Wexford GAA propose introduction of lifetime bans for referee abuse 2 months ago

Wexford GAA propose introduction of lifetime bans for referee abuse

The current maximum ban is 96 weeks.

Wexford are planning to go ahead with all GAA fixtures this weekend following an incident earlier in the week that saw a member of St Joseph's club banned for life.

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This was the second incident that involved abuse towards a referee in the county in the past six weeks, and just recently in Roscommon a GAA member aledgedly assaulted a match official which resulted in the victim being hospitalised.

A meeting was held with the county executive, referees and the referees administration committee at Chadwicks Wexford Park last night.

The purpose of this meeting was “to discuss the promotion of good discipline and the protection of referees.”

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The biggest proposal made in the meeting was to remove the current 96-week maximum term of suspension for verbal or physical threat to an official, and introduce debarment and/or expulsion from the GAA as penalties that may be considered.

The following actions were agreed:

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  1. All clubs must hold a workshop for mentors from Under 11 to Adult in their club before Wednesday, 5 October 2022 to go through a self-evaluation of their conduct towards match officials. All clubs must report to the County Executive on Thursday, 6 October that the workshop has taken place, who was in attendance and findings arising from the workshop. Any club who does not confirm the workshop has taken place will have their fixtures postponed (at all levels) until the workshop has been held.
  2. Wexford GAA will propose at the next meeting of Central Council that a Special Congress be held to:
    • Remove the current 96-week maximum term of suspension for verbal or physical threat to an official together with debarment and/or expulsion from the Association as penalties that may be considered.
    • Commence a review and simplification of the GAA disciplinary system.
    • Overhaul the “Give Respect – Get Respect” campaign to ensure a comprehensive education programme for mentors, players, parents and supporters. This programme should include a simplified version of playing rules to give a greater understanding to those who provide commentary on refereeing decisions and be included in all coach education programmes.
    • Mark all pitches with a designated area that mentors must remain in during games for all competitions.
  3. Wexford GAA will seek to pilot a “Respect the Ref” campaign in conjunction with Wexford Camogie and LGFA across all age grades in 2023. This will be aimed at players of all ages, mentors, parents and supporters. We will also engage with a third level institution to commence a research project in this area.
  4. Wexford GAA will publish disciplinary sanctions imposed on players and clubs in a timely fashion.