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Ban rule changed

SUSPENSIONS at senior inter-county level will be issued for a specific number of games, rather than weeks, for a two-year trial period in the National Football and Hurling Leagues following a decision at yesterday's GAA Congress.

And delegates also put an end to the practice whereby the CCCC can ask a referee to review a particular incident on which he has either adjudicated or didn't see in the course of the game.

Under this new ruling, the referee's role is finished once he has submitted his match report.

The second and final day of Congress also saw replays reintroduced to the senior football and hurling championships from next year. When the vote was confirmed, GAA president Christy Cooney said: "I hope we don't regret this."

An Antrim motion proposing to complete the All-Ireland club championships before the start of the National Leagues prompted a lot of discussion, but it was ultimately defeated, with 57 per cent voting against.

Making mouthguards mandatory in all football matches will be back on the agenda next year as some delegates expressed concern over the cost of implementation.

Dublin chairman Andy Kettle highlighted the cost issues, but he also pointed out that gum shields may help cut down on dissent to referees.

Monaghan's proposal to redraft championship regulations so that beaten provincial finalists have a minimum of 13 days before they play in fourth-round qualifiers didn't make it through.

There will be no back door in the under 21 football championship, but a standing committee was established to monitor playing rules and bring proposals to Central Council in October each year

Louth's proposal that umpires and linesmen should come from counties other than that of the referee was defeated, but the semi-finals in Division 1 of the National Hurling Leagues and National Football Leagues were restored.

For the first time at a GAA congress, delegates voted on motions electronically, instead of raising a coloured voting card as happened previously.

Sunday Indo Sport

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