Author Topic: Full time professional referees  (Read 3234 times)

BennyHarp

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Full time professional referees
« on: July 26, 2018, 10:14:33 PM »
Iíve mentioned this on another thread but I just thought Iíd see what peopleís thoughts were. Before I start I know people will baulk straight away at the professional bit, but I think it is essential that refereeing standards across the game improves significantly and if that means spending a bit of money getting it right then maybe itís worth looking into.

Iíd suggest each county has a full time professional referee, either from within the county or allocated to it. This will provide a referees board of 32 officials who will officiate only at inter county matches. I would suggest that they meet each Monday to assess the performances in each of the games that weekend then a delegation will attend a follow up meeting with a steering committee of players representatives (maybe GPA) , past players and a GAA representative to report on what was discussed and the outcome of any controversial decisions. Referees are graded on their performances and allocated games accordingly.

Outside officiating the referees will spend their time training referees in their county, visiting club games at all levels giving feedback to referees on their performances and visiting clubs to advise and help with the application of the rule book. The referee committee will also form a voice in the changing of any rules of the game.

Hopefully, better consultation between inter county referees and closer connections between the county ref and the club refs will encourage a greater level of consistency across the board and give players and supporters a bit more confidence in their referees.

Downside - they are getting paid, human nature means they will still make mistakes, the pressure will be greater and they will probably get even more abuse.
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trileacman

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2018, 11:02:33 PM »
Iíve mentioned this on another thread but I just thought Iíd see what peopleís thoughts were. Before I start I know people will baulk straight away at the professional bit, but I think it is essential that refereeing standards across the game improves significantly and if that means spending a bit of money getting it right then maybe itís worth looking into.

Iíd suggest each county has a full time professional referee, either from within the county or allocated to it. This will provide a referees board of 32 officials who will officiate only at inter county matches. I would suggest that they meet each Monday to assess the performances in each of the games that weekend then a delegation will attend a follow up meeting with a steering committee of players representatives (maybe GPA) , past players and a GAA representative to report on what was discussed and the outcome of any controversial decisions. Referees are graded on their performances and allocated games accordingly.

Outside officiating the referees will spend their time training referees in their county, visiting club games at all levels giving feedback to referees on their performances and visiting clubs to advise and help with the application of the rule book. The referee committee will also form a voice in the changing of any rules of the game.

Hopefully, better consultation between inter county referees and closer connections between the county ref and the club refs will encourage a greater level of consistency across the board and give players and supporters a bit more confidence in their referees.

Downside - they are getting paid, human nature means they will still make mistakes, the pressure will be greater and they will probably get even more abuse.

Biggest downside is that by compromising on paying referees it considerably weakens the arguments about the amateur status of everyone else. If the GAA is going to pay refs how can they still get their knickers in a twist about managers lifting dough on under the table.
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Fear ůn Srath BŠn

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 11:14:10 PM »

Biggest downside is that by compromising on paying referees it considerably weakens the arguments about the amateur status of everyone else. If the GAA is going to pay refs how can they still get their knickers in a twist about managers lifting dough on under the table.

The Association's long since been compromised, it's not like there's no money in the 'amateur' system any more, and we only need to look at the involvement of Sky, the GPA, etc.

Something needs to be done, the standard of refereeing at times is shocking, truly.
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thewobbler

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 11:15:38 PM »
Two things.

1. That adds up to over a million a year in salaries, before administration costs, travel costs, and other overheads. To be honest with you, Iím sick to f**king death of the rising costs of competing in GAA for clubs and members, as a large part of these increases is simply to cover administrator salaries... and the first rule of being a paid administrator is you will want paid support to share the workload.

2. The biggest problems we face with the officiating of games is that a) the rules on tackling are open to interpretation, and b) there is a culture in our game whereby cheating isnít just acceptable, itís demanded by the fans. So a referee, unfortunately, rarely gets to referee a game, but instead heís a the pantomime villain. Paid referees canít fix these problems.

BennyHarp

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 11:15:50 PM »
Iíve mentioned this on another thread but I just thought Iíd see what peopleís thoughts were. Before I start I know people will baulk straight away at the professional bit, but I think it is essential that refereeing standards across the game improves significantly and if that means spending a bit of money getting it right then maybe itís worth looking into.

Iíd suggest each county has a full time professional referee, either from within the county or allocated to it. This will provide a referees board of 32 officials who will officiate only at inter county matches. I would suggest that they meet each Monday to assess the performances in each of the games that weekend then a delegation will attend a follow up meeting with a steering committee of players representatives (maybe GPA) , past players and a GAA representative to report on what was discussed and the outcome of any controversial decisions. Referees are graded on their performances and allocated games accordingly.

Outside officiating the referees will spend their time training referees in their county, visiting club games at all levels giving feedback to referees on their performances and visiting clubs to advise and help with the application of the rule book. The referee committee will also form a voice in the changing of any rules of the game.

Hopefully, better consultation between inter county referees and closer connections between the county ref and the club refs will encourage a greater level of consistency across the board and give players and supporters a bit more confidence in their referees.

Downside - they are getting paid, human nature means they will still make mistakes, the pressure will be greater and they will probably get even more abuse.

Biggest downside is that by compromising on paying referees it considerably weakens the arguments about the amateur status of everyone else. If the GAA is going to pay refs how can they still get their knickers in a twist about managers lifting dough on under the table.

Yeah I get your point but my thoughts would be that if paid CDA can work within counties then why not paid officials?
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trileacman

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2018, 11:18:40 PM »

Biggest downside is that by compromising on paying referees it considerably weakens the arguments about the amateur status of everyone else. If the GAA is going to pay refs how can they still get their knickers in a twist about managers lifting dough on under the table.

The Association's long since been compromised, it's not like there's no money in the 'amateur' system any more, and we only need to look at the involvement of Sky, the GPA, etc.

Something needs to be done, the standard of refereeing at times is shocking, truly.

Most of the time it isn't really though. The inconsistency generally isn't between one minute to the next it's between one ref to another. So the way Sean Hurson refs a match is much stricter than the way Gough or Coldrick will ref it. That's the shitty thing but when you've a tackle rule as loosely defined as the GAA tackle is sure anything is possible.
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trileacman

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2018, 11:20:28 PM »
Two things.

1. That adds up to over a million a year in salaries, before administration costs, travel costs, and other overheads. To be honest with you, Iím sick to f**king death of the rising costs of competing in GAA for clubs and members, as a large part of these increases is simply to cover administrator salaries... and the first rule of being a paid administrator is you will want paid support to share the workload.

2. The biggest problems we face with the officiating of games is that a) the rules on tackling are open to interpretation, and b) there is a culture in our game whereby cheating isnít just acceptable, itís demanded by the fans. So a referee, unfortunately, rarely gets to referee a game, but instead heís a the pantomime villain. Paid referees canít fix these problems.

Agreed, the tackle rule in the GAA is that if you make it look like you deserved it, you'll get the free.
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BennyHarp

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2018, 11:21:00 PM »
Two things.

1. That adds up to over a million a year in salaries, before administration costs, travel costs, and other overheads. To be honest with you, Iím sick to f**king death of the rising costs of competing in GAA for clubs and members, as a large part of these increases is simply to cover administrator salaries... and the first rule of being a paid administrator is you will want paid support to share the workload.

2. The biggest problems we face with the officiating of games is that a) the rules on tackling are open to interpretation, and b) there is a culture in our game whereby cheating isnít just acceptable, itís demanded by the fans. So a referee, unfortunately, rarely gets to referee a game, but instead heís a the pantomime villain. Paid referees canít fix these problems.

Iím sure a sponsor for the refs (Specsavers as in the Scottish prem) could be a possibility to cover some of the costs but a fully functioning, active and competent referees board could help apply the rules consistently which for me is one of the most frustrating aspects of following football.
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macdanger2

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2018, 11:21:20 PM »
Not a bad idea but say if ref ☓ becomes ref for a county, how long would he have the job for? If it's not a substantial amount of time, it's going to be hard to get anyone to give up a job to take it. Also, would he have a vested interest in not training up decent refs within his own county.

Overall I wouldn't be against the idea but the details would need to be worked out carefully

Milltown Row2

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2018, 11:45:42 PM »
All refs will referee the game as they see it, be that down to their own involvement in the past as players or how they believe the game should be ref! Rightly or wrongly thatís how I see it and why we have so many inconsistencies.

technical or easy fouls and should be adhered to by everyone, for me the way to get it right is this, providing they are consistent on the tackle rule (as they see it)  then the players (if they are smart) will adapt to his own interpretation..

Paying a referee wonít change that. The team that generally loses, blames the ref, shocker! One or two incidents wonít be the reason a team generally loses, the players managers make far more mistakes in a game.

Bashing referees isnít the answer to a county or a club teams woes, improving your standards should be the focus
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Baile BrigŪn 2

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2018, 12:35:06 AM »
I dont think professional referees is a pathway to professional players. They would be direct GAA employees.

But how would they become better without day jobs? Soccer referees who are full time train amateur refs during the week. Is there a market for that?

tonto1888

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2018, 06:18:58 PM »
Two things.

1. That adds up to over a million a year in salaries, before administration costs, travel costs, and other overheads. To be honest with you, Iím sick to f**king death of the rising costs of competing in GAA for clubs and members, as a large part of these increases is simply to cover administrator salaries... and the first rule of being a paid administrator is you will want paid support to share the workload.

2. The biggest problems we face with the officiating of games is that a) the rules on tackling are open to interpretation, and b) there is a culture in our game whereby cheating isnít just acceptable, itís demanded by the fans. So a referee, unfortunately, rarely gets to referee a game, but instead heís a the pantomime villain. Paid referees canít fix these problems.

Cheating is demanded by the fans? Care to elaborate?

tonto1888

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2018, 06:20:14 PM »
I think getting consistency is key. Even within games there are frees given and then not given for the same thing. Very frustrating for fans before we even think about how it must be for the players
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 07:39:43 PM by tonto1888 »

BennyHarp

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2018, 07:08:22 PM »
The consistency thing is my point here. By having refs discuss and debate their decisions during the Monday meeting will ultimately, hopefully lead to a greater understanding of each otherís decision making process and encourage greater consistency over time.
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Eamonnca1

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Re: Full time professional referees
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2018, 07:32:43 PM »
Professionalism has always crept into sport where it's economically viable, regardless of the rules of the sport's governing body. There's more of an incentive for players to go pro because of the impetus to win. More winning -> more visibility for sponsors -> More revenue this year and more sponsorship revenue the next year -> greater incentives to win. The more money your team brings in, the more you can spend on improving your game, so it becomes a bit of a cycle of more spending.

Professionalism (allegedly) arrived in the GAA years ago when US-based clubs (allegedly) started paying for big name players to come out from Ireland and help them win US championships. It's (allegedly) economically viable so it (allegedly) happens regardless of the rules.

There's less of an incentive for refs to go pro since they're under the control of the governing body, but it's not impossible. We already have some paid staff in Croke Park, as well as paid development officers all over the world.

My experience at GAA conventions has been club delegates berating a part-time volunteer board for failing to provide a full-time professional standard service. This kind of abuse can motivate boards to hire full time administrators, since if you want something done right you have to pay for it. Refs are on the receiving end of the abuse but aren't in much of a position to change the rules to allow paid refs, so the powers-that-be might be a little slower to act.

In principle I wouldn't have a problem with refs joining the ranks of paid GAA people, as long as a good funding source can be found (like SpecSavers as mentioned before) and their time can be filled with productive work. Doubling up as referee tutors is definitely worthwhile.