IRFU Referees to put Strong Focus on Penalising Foul Play in Domestic Game

Jason Cairns in AIL actionThe IRFU’s Referees Department will place a renewed focus on existing foul play laws to remove illegal and dangerous collision based contact from domestic competitions in Ireland.

The areas of focus centre on foul play at the tackle, the breakdown and off-the-ball contact.  These offences will be upgraded to penalties and yellow or red cards depending on the severity of the incident.

The aim of this initiative is to soften the impact of the tackle and ruck or maul entry by removing shoulder first or shoulder only contact. i.e. shoulder charging with no attempt or a late attempt to wrap arms upon contact.  There will also be a renewed focus on protecting players in vulnerable or prone positions in rucks and mauls.

The law interpretations will be enforced in all competitions from U13 age grade through to the Ulster Bank League. Under the umbrella of the Ref SMART programme a series of instruction videos have been produced to inform coaches and players of the illegal actions that will be clamped down on this season.  These videos are available online at
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Pre-season Workshop Review

ARCB Pre Season 2016-17 The ARCB began the new season last weekend when all referees, assessors, selectors and committee members met in Corinthians RFC for their annual pre-season meeting. Aidan Siggins from the club greeted the referees and kindly offered them a cup of tea, over which they had an opportunity to discuss their time away from rugby over the summer and how their rigorous fitness regimes were going as they prepared for the new season. Everybody was in good spirits and looking forward to getting back into rugby.

President Louis Cunningham opened the meeting and gave an update on the hard work that had been done during the summer, in preparation for the new season. John Carr, representing the Branch Competitions Committee outlined the league format, changes to the regulations and reemphasised the need for referees to familiarise themselves with the uncontested scrum regulations before taking to the pitch.  Continue reading

Connacht Community Referee Scheme Launched

Community Referee Launch Photo

ARCB President Mossy Moran and Katie Kilbane with Domestic Rugby Manager Eric Elwood

This season, in an attempt to encourage more participation in refereeing in the province, the Association of Referees Connacht Branch, in conjunction with the IRFU and Connacht Rugby, have implemented a Community Referee grade within the ranks of the ARCB.

Unlike regular recruits, who referee matches at all levels across the province, Community Referees will be ring-fenced for youth rugby in their locality. Ideal candidates should be reasonably fit, have a good understanding of the game and be available to referee. The first intake of Community Referees will be at the New Referees Course on 28th November 2015 in the Sportsground.

Community Referee Launch 4

Mossy Moran, Lyndon Jones, Katie Kilbane and Eric Elwood

What are the benefits of becoming a Community Referee?

  • Full Membership of the ARCB
  • New Referees Course
  • Referee Youth Rugby Locally
  • ARCB Appointed
  • Trial Member Process
  • One on One Coaching
  • Continuous Professional Development

I’m interested!

Seán Gallagher is the IRFU Referee Development Officer for this scheme and would be delighted to talk you through what is involved in becoming a Community Referee. His mobile is 086-1735096 or you can reach him by e-mail at


President’s Message 2015/16

Fellow ARCB members,

It is with great pride that I kick off the 2015/16 rugby year as President of the ARCB.  I want to take this opportunity to wish all ARCB members a safe and rewarding season. The pre-season has seen a few changes to the structure of the Association.

Paul Gannon takes on the mantle of Rugby Chairman and I am confident that Paul and his selectors will do a great job and drive on from the great work done by the previous selection committee.

Sean Gallagher has been appointed as Referee Development Officer for Connacht by the IRFU and is replacing Peter Fitzgibbon, who will be staying around for a few months to integrate Sean into his new role. I wish to personally thank Peter for the fantastic job that he has done for the ARCB over the last few years.

Sadly two of our top referees are leaving for pastures new. Daniel Collins is heading to London and Michael Forrestal to Dublin both for career development opportunities. Two great guys and I thank them for their great help over the last few years and wish them all the best for the future.

Our 1st meeting this season is Thursday 27th August in the Sportsground. Looking forward to seeing ye all there and get the season off to flying start,