Wicklow GAA referees will have to complete a compulsory training course before Christmas if they intend officiating club games of all levels in 2014.
The news comes after the GAA hierarchy announced the new “black card” which will be an addition to the red and yellow cards that already are in use.
The GAA Central Council decided this week that it will be compulsory for all referees to attend the training course to be eligible to referee in 2014.
Yesterday, the GAA launched its training programme to inform and educate players, referees, managers, supporters and members about the new rules of football which come into effect at the beginning of January.
These changes include the introduction of the new black card and the introduction of the advantage rule amongst others.
Over the next six weeks, 11 specially trained referee tutors will deliver the training course to football referees in each of the 32 counties, as well as Britain.
The e-learning course and specially commissioned educational video are available on www.gaa.ie and it is hoped that players, administrators, team mangers, referees and supporters would view these resources which are available to all.
All referees and clubs will receive a copy of the DVD over the coming weeks.