Sunday 4 December 2016

'Mark' rule for colleges

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Published 20/10/2016 | 02:30

The new legislation will be rolled out across the GAA from January 1, 2017. Stock photo: Sportsfile
The new legislation will be rolled out across the GAA from January 1, 2017. Stock photo: Sportsfile

History was made yesterday as the 'mark' rule was enforced in a Higher Education football league Division One clash between St Mary's and Ulster University.

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The new legislation will be rolled out across the GAA from January 1, 2017, but the colleges will sample it first in their Ryan Cup competition after Central Council gave permission for its early introduction.

A statement from the GAA's Higher Education committee confirmed that the relevant parties had "received training so that all players, managers and referees can implement the rule" and that members of the national referees' panel will take charge of the relevant games as the GAA looks to prepare for its implementation next year.

The rule has been defined as follows: "When a player catches the ball cleanly from a kick-out without it touching the ground, on or past the 45m line nearest the kick-out point, he shall be awarded a 'mark' by the referee. The player awarded a 'mark' shall have the options of (a) taking a free kick or (b) playing on immediately."

Meanwhile, the 2017 independent.ie Sigerson weekend will be held in the Connacht GAA centre of excellence in Bekan, Co Mayo.

It is the first time the weekend, which will take place on February 17-18, will be hosted by anyone other than a third-level institution.

UCD are the reigning Sigerson Cup champions after they ended a 20-year wait earlier this year.

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