I hope this finds you all well.
When we started the season back in late August, we knew it was going to be a challenging time ahead. With this most recent lockdown we are restricted to the professional game for the next 6 weeks and we are relegated to armchair assessors and TMO’s !!
This comes at a time when the association is in great shape with close on 200 Referees including 17 new aspiring refs who attended the recent New Recruits Course (you are all very welcome) and over the past 2 seasons we have officiated at on average 5000 games/season at mens, womens, youths and schools matches a huge achievement and something to be proud of. We have also seen great progress in the National Panel and IPAS.
Off the pitch we have over 50 refs and former refs who give of their time tirelessly to the smooth running of the ARLB, Coaches/Ref Cams, Evaluators, Mentors, Area Reps, Panel Mgrs and Officers of the Association and we are also very well represented on the Leinster rugby committees though Ciaran O’Brien (Chair of Competitions as well as our Branch Rep) and Pat Carolan (Chair of Junior Committee) and others who sit on the various branch committees on behalf of the ARLB. I would like to thank everyone both on and off the field for their tireless work to make the ARLB the great Association it is today.
Over the coming weeks we will be launching Rugby Connect which will be of great benefit to all with referee appointments and administration matters.
We have also launched our new kit which will be winding its way to you very shortly (everything in bar socks which we are still waiting for) so we will send on the kit shortly!
The challenge now for our Referees is to keep building on the high standards we have set ourselves and over the coming weeks by maintaining and if applicable improving fitness levels and digging out the Laws Book and reviewing excellent video material provided by Sam Holt at our Area Meetings (thanks Sam).
I would ask everyone to support each other over the lockdown period and to get as much fitness training in as possible so when we get back to some normality, we are ready to go. I know through my discussions with Leinster Rugby Committee that they are keen to commence competitive rugby as soon as it is safe to do so. This will provide referees with opportunities, be ready to take advantage. Remember, the word is that players are all working on maintaining their fitness too!
We have together built a great Association and through these challenging times let’s keep raising the bar to be the best refs we can be.