GAA Match Official SMS System

The GAA has teamed up with Servasport to offer an SMS based application that is designed to ease the co-ordination of match officials and their ability to report results. The SMS system enables you to select and notify match officials of their assigned fixtures and collate the results of their games via simple text messages. This introductory guide provides some examples of the interactions between the system and match officials.


Figure 1 shows the message received by a match official (usually set as five days before competition but is defined by the Competition Administrator) requesting their availability as a Referee for a given game. You can see the game details including participants, date, throw-in time and venue are all contained in the text message. Along with simple instructions as to how to reply to the message (Y or N).


Figure 1 - Match Official Availability Request


In Figure 2 we can see an example notification received by a match official requesting the submission of the result of a game. Such request messages are sent 1 hour after the scheduled throw-in time for the game.

Once again, the text message includes simple instructions of the official as to how they should respond to the message (H G-PP A G-PP).

If the official does not reply to the message within two hours of receiving it, the message can then be sent to the Competition Administrator (this only occurs if the ‘Administrator Alerts (No Reply)’ setting has been selected by the Competition Administrator during the competition creation).


Figure 2 - Result Request is sent to match official two hours after scheduled throw in


Figure 3 shows a correctly formatted reply message sent by a match official in response to a result request from the system. You can see that the match official includes no additional information other than that requested and uses the exact syntax requested.

H denotes Home team, A denotes Away team, G denotes Goals and P denotes Points. The result being reported in this example shows the Home team scored 1-12 and the Away team 0-10.


Figure 3 - Match Official responds to Result Request in correct format



Confirmation message verifying the score of the match. Once the system receives the result information from the match official it responds confirming the information it has received; as can be seen in figure 4.

This message can be replied to if the information is incorrect. The reply needs to be in the correct format:(H G-PP A G-PP)


Figure 4 - Confirmation message verifying the score of the match


If the format of the information sent by the match official to the system is incorrect, the system will send a message back notifying the referee of the error and informing them of the format required.

Figure 5 shows both the notification text and a valid, correct response from the match official.


Figure 5 - Both the notification text and a valid, correct response from the official are shown


The system also provides the ability for referee’s to record that a game was abandoned or if a walk over was awarded.


Competition Administrators have the ability to configure a Competition to accept notifications that a match was abandoned or conceded. Referees should check with the Competition Admin to confirm that these options are enabled for their fixture. If these options are not selected and the referee uses SMS to declare a Walkover or an Abandoned game, the system will not recognise the SMS.



Figure 6 - Referees reply (in green) awarding a Walkover to a Match.


To set a game as Abandoned the referee must reply to the SMS from the system requesting the result of a game (shown in Figure 2), with AB.

  • AB denotes Abandoned.


To set a game as a Walkover the referee must reply to the SMS from the system requesting the result of a game (shown in Figure 2),  using the correct format, either- (H WO A CC) or (H CC A WO).

  • H denotes Home team
  • WO denotes Walk Over
  • A denotes Away team
  • CC denotes Conceded.


Figure 7 shows the confirmation SMS that will be received from the system if a referee replies to confirm that a game has been abandoned or walk over allocated. This allows them to provide a score in the situation where they made a mistake. They have no further action to take if the walk over or abandonment stand.



Figure 7 - Confirmation message from the system confirming the game was a Walkover.


Some points to note:

  1. Match officials will receive notifications to their registered mobile number, please confirm with a system administrator that your details are registered correctly on the system.
  2. When responding to system messages, Match Officials must reply to the same mobile number from which the message was received.
  3. Please observe the syntax in any response request. H G-PP A G-PP e.g. H 2-07 A 4-07. Note it is mandatory that a hyphen or a decimal point is inserted to separate the goals from the points.
  4. League tables on the Competition Management system are updated automatically when the referee sends in the result.
  5. Match Officials will receive availability and score request SMS messages from the same international dial code to them i.e. Officials with a +353 number will receive messages from a +353 number


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