independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

GAA to vote on drastic reduction in team numbers allowed on sidelines

Central Council will be asked to vote tomorrow on new proposals to dramatically reduce the numbers on the sidelines at GAA matches as part of an overhaul of match presentations.

The reduction will focus on cutting the number of back-room team members permitted to remain inside a pitch for the duration of a game from 12 to eight.

There will also be much greater restrictions placed on the movement of managers, who will not be permitted to venture in front of opposing dugouts.

It is thought that their area of movement along the sideline will be between the 45-metre and halfway lines.

Senior GAA officials took a dim view of some of the incidents that took place along the sidelines this year.

At present, 12 officials are allowed inside the pitch, including four selectors (two of whom are the manager and 'runner'), two County Board officials, two medical staff (doctor and physio) and four water/hurley carriers.

The GAA's Central Competitions Control Committee are finalising a set of proposals that would see one member of the medical staff, one County Board officer and two members of the selection committee confined to the areas set aside for teams in the stand.

Not every GAA ground in the country is equipped for such special areas, however, and that remains a concern.

Meanwhile, many of the more established hurling counties look like being thwarted in their efforts to restore an eight-team Division 1 league at tomorrow's meeting.

Retention

An eight-team league is one of three proposals before Central Council, with the others focusing on the retention of two six-team groups in Division 1. One of those proposals includes the staging of quarter-finals and that looks like it is being favoured most.

Wexford look set to support a six-team two-group Division 1, joining Tipperary as the other mainstream county opposed to the restoration of one eight-team group.

Kilkenny are not publicly revealing their hand ahead of the meeting, but it is expected that they will be backing a return to eight.

Limerick, Cork, Clare, Dublin and Waterford will support an eight-team group on the basis that it gives them more home matches.

Galway were to meet last night, on the issue while Offaly have yet to establish a consensus.

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