We’ve had a busy start to the year in Leinster Rugby Referees HQ. On January 21st we ran our first recruitment course of 2017, in Terenure College. We had 24 eager new recruits attend the day long session. David O’Brien, the IRFU referee officer for Leinster was the main presenter on the day with our Vice President Conor Byrne welcoming the group in the morning. The main topics that David covered were broken into two components. The morning session saw us cover Game Management. This included: player safety / welfare, control, communication, materiality and advantage. The afternoon session saw us cover the technical modules such as scrum, lineout, the breakdown and offside.
The recruits now become trial members of the ARLB which is a provisional membership while they gain experience in their formative stages as a referee. Gary Glennon, the ARLB Trial Member Manager, oversees their successful integration. They will start out by being appointed to age grade matches in their respective areas. Their progression as referees will be based on their ability, fitness levels and commitment. They will receive ongoing mentoring and technical support from both the IRFU and the ARLB to assist in maximising their ability and potential. All in all, a great day was had by all and we look forward to seeing the new recruits out on the pitch over the coming weeks. Many thanks to David O’Brien for his great presentations and support.
Every January Leinster Rugby Referees run a mid-season seminar to catch up with all members and to give feedback on the trends that have been emerging (both good and bad, mainly good though) throughout the season so far.
This get together is on top of the regular monthly area meetings and is designed to be both informative and also more social than some of our more technical sessions. Seapoint Rugby Club were fantastic hosts to us on the evening and judging by all of the empty plates the curry provided by “Chicken George” went down a treat. Obviously a low fat high protein feed.
We were delighted this year to be joined by former Leinster and current Irish Rugby coach Joe Schmidt as our key note speaker. Joe would have gotten to know many of our members over the years either directly through his time with Leinster & Ireland or cheering on his son’s school side and he has of course previously presented to our group.
If you have never had the opportunity to hear Joe speak about rugby then you must put it on the bucket list. It is doubtful if there is anybody else as passionate, dedicated, fair and informed (referees excepted!) in the rugby world today.
Over 100 active referees and assessors were enthralled with the Joe show for well over an hour as he poured over video analysis of some of the more controversial and topical aspects of the game over the past season. There were plenty of “”off the record” stories and opinions which were highly entertaining and insightful into the world of professional rugby however unless you were there….
Joe spoke about what he and Ireland look for in a referee – mainly that they are a positive practitioner of the game.
Joe summed up the evening with his advice to referees both active and prospective. His advice is simple but sometimes the most simple of ideas can be the most difficult to act on.
- Understand the game
- Be consistent
- Referee what is Clear & Obvious
- Utilise your team of 3 (Referee and Touch Judges)
- Be Confident and be clear
- Be in charge!
Joe concluded by stating that clear communication is the most important skill that a referee can display to the players and coaches. Better to be clear and wrong than half cocked. Our President David MacDonald closed what was a thoroughly entertaining evening. Thank you Joe Schmidt and thank you Seapoint and of course many thanks to Simon Owens and his admin committee for organising.
If you are interested in becoming a referee get in contact with us through our Facebook and Google + pages, our website www.arlb.ie or through twitter @leinsterreferee.