Athgarvan GAA & LGFA Club

Founded 1889

Co. Kildare

GAA Code of Behaviour - Sideline Charter

GAA / Club Sideline Charter

Protecting our Young referees

Our Objective is to implement a Positive Sideline Initiative to encourage young Referees to participate in our games.

The focus will be on respect for the Referee.  Whether it is Players, Coaches or Supporters, any level of inappropriate behaviour directed towards Match Officials is completely unacceptable.  Part of tackling this is the implementation of new initiatives to safeguard and encourage young Referees.

Clubs will be instructed to help and encourage young Referees by implementing Positive Sidelines at all underage matches.  Only positive feedback from Supporters/Spectators should be tolerated, any negativity or aggression will be dealt with as outlined later in this charter.  Management for each Team should positively encourage & instruct their Players, they should not direct any negativity towards the Referee.

Coiste Na nÓg and Kildare GAA will achieve this by implementing the following measures:

Use of Referee Ambassadors:

1) Clubs to appoint an independent Ambassador(s) for each age group.  This Ambassador can be independent of (or part of) the Management Team involved in the match and must be a member within the Club.

2) The role of the Ambassador will be to act as the sole focal point with the Match Official in charge of the fixture.  Duties to include team sheets, addressing any concerns the Referee may have in relation to indiscipline from Mentors/Spectators/Parents, as outlined below in Scope of Ambassador Role.

3) Both Clubs in a match must have an Ambassador present and in place for each fixture.

4) Each Team should ensure that they have a minimum of 2/3 Ambassadors to facilitate absences and rotation of duties throughout the season.  The Referee should be informed who the designated Ambassador will be prior to commencement of the fixture.

5) The Ambassador should wear a White bib to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Management Team and ensure they are easily identifiable.  The remainder of the Management Team must wear a different colour bib (as outlined in Coiste Na nÓg rules).

Scope of Ambassador Role:

1) To act as a support for the Referee before, during and after the match.

2) To ensure Referee’s payment is made.

3) Provide team sheets to the Referee before commencement of the match.

4) Liaise with the Referee in relation to Player concerns and welfare.

5) Liaise with the Referee in relation to Sideline and Coaching infringements.

6) Provide Sideline crowd control throughout the match.

6) Should act as the Sideline Official during the fixture to facilitate control of the sideline.

Code of Conduct for Managers, Spectators & Sideline:


Show respect to Match Officials (Referee, etc.), Opposition Players, Coaches, Managers, Club & County Officials, Parents and Spectators.

Adhere to the Rules and Spirit of the Game

Promote and encourage Fair Play, high standards of behaviour and respect for coaches, other players, the Referee and Match Officials.

Always respect the match official’s decision.

Support your child, your Team and the Coaches in a positive manner.

Applaud good play from both Teams.

Adopt a positive attitude on the sideline and avoid using foul or offensive language.


Shout at the Referee or Match Officials.

Argue with or criticise your child’s Coaches.

Criticise Players or shout at them if they make a mistake.

Engage in public criticism of the Match Officials or Referee.

Engage in, or tolerate, offensive, insulting, or abusive language or behaviour towards Players, other Parents, Coaches or Match Officials.

Enter the field of play without the Referee’s permission or unless specifically invited to do so, by an Official in charge.

Encroach onto the field of play for any reason, during or after the match, with the intention of confronting the Referee or accosting a Player or Coach.

Warning System and Sanctions:

Yellow / Red  Card System

Each Club will be given 1 warning before sanction.  This may be a warning to Team Management or Supporters/Spectators as deemed necessary by the Referee. A second warning will result in the abandonment of the game, if deemed appropriate by the Referee, with potential loss of match points for the Club(s) in receipt of the warnings.

Loss of home advantage on sliding scale

1st sanction - loss of next home advantage

Continuous sanctions - loss of home advantage for remainder of season. Fine imposed on sanctioned Club(s)

Post Match Analysis:

1) Referee Report to be submitted after every match.

2) Coiste Na nÓg can only sanction based on Referee report so all Referees must submit a report following each match irrespective of any incidents.

3) The Referee Ambassador may assist the young Referee with report submission.

4) Ambassador can also provide details/concerns to the Referee for inclusion in their report.  The Referee report can include an addendum of information provided by Ambassador if required.


Download ClubZap

Get live information for Club on the ClubZap App

App Store Google Play