Dublin’s Landsdowne Road is the oldest rugby ground in the world that hosts international matches. They also have international soccer/football matches there–I saw Ireland beat Russia there in a friendly back in 2002. It’s currently undergoing a €365 million renovation, and due to be reopened in 2009.
In the meantime, the Irish Rugby Foorball Union is holding a massive auction of the stadium’s ‘assets’. It’s running online this weekend, and you can get yourself any number of bits of memorabilia: seats, coat hooks (?) and even sections of the turf. Highest priced item at the moment? A Scotland vs. Ireland ‘touch judge flag’ (is that the thing that sits in the corner of the field, like where they take corner kicks from?) from 1924, currently going for €1.626,00.
A touch judge flag is the flag the touch judge holds as he patrols the sidelines or runs under the posts to judge whether a kick has gone through the posts. One touch judge patrols each sideline. For kicks, the come together under the posts.
When a player or the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines, the touch judge raises the flag where it went out and points with the other arms to indicate who has possession.
When judging a kick (penalty or conversion) he stands under the posts and watches as the ball sails (usually) over his head. Then he looks at the other touch judge. If the ball has travelled inside his post, he nods and raises his flag. If the ball has passed outside, he does nothing.
So a successful kick results in the touch judge watching the ball fly past, looking at each other, nodding at each other and raising their flags, kinda like a courtship.
Darren, that stadium sucked. Why anyone would want to keep preserve anything from it is beyond me, let alone pay for it.
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