Training courses begin at the start of April for potential new referees. These will be based over three nights and will provide training and support for potential referees. New referees will be given mentoring and would start to referee at youth level with a progression over time to senior. Enrolment for this course will be open until Saturday 28th March 2015.
The criteria is for candidates that are 18 and over and have an interest in refereeing.
Ideally every club should have 2 referees. We are aware that some clubs within the county have this in place, but we are also aware that some clubs have no representation at this level. Referees are an important factor within the GAA structures and in Armagh numbers have been dropping over the last number of years due to retirement and injury.
We as a committee can only do so much. The responsibility falls solely with yourselves the club. I ask yourselves if a game hadn’t a referee where would we be?
A referee is as important to a club as a player and the same emphasis should be put on the club committee to identify a person within that club that has the qualities and ability to fulfil the role and represent his club in our game at all levels. Ideally we ask that you look at retiring players, somebody who has the right resolve and temperament with an experience of the game. We also ask you to look at your minor teams and identify the players who might not progress to playing at senior level.
As it stands we may struggle to fulfil all fixtures on the first day of the adult league season. Sanctions could have to be put in place regarding clubs that have no representation at refereeing level.
We ask you not to dismiss our concerns and give this issue immediate attention, as we would like every club to have a new referee nomination by the 28th March. We also require you to submit the names of your current referees for the coming season in order to verify our own records.
Paul Kelly, Chairperson, Referees Committee