Rules may need to change to help referees

28 September 2014; Referee Yvonne Duffy. TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Junior Championship Final, Wexford v New York. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

How one referee perceives a foul to another referee was the topic of discussion on this week’s Sportsgirls Podcast.

Both Nadine Doherty and Diane O’Hora have played at the highest level with their counties and have coached teams admitted their frustrations at the inconsistencies of referees. This has been a problem for a long number of years, yet nothing has changed.

Nadine said: “In Ladies football my frustration with refereeing is that it’s so inconsistent. You could have a ref one weekend who will let the game flow, then the following weekend you could have a ref that interprets a foul completely different than the week before. I found it very frustrating as a player and probably more frustrating as a coach. What annoys me most about yellow cards is the ref would often balance out.”

She was dismayed that it was still a problem in the game from her time playing for Donegal: “I just don’t understand that it is still going on. I feel it’s so inconsistent and at the top level. It’s not acceptable really at an inter-county match.”

Diane believes that rules need to be changed to suit the way teams play now: “Teams are much stronger, faster, fitter than they were when these rules were designed where it was a non contact sport. Everyone watching Ladies Football knows that this ‘non contact’ is a load of cod. The variation is in too.”

The Mayo woman is finding it tough to coach teams due to the inconsistency in match officiating: “It’s so difficult to coach teams and for players to understand. It’s very frustrating for them. Sure if you played to the ‘letter of the law’ the whistle would be blown every few minutes.”