Wednesday 25 April 2018

THE inside track on officials

Q Who appoints inter-county referees?

A: A central three-man committee called the 'Central Referees Appointment Committee', which comprises of Fr Seamus Gardiner (Tipperary, the former chairman of the National Referees' Committee), Michael Curley (Galway, the current chairman of the National Referees' Committee) and Seamus Woods (Tyrone, the current chairman of the Central Competitions Control Committee).

Q: Do they have a specific list of referees to choose from?

A: Yes. This season, for the first time, a restricted 'championship panel' of referees was compiled, based on testing (fitness and rules) and National League performances. There were 18 football and 10 hurling referees appointed on the inaugural panel.

Q: What about their umpires? How are they picked, trained and assessed?

A: Referees actually bring their own umpires. They tend to have a panel of six to eight, usually from their local area, to call on and tend to travel to matches with them as 'a team'. Umpires who do inter-county games must attend a one-day training course. Their performance is included as part of the 'referee's assessment'.

Q: What about the linesmen?

A: Croke Park picks two linesmen from among the inter-county referees who did not make the championship panel.

Q: Can a referee be dropped off the GAA's championship panel?

A: Technically no, as the panel is 'closed' during the a championship. However, if a referee gets a really bad report from a match assessor, he is unlikely to get further games.

Q: Can umpires be dropped?

A: Technically yes, but unlikely given the loyalty and friendship cards.

  • Pat McEnaney's umpires on Sunday were Joe McQuillan, Jimmy Galligan (a former referee), Jimmy Finnegan (one of his longest-serving officials) and Mark Gilsenan.

Irish Independent

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