More officials are needed to safeguard the future of Kilkenny soccer. Photo: Pat Moore
Kilkenny soccer is in danger of seeing games go by the wayside unless more people taking up refereering.
That was the stark warning issued as the FAI prepare to hold a referees course in the city.
The two-day course, which will be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Aspect Hotel, has been designed to attract more people to become referees and help alleviate the pressure on the local body, which has been stretched to breaking point.
"We need more people to take up refereeing," said referees assessor Pat Shortall. "If more people don't take up the whistle there is a real danger that some games won't have officials in a season or two."
With 19 registered referees available to cover 30 schoolboy games and 15 junior games every weekend, local officials are stretched to cover every match. With work, injury and other commitments, the full complement of referees is not always available. There are occasions when a referee is not available.
The course consists of 15 hours over two days - 14 hours of classroom tuition and a one-hour practical session. The practical session will not involve any physical activity but it is recommended that people bring suitable clothing in case of inclement weather. People will be required to undertake, and pass, a 20 question exam on the Laws of the game.
Applicants are asked to bring a notebook and pen/pencil, a whistle, an open mind and lots of enthusiasm.
The FAI's referees beginners course is open to all applicants aged 16 years and over. Informal enquires to Pat Shortall, tel 087-2867526 (after 6pm). You can also book a place on the course by clicking here