be available to discuss Advisor Reports, attend at some games and assist with Rules interpretation etc
Periodically Coiste na Réiteoirí enlist the expertise of Professionals who advise the National referees in such areas of Nutrition, Fitness Training, Coping with difficulties on the field etc. All such advice will be available to the referees in this Pilot Project.
4.6 Umpire Training
Training at all levels will be provided for the referee’s Umpire Team.
If successful this Pilot Project should deliver referees to the National Championship panel within five years of commencement. While this, on the face of it, may seem like a long time to deliver a small number of referees, it should be noted that the championship panel in hurling currently numbers 12 and in football 16. Potentially, therefore, 16% approx. of our championship hurling referees and 12½% of our football referees may have come through this Pilot Project in five years. Additionally, depending on its ongoing success more referees may be added on an annual basis thereby giving the possibility of a complete turnover within ten years or so.
5.2 Choice of Participants
Provinces and Counties will be asked to nominate potential recruits from recently retired Inter-County players. If there are more than four nominees, they will be interviewed by a committee chosen by Coiste na Réiteoirí Náisiúnta and the four chosen will then embark upon the Training.
5.3 Annual Review
The Pilot Project will be reviewed annually by Coiste na Réiteoirí and recommendations for change or update will then be made to An Choiste Bainistí.
Depending on the outcome of Reviews decisions will be made as to whether the Project should be extended on an annual basis.