Leinster referees chairman wary of online rules test

Leinster referees chairman Tom Quigley has questioned the GAA’s plan to put rules tests for match officials online.

Quigley doesn’t see the point of such an exercise when referees might be able to access the official guide in completing the examinations.

He wrote: “There is a plan at national level in the longer term that all rules tests will be done online by computer, in the comfort of the referee’s own home, and with access to the rule book if required (though the test is time- limited).

“Our own referees did one of these online tests in the early part of 2015, and produced results close to 100% in many cases.

“However, when later in the year the same referees were asked to sit a ‘traditional’ rules test with pen and paper, under examination conditions and without access to a Rule Book, the results were very significantly lower.

“Do we therefore need to proceed with caution before making an online rules test the standard? Does it necessarily reflect a referee’s true knowledge of the rules, based on our experience?

“When one has to make a split-second decision on the field, one cannot consult the rule book!” In his annual report, Quigley also expressed his disappointment with referees’ knowledge of the rules in examinations.

“The results would suggest that, as a general rule, referees do not spend long enough studying the rule book,” he wrote. “This leaves us in somewhat of a quandary at provincial level — it is surely not the function of the Leinster Referees’ Committee to teach referees the basic rules of the game, as they should have learned all those within their respective counties.”


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