Sport GAA

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Refs' chief claims new recruits don't know rules

Some referees seem to be unaware of the rules
Some referees seem to be unaware of the rules
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Some of the emerging referees in Leinster don’t know the rules of hurling or football, as proven by their marks in written tests.

In a shock assessment, Tom Quigley, chairman of the Leinster Referees’ Committee, has told counties that his group were “disappointed with the results achieved by our referees (development panel) in the written rule tests.”

He believes that it was caused by referees not spending enough time studying the rule book.

“This leaves us in somewhat of a quandary at provincial level. It is surely not the function of the Leinster Referees’ Committee to teach referees the basic rules of the game as they should have learned all those within their respective counties. However, the results of the 2015 rules tests would suggest that sufficient work might not be done within the counties on learning all the basic rules.


“While knowing all the rules won’t necessarily make you the best referee in Ireland, not knowing them will certainly make you a poor one,” Quigley wrote in his annual report.

He also questions a longer-term plan at central level to conduct referees’ tests online, with access to the rule book. Leinster development referees did the online test early last year, producing results “close to 100 per cent in many cases”. However, Quigley points out that the same referees did not fare nearly as well in the traditional pen-and-paper examination at a later stage.

“Do we need to proceed with caution before making an online rules test the standard? Does it necessarily reflect a true knowledge of the rules? When one has to make a split-second decision on the field, one cannot consult the rule book.”

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