An awful lot goes on in a game, and the ref is the man who never touches a ball in any code (except to throw it in or get it for a free taker) but is often blamed for the goings on – and certainly the losses – that occur each week worldwide across the GAA stage.

What does he see? What decisions is he making?

Let’s have a look at a timeline from his eyes, based on a recent experience of one of the New York refs. The ref’s thoughts and statements follow.

Captains, let’s go. Heads or tails lads? Control yere selves at all times, black card rules, ye know them, let’s keep it in mind. I will stay out of the way, but need ye to remind the lads, watch the aggressive fouls. I will play advantage watch for the hand signal, good luck.

Team sheets, need to get them now before the game starts, give one to the other teams and the press. Wow, AAAA never have the sheet ready, I will go back to them in a minute.

Thanks lads, for that. AAAA don’t have their sheet yet, can I give it to you at half time? I know it’s not supposed to be like that, let me remind them.

Game is about to start. Okay umpires, all set, jeez, who is doing that line? John can ye get a man for that line? Great, thanks.

That lad is not that experienced. Will keep an eye out to help him. I never got a chance to talk to umpires, damn. Okay they will be fine; if I get a chance to go in I will remind them of a couple of things.

Lads outside the 45 for the throw-in. Is that goalie jersey too close to the forwards colors? Be hard to see him if there is a skirmish in the goal mouth. Can ye get him to change the shirt lads? Thanks?

Buzzer going off, sure we are not even ready yet. We will start when ready. Back up lads, easy lads, WHISTLE GAME IS ON.

Whistle, free in, you can’t hang off him like that. Free to AAAA. Corner forward is being dragged before the ball gets there, okay he has it, play advantage. Must chat to corner back when I have a chance. High ball to square, no square ball now, old rule, close to post, wide.

Okay, kick out, outside the 21 lads, need ye to be out. Great kick out. Is that a push in back? No wasn’t close. Great catch, three players around him. That was a closed fist on the tackle, not even close to. Lads ye have to tackle ball. Kieran watch the tackles for me.

Tackle the ball. Whistle, free to BBBB. No back it up, back, that’s where free was. Grand. Thanks, long ball to corner. Great catch, 15. Is that a foul? Yeak, he broke out of it though, hand up advantage. That selector always wants a free; doesn’t he have advantage? What’s the roaring for?

Good cross field ball. That hand pass was on the edge. Awful hard to pull it though, everyone is doing it like that. Good tackle six. Okay no foul. Good release, WHAT! Whistle.

Number nine – you hit him after the ball was released. That’s a black card with the new rules. What’s the name? Declan, okay, but it’s the new rule. They can replace you at the next break. Man down injured. Whistle stop the clock.

You okay buddy? Yeah, okay free out AAAA. Is the clock running? Get the clock running, Yeah, that’s right. Two minutes gone in the game.

Refs wanted, apply immediately!!