Mayo GAA to pilot referee Segway experiment
THE delivery of 76 Segways to MacHale Park in Castlebar yesterday (Monday, April 1) — one for each GAA referee in the county — has been approved by Croke Park on a pilot basis in an exercise to improve the standard of refereeing within the GAA.
The Michael Walsh Football League and the Genfitt Hurling League in 2013 have been earmarked as competitions where, on a trial basis, referees will use the motorised two-wheeler to move freely around the pitch in an effort to keep up with the play and help make better decisions to improve the game.
A GAA spokesperson told The Mayo News: “Driver training and trial days will commence for all Mayo GAA referees in MacHale Park over the coming weeks, with the Segway making its introduction to the field on the weekend of May 18/19 in the opening round of the subsidiary competitions.”
However, some officials have condemned the experiment, saying that many of the pitches in Mayo will be bogged with the weight of the Segway and an oversized referee on board.
The Segway is used in American college sports such as lacrosse and American football, but these games are predominantly played on astroturf pitches.
If successful, the Segway will be introduced nationally in an effort to help referees keep up with the game.