Chair of the GAA’s National Referees’ Committee, Pat McEnaney, is worried that the mandatory use of helmets in hurling is leading to a greater number of dangerous, head-high challenges.
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“In the past couple of years, I think the widespread use of helmets is leading to a situation where it’s become more acceptable to hit at head height,” he said.
“I’m not saying that this is pre-meditated or that players set out to do it, but the helmet does seem to give a bit more freedom to make challenges like that.
“ I’m not saying that as criticism of helmets, which are compulsory, but it’s something we need to be aware of and give yellow cards – and red cards depending on the ferocity – when necessary. It’s not just hurling either. We’ve asked referees to watch out for all challenges around the neck area.”
The Monaghan man has also stated his desire for the GAA to implement an advantage rule, which would give match officials the opportunity to allow play to continue long enough to see if an advantage is possible for a team that has been the victim of a foul.