Monday 24 October 2016

Handpass spreads corrosive tentacles to hurling Sportsdesk

Published 06/07/2016 | 02:30

Simon Norton proved himself to be a very tough individual
Simon Norton proved himself to be a very tough individual

Judging by the reaction to criticism here last week of the negative influence the handpass is exerting on football, many people share the view that it's seriously damaging the game.

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Thanks to all who responded, which included quite a few who want a campaign launched to restrict the handpass in some form or other.

Of course it shouldn't be necessary if those charged with monitoring the game got in tune with the public mood and reacted accordingly.

Players - and more especially managers - almost always react negatively to suggested rule changes since they appear to operate on the paranoid basis that it's aimed at their team specifically.

And since their views are taken seriously, even the best ideas can be crushed.

It should not be like that. Everyone in the GAA is entitled to have his/her opinion heard, especially those who pay at the turnstiles and who expect to be entertained rather than bored by incessant handpassing.

It's becoming an issue in hurling too, not so much because of overuse but due to referees allowing blatantly illegal throws.

Most refs will penalise one or two in the course of a game - almost as if they want to be seen not to ignore the rule's existence - but the majority will go unpunished.

The rule states that the ball may be "released and struck with a definite action of the hand."

Three hurling games will be shown 'live' by Sky Sports and RTE next weekend so check how often there's "a definite striking action of hand" in the handpasses.

Based on trends of recent times, it's highly unlikely to be much higher than one in four. Why is that allowed?

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