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17 May 2022

Critical shortage of referees for Offaly GAA

Critical shortage of referees for Offaly GAA

Brian Gavin

THE Offaly GAA County Board has a critical shortage of referees in both hurling and football. Former All-Ireland hurling final referee Brian Gavin told a meeting of the Offaly GAA County Board this week that the situation is particularly bad in hurling where there are just 21 referees while there are only five more in football, 26.

Mr Gavin made a passionate plea for clubs to recruit new officials and outlined the likelihood of major problems for the season ahead.

Mr Gavin stated that some of the referees are also taking charge of camogie and ladies football games and he recalled that one junior hurling game had to be called off last year because they couldn't get a referee – he revealed that they even tried to get one in Tipperary for that game.

He said that as things are, they will have to structure the programme with games on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday if they wanted to get it run with the available referees.

“It is a worrying trend,” he said, revealing that they only got three new referees, and one of them was returning to the fold, after a recent online appeal. “We need clubs to get referees,” he urged, stating that they will get excellent training and tuition in Faithful Fields.

Mr Gavin said that they need a much bigger pool and that linesmen should be provided for senior championship games. He also warned clubs that they will be enforcing a rule that only a team manager and physio be allowed on the sideline this year.

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