Whistle Blower – February Edition

Connacht Rugby Programme (Feb 27th v Ospreys) – by Damian Eames

The game is three minutes old and Connacht have an attacking line-out on the opposition’s ten metre line. Quick tap of the top and the ball is spun out wide to the backs. The spearhead of our green attack is meet with a fast approaching defensive wall. Across the ground a chorus of “offside Ref”, vibrates out from the Clan Terrace.

In the midst of such an unsympathetic symphony, you might wonder who’d want to be a referee. The answer; how about you? Seriously, what is stopping you? Surely not the noise from supporters. Isn’t there a running commentary on everyone involved, from coaches to players? Even supporters will comment on supporters.

The Association of Referees Connacht Branch (ARCB), have a solution to nearly all obstacles. You may think you don’t know enough about the laws of the game. ARCB provide an excellent orientation programme that introduces new members to both the laws and their application. How will I get through my first games? Again ARCB has a proven mentoring system that supports new referees on their first steps on the pitch. Additional coaching is also planned at appropriate intervals.

You may be restricted in how far you can travel to referee. No problem. There are two different categories of referees within ARCB. We have Community Referees who are appointed to youth games in their preferred geographical region. There are also Pathway Referees who can be appointed to games across the province (at all levels). This group provides the pipeline of Referees and TJs/Assistant Referees who advance to the national domestic league, Pro 12 and internationals.

“How will I keep up with the laws of the game”? ARCB have a dedicated monthly meetings for its members and this is supplemented by additional workshops throughout the season, hosted by our full time Referee Development Officer (Sean Gallagher). In fact, ARCB would like to show you more about refereeing and the value it provides to the game. Not to mention the many personal benefits it offers to our members.

Information Evening

There is a Referee Information Evening on Wednesday 30th March in The Connacht Hotel, Galway.

In attendance will be John Lacey, who played for Munster and who refereed at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and the 2016 Six Nations Championship. Also Frank Murphy, who has over 100 caps for Connacht, started refereeing last season and has quickly progressed to the professional game.

Join Us!

Whether you have ambitions to climb the refereeing ladder or you just want to give back to the game locally, there is a role for you in the ARCB. If you are interested in attending the information evening, please send an e-mail to sean.gallagher@irfu.ie to register your interest, or call him on 086-1735096. The next New Referees Course will be in September 2016, at the beginning of the new season.

Frank Murphy

Frank Murphy