Category: Officiating

Posts related to Officiating activities

Significant Increase In Membership 2018/19

2018/19 has been a stellar year for IAFA that’s seen a 31% increase in unique membership, with particularly strong growth at youth level, in female membership and officials. These statistics formed part of our Commissioners (interim, Brian Cleary) report at yesterday’s AGM.

Unique Members
% +/-

Overall memberships totalled 1774 – this includes members who took one more than one membership e.g. registered as an official and player.

Overall Memberships
% +/-


Youth football had huge growth this year, thanks to the addition of four new teams to the youth league. Youth football is key to the future of our sport and whilst IAFA is pleased with this increase, IAFA will continue to push this growth and encourages more clubs to join the youth league in 2020.

Officiating was another department that seen considerable growth. There have been changes made to the operations of the officiating department, including 5 new personnel appointed to help improve standards across the whole department. The success of this can be clearly seen, with an 81% rise in the amount of trained and registered officials.

Youth Kitted

IAFA is delighted with the increase in female membership, with members taking on roles across all areas including kitted and flag players, coaches, officials and volunteers (club and NGB level). IAFA has worked hard to increase the visibility of American football to females as part of Sport Irelands 20×20 strategy. IAFA will continue to strategize to increase female membership and welcomes all feedback to help with that strategy.

Slight decreases were noted in the number of senior kitted players and coaches – IAFA are working hard to address this to ensure that these increase next year.

Senior Kitted

Statistics collected using the IAFA registration system (Azolve).

Calling all (potential) referees

Have you ever sat at home watching the NFL or College Football and found yourself calling the penalties during a game? Why not put it into practice?

We are looking for new officials to join our panel of experienced referees. Officiating American Football in Ireland is open to men and women over the age of 18. Full training will be provided to you, no previous experience in the sport is required.

Officiating is a great way to get involved in the sport, stay active, meet new people and you will be paid a game fee for your services too!

Get in touch today for more information on how to become an official.

 Contact Us Here

Officiating: New Appointment

IAFA are delighted to announce that Stephen King has been appointed as Assistant Director of Officiating. Stephen is a keen supporter of American football and has experience as a soccer referee. Stephen was employed by the FAI as a referee program and development co-ordinator and we look forward to him bringing his vast knowledge and experience to help develop the Officiating Department.

Tony Rivers heads up major EFL fixture

Last Saturday saw the first fixture of the 2016 European Football League (EFL) take place. Tony Rivers, one of IAFA’s most experienced officials, was the head official in for this fixture. Tony led the five-person crew in a game that saw the Dracs beat the Panthers 46-41.

GFL tutors Christian and Heinz with Director of Officiating Derek Ward

Level 2 Officiating Clinic Review

Last weekend we held the the first phase of the Level 2 Officiating clinic in the Crowne Plaza Northwood. The course was tutored by Christian Henrich and Heinz Sauer from the German Football League (GFL). Both Christian and Heinz are extremely experienced officials, having officiated over 1,350 games between them. Christian and Heinz have also ran a number of officiating clinics throughout Europe.

GFL tutors Christian and Heinz with Director of Officiating Derek Ward
GFL tutors Christian Henrich and Heinz Sauer with Director of Officiating Derek Ward (middle)

20 IAFA officials attended the course, including both full-time officials and Team Provided Officials (TPOs) from clubs in the SBC and IAFL. This phase covered the theory of a number of officiating concepts including penalty enforcement, crew mechanics and expectations and how to improve the running of games. Director of Officiating Derek Ward commented, “I’d like to thank Christian and Heinz for travelling to Ireland to present this clinic. We constantly strive to improve the standard of officiating in Ireland, and clinics like this go a long way to ensuring Irish officials are some of the best in Europe”.

Last weekend’s clinic was the first phase of the multi-phase Level 2 course. Subsequent phases, which will cover more on-field training, will be announced in the coming weeks as well as a Level 1 officiating clinic for new officials.

Final Level 1 Officiating Clinic – Saturday 8th March

The final Clinic for this year will take place this Saturday at UL campus (details below).
Please advise your Team officials candidates of the details as this mail only goes to Team management contacts.
Thanks to all teams who attended Clinics at Dundalk and Dublin but there are several teams where no candidates have attended.


Saturday 8th March – Time 10:30 to 16:30
University of Limerick Campus
Shulman Building room S117
Google Coordinates    52.673175,-8.578348
Notes – no lunch supplied; car parking to be confirmed


All IAFA Team Management contacts were sent these details earlier this week.
Any queries – contact

Officiating Clinic this Saturday is CANCELLED

Due to the uncertain weather conditions for Friday & Saturday morning, I have decided to CANCEL the Clinic on Saturday.

This is to avoid travelling when the road conditions may not be ideal early on Saturday morning.

The Clinic will be re-arranged for the same venue – UL campus – on Sat 8th March at the same time – 10:30 start.

I will advise on the exact room when details come through from UL Vikings.

Flag Officiating Clinic & Tournament

A great turnout for an initial Flag Football Officaiting Clinic last Saturday. There were 24 registered participants but it seemed like more. If you didn’t complete a registration form, there is still time – Registration Form – Flag. Send completed form to .

Some of the documents used

Main Presentation – Flag Clinic

Rules – ifaf-flag-rules

Full Mechanics – flag_mechs_manual

Brief Mechanics – flag_mechanics_quickstart (this was copy given out on the day)

IAFOA Newsflash 25 July

News, Rules questions & Game Information

Newsflash 25 Jul

A timely Reminder of the rules relating to Lightning

Full detail in Appendix B of NCAA Rules

Key sections below

Suspend a game

a. As a minimum, lightning safety experts strongly recommend that by the time the monitor observes 30 seconds between seeing the lightning flash and hearing its associated thunder, all individuals should have left the athletics site and reached a safer structure or location.

Re-start a game

e. To resume athletics activities, lightning safety experts recommend waiting 30 minutes after both the last sound of thunder and last flash of lightning.

Please do not second guess these instructions.