The first of a two part review of Gaelic Football by the GAA Football Review Committee was released today, and set out a number of proposals that could be introduced into the rules of the sport.
Key proposals issued include:
The introduction of a ‘mark’ for clean catches from kick-outs within the player’s own 45 metre line where opponents will have to retreat 10 metres before a free kick is taken.
All matches to be played over 70 minutes, as current club matches are an hour long.
A clearly defined advantage rule, similar to rugby’s whereby the referee raises his arm for the duration of the advantage.
Newly defined tackles, where the tackle must be aimed at the ball, not the player. Tackler may use body to tackle player, so that the shoulder-to-shoulder charge is still permitted, but other deliberate contact is forbidden.
The new yellow card rules would make for a somewhat drastic change to the nature of refereeing:
Distinction between Accidental and Deliberate fouls – only deliberate fouls would lead to a card being issued.
Players who receive a yellow card must be substituted for the rest of the game.
After a three yellow cards, no substitutions are allowed for further carded players, so that each subsequent yellow card will put the team down a player.
Chairman of the committee Eugene McGee said, These are changes which are meant to enhance the quality of Gaelic football and make it more enjoyable for players and spectators. They should also make the game more attractive to young players which is very important for the promotion of the game.
“Practically all those proposals had majority support when we consulted the wider football public and we are confident we will all enjoy a better quality of football as a result.”
President of the Association Liam O’Neil said he welcomed the debate the prosals would provoke, saying, “We are very fortunate to be able to call on individuals of the caliber of Eugene McGee and his committee members who have worked tirelessly to oversee a consultative process about football that has been without rival.
“Their interest in the game is huge and their findings are thought provoking.
“In many ways the contents of this report confirmed what we already knew; that the game of football is a fantastic spectacle but if minor changes would tidy up some aspects of playing rules to further enhance it, it is incumbent on us to have this debate.”