Old values should not go unchallenged
Comments here last week that there was merit in a suggestion by Dublin defender David Byrne that scores kicked from further than 45 metres should be valued at two points brought an interesting response from a member of the Football Review Committee (FRC) which undertook a detailed analysis of football a few years ago.
Kevin Griffin points out that in an FRC survey only 25 per cent of 2,500 respondents supported awarding two points for scores from outside 40 metres. One argument against the idea was that awarding two points would distort the value of goals.
That raises another issue. Why is the three-point goal sacrosanct? In the GAA's early days, it outweighed any number of points before being valued at five in 1892-'96, after which it was adjusted down to three points. Would four points be a more appropriate reward ? It might encourage coaches to work towards devising goal-scoring strategies instead of adhering to the old mantra: 'Take your points and the goals will come.'
Division 1, where Monaghan's Jack McCarron and Paul Geaney (Kerry) were top goal-scorers on three each, yielded a goal every 50 minutes in 29 games this year, scarcely a major hit for creativity. A four-point goal might change the entire approach to attacking play.
It's worth debating, as is Byrne's suggestion on two points for long-range efforts.