Sport Gaelic Football

Thursday 14 December 2017

What the rulebook says

A general view of Croke Park. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Dublin, Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile
A general view of Croke Park. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Dublin, Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Here's what referees were told in a letter from Croke Park, dealing with changes made at Congress, before the start of the championship.

An additional power of the referee has been added as follows:

"To consult, on a needs basis, with a linesman or umpire(s) -- where neutral -- in order to establish matters of fact. In the case of umpires, this shall include consultation concerning the validity of a score when the referee is in doubt."

The letter notes that the change gives the referee "power to consult with the linesmen and umpires" and will be particularly relevant in the adjudication on 'square balls'.

It makes no reference to checking with linesmen about scores, but Croke Park contends that power comes from the section dealing with establishing 'matters of fact'.

However, it seems odd that whereas umpires are mentioned specifically in relation to adjudicating on scores, linesmen are not.

At the very least, it's a grey area which needs to be tidied up.

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