GAA react to penalty debate by temporarily amending rules
The GAA has responded to growing safety concerns regarding penalties in hurling by introducing immediate measures.
The new rules mean that a penalty taker cannot strike the ball after the 20m line, but can strike up to seven metres behind it.
The Management Committee of the GAA has brought about changes which will come into effect immediately until Congress 2015. Confusion has reigned over the term ‘struck’, but this has been addressed also.
“The players defending a penalty or free puck awarded on the centre point of the 20m line shall stand on their goal-line and may not move towards the 20m line until the ball has been actually struck,” the GAA announced this evening.
“‘Lifting’ the ball with the hurley does not constitute ‘striking the ball’.”
The only exception to the rule is if the penalty or free taker on the actual 20m line fails to lift the ball at the first attempt or fails to strike it with the hurley, and that action causes the ball to marginally cross inside the 20m line, the player, shall be allowed to strike the ball on the ground without delay.
Goalkeepers are not allowed come off their line in an attempt to gain an advantage.
Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O’Keeffe’s brave save against Anthony Nash at the weekend, where he raced off his line to charge down the shot with his leg, re-ignited a debate which was prevalent throughout last season thanks to the unique style of Nash, which many felt was dangerous for player safety.