National Forum

Officiating At Underage Matches (Umpires)

(Oldest Posts First)

Looking at the 'advice for a new referee' thread, I was prompted to post this one. I've clocked up a good number of underage matches now as a parent and a few things really bug me;

The language and attituide of some underage coaches directed towards officials (and thankfully, less frequently, players) is shocking. As is some of the commentary from parents. (In a recent match, I heard a team coach tell a parent from the other team in the crowd to 'f**k off' - and I was not very close to the exchange.)

However, the thing that irks me most is the quality of officiating - not from referees who are generally OK and fair but they seem to have no support whatsoever.

Linesmen are usually culled from the competing clubs which is one thing but the complete mess that is umpiring is something to behold.

As far as I can see, there's usually only one umpire at each end and these are again sourced from the competing teams. Such appointees seem to be incapable of clearly indiciating anything but the most obvious scores and often attempt to actively deceive to their teams advantage.

Furthermore, the amount of coaching that eminates from such 'umpires' is outrageous - how can the players have confidence in the officals if they see umpires behaving in such a partisan manner?

It doesn't get much better when there's an umpire from each side attending - that often ends up in rows between the adults as well.

I appreciate that resourcing is likely the issue. Who wants to be standing on a cold March eve. for some U14 division 5 match with no 'skin in the game'. And further, rules now properly mandate that anyone on the pitch must be club accredited and garda vetted, which diminishes the selection pool further still.

But fairness and balance must be paramount and I have failed to see that at play very often.

TearsIn85 (Monaghan) - Posts: 40 - 16/04/2018 15:39:21    2093322

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A very important position in modern Gaa, the Umpire, usually filled by a certain type of individual. Generally the thickest most stubborn fella in the club where the lift doesn't go to the top floor. His reputation usually precedes him & his hatred of other clubs is legendary & his sense of fairness is emptier than the space between his ears. He is worth a couple of points in every game to the club with him sticking his hand up frantically for every dodgy 45 & grabbing the white flag & stepping out into the square to raise it for anything that might be a foot wide for his club. His intimidation of the opposition is well known, "heah Number 3, I'm watching you boyo, you'll get the line now, your a c#nt just like your auld lad". Any time a ref questions him he admonishes him telling him, "listen sonny Im fifty years doing this, not a wet week like you young lad, go out & do your job properly". Sometimes he attacks a young lad at underage games & when challenged responds with the "mans game" line. In the pub afterwards the young lads buy him a pint slapping him on the back on another good job done. At the AGM the Chairman gives him a nod for his work during the year & his dodgy call that got them into the Board final which leads to a round of applause & yahoos that's his All Ireland & guarantees he will be there again for every game next year.

moc.dna (Galway) - Posts: 622 - 16/04/2018 19:35:32    2093379

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Replying To TearsIn85:  "Looking at the 'advice for a new referee' thread, I was prompted to post this one. I've clocked up a good number of underage matches now as a parent and a few things really bug me;

The language and attituide of some underage coaches directed towards officials (and thankfully, less frequently, players) is shocking. As is some of the commentary from parents. (In a recent match, I heard a team coach tell a parent from the other team in the crowd to 'f**k off' - and I was not very close to the exchange.)

However, the thing that irks me most is the quality of officiating - not from referees who are generally OK and fair but they seem to have no support whatsoever.

Linesmen are usually culled from the competing clubs which is one thing but the complete mess that is umpiring is something to behold.

As far as I can see, there's usually only one umpire at each end and these are again sourced from the competing teams. Such appointees seem to be incapable of clearly indiciating anything but the most obvious scores and often attempt to actively deceive to their teams advantage.

Furthermore, the amount of coaching that eminates from such 'umpires' is outrageous - how can the players have confidence in the officals if they see umpires behaving in such a partisan manner?

It doesn't get much better when there's an umpire from each side attending - that often ends up in rows between the adults as well.

I appreciate that resourcing is likely the issue. Who wants to be standing on a cold March eve. for some U14 division 5 match with no 'skin in the game'. And further, rules now properly mandate that anyone on the pitch must be club accredited and garda vetted, which diminishes the selection pool further still.

But fairness and balance must be paramount and I have failed to see that at play very often."
In my experience MOST people officiating do their best or try to. The problems you outline very well but in my experience they are confined to a specific number of clubs who would do anything to win and I mean anything. A lot of times ref's see through these and are more likely to dismiss some umpires than players.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 3690 - 17/04/2018 11:42:05    2093480

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This is a problem at every level of the game below championship. The best referee's bring at least two of their own umpires with them which has two effects
1 Keeping the other umpires / linesmen in check
2 Reducing the amount of cynical off the ball foul play

rahanman (Cavan) - Posts: 93 - 17/04/2018 13:22:41    2093532

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This goes on at senior level too both in league and championship. I don't mind so much an umpire from each club , but when these guys are standing there roaring at players and as somebody pointed out inevitably having a go at each other.

Bon (Kildare) - Posts: 458 - 17/04/2018 13:26:06    2093536

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I'm not reffing anymore but when I was I would rather no umpires because you if didn't know them then you couldn't trust them and you ended up ignoring them anyway.

FootblockREF (Monaghan) - Posts: 201 - 17/04/2018 13:47:19    2093544

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maybe we need 2 lads from either club on each post?

perfect10 (Wexford) - Posts: 2651 - 18/04/2018 15:49:53    2093816

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