Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 25 March 2017

Curb fist-pass, urges ref

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

HOPES that replacing the open-hand pass with a fisted delivery would lead to increased use of the boot in Gaelic football have proven unfounded, according to research carried out by a former All-Ireland referee.

Mayo's PJ McGrath tracked comparisons between games played under the old rules last year and the experiments currently in operation and has discovered that there's little difference in the ratio between kicked passes and hand transfers.

"It's working out at around four to one, same as last year,"he said.

McGrath is now proposing steps be taken to curb the use of the hand or fisted pass, in an effort to restore the integrity of the boot to football.

"It's no longer football as we used to know it. We live in an age when value for money has never been as important and when people come to see a football game, they shouldn't have to watch basketball," he said.

"Coaches are responsible and since they are unlikely to change their approach, the rules have got to come aboard the side of the viewing public. That's why I'd favour making it mandatory that after two hand or fisted passes, the next player in possession must play the ball away with the boot."

Irish Independent

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