2018 NFL: Round 5 - Dublin v Kerry, Sunday March 11th, Croke Park, 4pm (Live Eir Sport 2)


Depending on the assessor. Some will give high level information on the game and others will go into situations in the game, good and bad.

The assessors do question the decisions and comment on the performance of the team (referee, both linesmen, forth official & 4 umpires).


The catch by Fenton at the start of that clip is an artrform that was going out of the game and thankfully the mark has brought it back in again to a degree. Coaching has overlooked the basics of catch and kick which is the mainstay of our game and instead went negative and tried to counter other teams better skills with blanket defences etc. I for one and delighted to see this Dublin team been encouraged to play the right way where most if not all players can kick comfortable off both feet ( Can MDMC kick off 1 is another debate :grinning: ) and corner backs are popping up kicking scores when the opportunity arrives.


On the small incident, they were pushing and shoving before it so I was keeping my eye on it at the time. The linesman who gave the call wasn’t watching when the initial pulldown happened. He only seen when Small was pushing himself up off O’Shea and he somehow felt the need to call that a black card. That’s the first time I’ve seen Jim animated on the touchline. He was having words with the linesman. Had a listen to Terrace Talk podcast last night and they were accusing us of the cynical play :joy::joy::joy::joy:


Whatever is correct in his reply. The current system is not ideal either. For the big games, i.e. those on tv, the assessors are requested not to view the fixture on tv before sending the assessment. So the assessor may miss errors made by the ref, meaning these will not appear in the refs assessment.

It has been known to happen that an assessor comes into the refs dressing room after the match asking what the ref saw that resulted in whatever action being taken. When the assessment is received it details the incident and how the ref took the appropriate action!!!

Assessors are also a mixed bunch too - some valued higher than others. Some out to make a name for themselves rather than focus on their task - assisting refs improve their performance.

Croke Park hold regular meetings with the national refs and highlight errors captured on tv and discuss these with the refs. These can be debated and even at this level, a consensus may not be achieved. This is all down to interpretation, something that will never be eliminated.


Excellent stuff as usual @bummer and @whatever - great insight into the world of the men in black. Thanks!

Just wondering would all assessors be ex-refs or how do people go down that route?


Many would be ex refs but that doesn’t ensure that they are able to assess!!! Some are even confused with the actual rules!!!

A good assessor is one who can strike a balance between the refs good and not so good performances during the game. No need for a hatchet job while at the same time failing to highlight areas of improvement (e.g incorrect application of rules, angle of running, positioning, communication, team work, etc) would render the assessment pointless. Every assessment should leave the ref with some food for thought rather than f*** him, what could he see up there in the stands!!!

You have to bear in mind that a ref has one angle of an incident and the assessor / spectator has a different. Both sets of eyes may be looking at completely different piece of the same incident!!! It’s no surprise that debates arise!!


That is where the telly does a real mis service, I know it is great to see all the angles and slow motion etc, but they never put enough emphasis on the fact that the ref does not have that advantage. An idea would be for TV, as well as showing what really happened they could give the pundits a pretty accurate idea of what the ref saw, real time angle etc…


That might be a blank screen a lot of the time …


A big bone of contention for me is the role of the umpires and linesmen. In some games they will act as an extra set of eyes for ref and in others lads could be making bits of each other in front of umpire but behind ref yet no attempt is made to bring to refs attention and then in next game or next half they will make contact with ref and a player or players are carded. Why the lack of consistency .


Tolerance levels are different between officials, means of communication different, ref wants to make his own decisions, ref afraid to make a decision, umpire/linesman wants to be in the limelight, instructions laid down by ref to other officials before the match,…

Take your pick :wink:


I accept all you said, but surely the assessor would hold the ref accountable for any lack of vigilance by his umpires and linesmen or is that just the way it is supposed to work.
Can I ask in your opinion, what would you say is the likelyhood of a video assistant referee being trialed in football and would referees most likely see it as something positive or negative.
Personally I would like to see it trialed at senior inter county competition at some level.


Assessors will flag poor performing officials. In fact, some current national refs have been advised to “rest” a particular umpire if he was deemed to be under performing - otherwise his progress might be stalled. Linesmen might face longer on the line if they under perform too!!!

Personally I would like to see some form of VAR being introduced. However, Croke Park as we know, is very slow to change and I cannot see it coming in any time soon. Finances and lack of tv technology at all stadia will be flagged as some of the issues!!!

As an aside, why not have a respected (if that is possible) retired ref join the panel to clarify issues as the arise!! Would make a change from the bluster and crap the regular panel often spout re various playing incidents.


Do you watch the foreign sport? That VAR is a disaster


I do and I agree that it wouldn’t work it that format. I would like to see it used for serious foul play, where players could be disciplined for infractions missed by pitch side match officials.I wouldn’t like to see it used for every minor incident and turn the game into a stop / start one!!!


Good point - Pat Mc comes to mind … though he’s publicity shy … :wink:

But when a ref clearly gets it wrong would this expert be willing to ‘hang him out to dry’ as such?!


A retired ref on the panel may add something to a discussion about the game, it does very little in practical terms to deal with incidents as they arise on the pitch, but that said I would welcome it as a step.
Really to have someone watching the game on the monitor and if he sees something or if the ref needs clarity on something they would be able to communicate on a very basic level initially.
Another idea which I believe would be very difficult to bring in but would have good impact is if the ref and assessor would be able to watch video of game and be able to retrospectively rescind or issue cards up to 48 hrs or such after the game ( never likely and too controversial ).
I don’t know how much of an appetite is outthere to make big changes to the refereeing of games, but I’d like to think that referees would be proactive in supporting technological changes that would possibly improve behaviour and reduce room for errors.


AS @bummer has said some referees will inform their team of what and when to call the referee. An umpire calling a referee in has to more or less lead to a card being given. In some games, especially Croke Park the whole officiating team are miked up to each other. Constant communication occurs between all officials.

A lot of umpires will try and deal with the niggling things, i.e. jersey pulling on runs or holding the arm at source without calling in the referee. If the team is miked up the umpires can ask the referee to have a word with the player if the offence is continuing. This would be the players final warning before a booking.

The umpires and linesmen are extra eyes to the referee but can’t make a decision for him. Their opinion can be requested by the referee in order to make a decision.


I appreciate all you have said, but it can be quite frustrating to witness continuing fowling taking place in view of umpire and no action being taken then on other occasions action is taken. It’s the level of inconsistency you would like to see addressed for the better of the game, and to ensure negative play is not rewarded.


It would help too if commentators knew the rules. Padded, on Eir Sports, referr d a couple of times to the ref getting it wrong when penalizing fist passers ‘as it was clearly a strike’. But there is more to a legal fist pass then just a striking action.


But not all fowls are bookings so action may have been taken. Sometimes a discussion has happened with the player directly, some are a noting where others are directly cards.

Umpires have a 1/4 of a pitch to monitor so sometimes a pull or drag can be happening just outside of their line of sight as they are concentrating on something further out the pitch. I can tell you first hand that the umpires do not go out there just to stand and watch the match. They do their best within their remit to adjudicate a game fairly.