Saturday 27 May 2017

What they say about the rule

Steven McDonnell

(Armagh player)

"We had a referee in with us who told us that one kind of handpass was grand and another wasn't, but to us there was no difference. It is a tough rule for referees as well to be up to speed with, so you have to feel sorry for them too."

Jack O'Connor

(Kerry manager)

"There's no other game in the world where you'd change a fundamental skill and give the players a crash course a week before the thing to learn it. These players have been passing the ball that way for 15 years. It's ludicrous in our primary competition to bring this in, without even trying it out in the league."

John Evans

(Tipperary manager)

"I think intelligent fools have gotten through to administrate this stuff here. This is silly, it is beyond belief. You have to have a bit of practicality about these rules. The referee is not going to see everything but this is going to take from the game."

Kieran Donaghy

(Kerry player)

"These things happen so quick! There's a big ball kicked into me, the referee's 40 yards away, I catch it and fist it or whatever I do and it's very hard to see it. Then there's going to be analysts on the Sunday Game saying 'look there's 10 handpasses here that were wrong!' and there's going to be more stress on referees, which is already such a tough job. I thought they should have stuck with the one (fist-pass) we had during the league."

Joe Bergin

(Galway player)

"I didn't think there was anything wrong with the old handpass (open-hand) rule. This could be a storm in a teacup but the timing isn't great. We're preparing for championship with these new rules and that's one of the main reasons players would be disappointed with it. It seems if you give a good handpass five or six yards you don't seem to be punished but if you give a little flick, to a guy coming off your shoulder, that seems to be punished. If we've our back to a referee, how does he know if we're throwing it or not?"

Anthony Tohill

(International Rules manager)

"The GAA can change the rules only once every five years. If you know that, why are you waiting until the very, very last minute before you implement these rules? At least give it a fair trial. Not enough time is being given to things (at Congress) that are very dear to us as players, managers and spectators. It's not good enough. You could hear the groans from the crowd every time players were blown up for what were legitimate handpasses."

Ciaran Whelan

(Ex-Dublin star and RTE analyst)

"The communication process is not there with the players. The players got a couple of weeks' notice. They're training since January, they're putting their lives on hold for their counties and silly little decisions cost them games. To give them two weeks' notice is not good enough. It's a hard enough game to referee because we don't have a defined tackle and now we've got a handpass rule that's very hard to interpret."

Irish Independent

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