Saturday 25 March 2017

Tompkins' five-point rescue plan

Restrict handpasses

Only two successive handpasses to be allowed, after which the ball must be kicked.

"It would improve the standard of kicking, give teams chasing possession a better chance and cut out the 'keep ball' tactics which occur, in particular, when a team is defending a lead."

Ban short kick-outs

Kick-outs must exceed a specified minimum distance.

"By forcing the player taking the kick-out to drive the ball a certain distance, it increases the chances of high fielding, which is a real skill. It would also lead to more genuine contests for possession."

Change pick-up rule

Allow players to lift the ball directly off the ground.

"The current pick-up adds nothing to the game. In fact, it takes away from it because it slows things up. Anyway, it's very hard to know what's legal and what's not, making life awkward for referees while adding to the frustration for players."

Ban back-passes

Ban back-passing to the goalkeeper.

"Soccer got rid of it in its old form and now the goalkeeper must kick a pass back off the ground. Passing back to the keeper is a fairly new development in Gaelic football and not a welcome one either as it slows things down."

Kick frees from ground

Scores from frees only allowed when kicked off the ground rather than the hand.

"Kicking frees off the ground is an art form. By all means, allow outfield frees to be taken from the hand but only allow scores from ground kicks."

Irish Independent

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