While teams prepare for their games in this year’s AIB Ulster Club Championships, our referees were also putting in the hard work in preparation for their roles in the competition.
As well as undertaking their own fitness training and conditioning sessions, referees have been attending fitness sessions at Garvaghy in Tyrone, Abbey CBS Newry and in Owenbeg this Monday night.
Our referees are keenly aware that their performances are being scrutinised during this tough campaign. Being on top of their fitness, for the duration of the game and extra time when required is essential, not just to keep up with the play but for concentration levels which is crucial for decision-making.
The hurling and football referees also attended two pre championship seminars, where the essential guidelines for areas such as preparation, decision making and match regulations were discussed.
Other topics included protocols on completing referee reports and sideline officials’ reports in a timely manner, being in attendance at games at least an hour before the start to receive team lists, and ensuring all officials are kitted out in matching attire.
During these sessions the referees also looked at video clips on hurling and football play, analysing the decision-making in these instances.
Sean Rooney, Ulster GAA Referees’ Committee Chairperson, commented:
“Our referees look forward to championship games, just like the players do, and they all want to perform to their best and enjoy the occasion. We hope that supporters acknowledge and value their efforts, and recognise that Ulster have such hard-working referees maintain high standards of officiating in the game.”