Friday 24 February 2017

10 key motions for congress

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Just 49 motions will be put before GAA Congress in Westmeath next month, well down on last year's record of 123.

Despite the reduced number of proposed changes to the rule book, there are still a number of contentious issues that will be poured over by more than 300 delegates in the Mullingar Park Hotel from April 17-19.

One significant motion could see the establishment of a committee which could suggest alterations to playing rules on an annual basis, rather than every five years, as is the case at the moment. Changes to the controversial close season and the introduction of game bans from next year are also on the cards, while mouthguards may become compulsory by 2013

Key Motions

Motion 14 from Central Council would see the use of mouthguards as mandatory for all football grades up to minor from the start of next year and for all players by January 1, 2013.

Motion 26 from Central Council would see the introduction of a standing committee, who could, via Central Council, bring amendments to the playing rules to Congress on an annual basis in years not divisible by five. County Committees could also submit proposals, but the Standing Committee would have the final say on what motions go forward. In years divisible by five, alterations to playing rules may still be submitted to Congress by individual units.

Motion 27 would see the introduction of fines for units that allow their property to be used for non-GAA activities. As it stands, a club found in breach of this rule stands to be suspended.

Motion 36 from the Robert Emmet's club in Antrim would see the All-Ireland senior club finals move away from their traditional St Patrick's Day date and seeks their completion 'prior to the commencement of the following year's National League competitions.'

Although there is no motion to change the format of the championship, Motion 38 from the Donaghmoyne club in Monaghan could see the losing provincial finalists afforded a 13-day gap between their provincial final and participation in the All-Ireland series.

Motion 39 from Wicklow's Kiltegan club would see the introduction of qualifiers to the U-21 football championship where the four provincial winners would play four sides who emerge from the 'back door.'

Motion 41 from the Ahane club in Limerick would also see the introduction of an ancillary inter-county minor hurling competition named the Mick Mackey Cup. The winners of the Munster and the Leinster sections would progress to the Mick Mackey All-Ireland semi-finals where they would be joined by the runners-up from the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Louth's Motion 42 stems from last year's Leinster final controversy and it calls for umpires and linesmen from counties other than that of the match referee be appointed centrally.

Motion 43 proposes a change in the much maligned 'close season,' reducing it to just the month of November.

Motion 45 would allow for the introduction of match bans at senior inter-county level on a two-year trial basis from the start of next year's leagues. For example, a category two infraction would incur a one-match ban in the same code at the same level and applicable to the next game.

Motion 46 is the return of the motion from former inter-county referee John Bannon's (R) club Legan Sarsfields that would see an end to the practice where the CCCC can ask a referee to review a particular incident. Under this motion, the referee's role in discipline would essentially cease once he had submitted his match report.

Irish Independent

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