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Get Involved – Become A Referee

12th June 2015 By Munster Rugby

Get Involved – Become A Referee

The Munster Association of Referees (MAR) continued their impressive record of producing top quality match officials with strong representation on the recently announced National Referee Panels for next season.

The Munster Association of Referees (MAR) continued their impressive record of producing top quality match officials with strong representation on the recently announced National Referee Panels for next season.

Three MAR members – John Lacey, George Clancy and Peter Fitzgibbon – are among the top level of referees in the country with full details of further representation here.

The MAR run two courses every season for people interested in becoming match officials. The courses are co-ordinated by current international referee Peter Fitzgibbon and former international referee Dave McHugh.

The next referee course will be held in Mallow GAA club on September 13 with anyone interested in becoming a referee encouraged to attend. Munster Rugby also recently launched the Community Referee Initiative in the province with full details here.

The last referee course, held in January, was a great success with 18 people attending. Dave McHugh gave an outline on what is involved: “It’s a full-on day course as myself and Peter Fitzgibbon go through all the various different aspects of the game – specifically looking at it from a referee’s perspective.

“Out of the 18 who attended the last course – 16 men and two women – the majority have been involved in coaching and the rest of them would have either been current or former players.

“It’s classroom based and we go through all aspects of refereeing. We deal with communication, tackle, ruck, maul, line-out, advantage. We have a piece then on how to deal with injuries and a specific piece on how to deal with suspected concussions if they happen in your match.

“In going to the course you are making a commitment that you want to go refereeing. In joining the MAR, that would then indicate that they are making themselves available for selection to referee in the north or south depending on where they are based.

""Munster Rugby's Referee of the Year Andy Brace

"Some of them were out refereeing and touch judging the following weekend and some took it a bit slower. On top of what they get on the day-long course, they can also attend weekly meetings in both Limerick and Cork and they will get further follow-up workshops with Peter Fitzgibbon.

Commenting on the number of high level referees that the province has produced over the years, McHugh said: “Every one of them would have gone through this course. For example Johnny Lacey would have gone through this course and he would have gone through various different workshops and gone the same pathway system to get into the All-Ireland League by virtue of refereeing outside the province in a system called IPAS. IPAS basically means guys from Munster will go and referee two games in each of the other provinces at J1 standard and, based on those matches, they are then considered for selection into the national panel.

"Peter and I also run specific one-on-one courses for people who can’t make a course – we facilitate them at another time but everybody has to go through the same process."

Former Munster player Frank Murphy and ex-Munster women's player Joy Neville (below) are two examples of referees who are rapidly progressing through the system as the MAR continue to produce high calibre officials.. ""

"Andy Brace (above, Munster Rugby's Referee of the Year) has just finished his third season as a referee and he’s already contracted," said McHugh. "He’s done 5 B&I Cup pool games this year, a B&I Cup quarter-final and the final. So we’re very fortunate to have that level of ref within the province and on top of that you have guys like Kieran Barry and Eddie Hogan O’Connell reffing in the B&I Cup as well so it’s very positive.

"We’re also very conscious of the fact that we need to make sure that the Domestic Game is properly facilitated within the province and the country. We’re doing our very best to make sure that’s happening and we’re also doing our very best to make sure referees are involved in refereeing underage rugby because that’s where people start playing. We’d like to see more people refereeing and the more we have the more can cover those matches as well."

For course details, or more information on how to become a referee, please contact:

South Munster: Dave McHugh | 086-026 0012 | david.mchugh@irfu.ie

North Munster: Peter Fitzgibbon | 086-832 2987 | peter.fitzgibbon@irfu.ie

Click here for more information on the pathway to become a top level referee.

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