Describe The Main Roles And Responsibilities Of Officials In Football The Greatest Sporting Organization in Ireland is the GAA

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The Greatest Sporting Organization in Ireland is the GAA

As I write, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is about to celebrate its 125th anniversary. 2009 saw many celebrations of this milestone with thousands of clubs across Ireland celebrating in their own unique ways.

The GAA organization and its games are truly unique in the sporting world. No other country in the world has a set of sports, played by amateur men and women at such a high level of fitness, and Ireland has a skill that attracts such a large audience and yet is virtually unknown in any country around the world. With the exception of ex-pats hosting games in the US, UK and Australia, these wonderful games are largely ignored by the mainstream media around the world. And boy, are they missing!

For those unfamiliar with Ireland’s national sports, a brief introduction is in order. Gaelic sports are basically divided into football, hurling, camogie (effectively ladies’ hurling) ladies’ football and handball (similar to squash without the racket). The first two mentioned are the main sports, played by men.

The core of the entire GAA system consists of parish clubs and amateurs. There are over 2,500 clubs in Ireland’s 32 counties. No sportsperson receives a salary and only full-time officials at the highest administrative level receive salaries and expenses.

The volunteer aspect of the organization is incredible. Mentors and officials at club and county level work passionately to ensure that the sport continues for generations just as other sports attract children who will shape the future. For a sport confined to the island of Ireland, its appeal and sheer power is a phenomenon not seen anywhere else in the sporting world.

The hobbyist aspect is also key to his success. Gaelic sporting heroes are tangible, ordinary men and women who perform heroism on the playing field, watched by thousands and watched by large TV audiences. Still, they have jobs to go to on Monday, whether it’s a building site, or an accountancy practice, a teaching job or a university place. These young men and women are touchy, passionate people you might meet with a pint in the pub, largely ignored by their local peers, but mega stars in the national media. They lead a normal life with their feet firmly planted on the ground. There is very little room for posers in a GAA dressing room and the down to earth attitude of most players, whether famous or not, is instilled in them from an early age.

As a great force for good in every community, whether small village or large city, it is impossible to overestimate the enormous cultural and personal benefits arising from the presence of a GAA club.

The success of the game at the highest level has enabled the GAA and Ireland to have one of the world’s greatest stadiums, Croke Park, north of Dublin. The stadium has a long history, but to phase out the GAA’s vision of the top division, while maintaining a schedule of Championship games and being completely rebuilt with a capacity of 82,000 by 2005, was a tremendous achievement for the fans. The institution is not alone in Croke Park, there are many fantastic stadiums around the country, such as Semple Stadium in Thurles, Perc o Caoimbh in Cork and Clone in Monaghan to name a few.

Despite the great years of the 80s and 90s, when the soccer profile was so high, it speaks to the quality of the people running the organization when looking at the dismal performance of soccer at local and national level by their counterparts in the FAI. The success Jack Charlton brought to team and country. The incompetent weaklings who parade themselves as professional administrators at the FAI could take a lesson from what the soccer brigade deride as a grab all association.

It should be more aptly described as a give away association, filtering down to ground level, creating high quality facilities in every small town and townland, while soccer clubs still move behind the trenches and national teams see funds filtering down to ground level. homeless

Some of the archaic administrative systems where county boards, provincial councils and central council management levels exist are often criticized for their inability to deal with issues quickly. There is some degree of truth in it and it has often hindered efforts to reach important decisions. The British occupation of Ireland at the time of the association’s founding in 1884 is none other than the prickly and controversial decision to open Croke Park to accommodate the playing of soccer and rugby, games once alien to GAA culture.

This mentality was reinforced by the memory of the barbaric act in 1921 when the British army drove into Croke Park in armored cars and opened fire without warning on both spectators and players. Thirteen people were killed that infamous day, including the player Michael Hogan, who the Hogan Stand is now named after.

Thereafter members of the British Army were not allowed to become members of the GAA. As the state developed into what is now the 26-county Republic of Ireland and a separate British-ruled 6-county province of Ulster, members of the then RUC (now PSNI) were barred until recent years. .

The most controversial aspect of the GAA rules, which have been in place since the 1920s, is what is known as the “ban”. This rule led to players of Gaelic sports being referred to as “foreign sports”, meaning soccer and rugby. These two sports were considered British sports and therefore alien to Irish culture. It was the most ridiculous rule invented by the GAA and was broken so many times, in so many different ways, that public opinion forced the organization to withdraw the rule in 1972.

This rule, which the GAA should be proud of, did not last long.

Thus, the debate over opening Croke Park to soccer and rugby had its roots in events many years earlier. It took three years for the proposal to allow this to happen, and history has shown that progress can be a major deterrent.

Still, one of this writer’s greatest memories is Ireland beating England in an indescribable cauldron of emotion and pride in the 2006 6-Nations Rugby Championship.

To enjoy this wonderful, unique, sport and as 2010 brings the GAA into its 126th year of existence, may the volunteer aspect of it continue!

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