Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 17 March 2018

Carr remains vehemently opposed to introduction of new rules

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Most football managers remain opposed to the majority of the playing rule changes that will go before Congress next week.

As counties establish whether or not they will support moves to bring the experiments in permanently -- Cork were due to vote at their Board meeting last night -- the views of managers have hardened in most cases.

From Jack O'Connor to Kieran McGeeney, Mickey Harte to Conor Counihan, opposition -- not unexpectedly -- is strong to most of the proposed changes.

Current Cavan manager Tommy Carr has been one of the most ardent critics and doesn't believe any of the main proposals -- fist pass, mark or even square ball -- should be carried.

He has been particularly frustrated by the implementation of the fist pass but suspects that even referees have been much more relaxed about it in recent weeks, sensing the futility of it.

"They've given up on it as far as I can see," said Carr. "That's my experience of it in the last two or three weeks."

Carr is also cool on the 'mark' being allowed for the kick-out caught between the two 45s because "confusion" still reigns.


"If they gave the players the choice of taking the free-kick or continuing on with play it would have been better but under the current terms I think it should be got rid of," he said.

"But you can see the frustration of players who have to stop when the mark is taken," added Carr.

Harte hasn't seen any increase in the number of high catches being made in games since it was introduced and says he couldn't support the introduction of a mark on a permanent basis.

"The purpose of it was to increase high catching and that hasn't been my experience. The hand pass has been frustrating. There's a legal way to fist pass and hand pass and if that was policed we'd have a better game."

Harte is also against the conclusion of halves in a game only when the time has elapsed.

"I think it has been an unedifying spectacle to see a game end with a ball being kicked out over a sideline. Maybe there is more merit in it if the ball goes out over an end line either for a score or a wide," he said.

Limerick manager Mickey Ned O'Sullivan, however, does feel the mark has a realistic chance of succeeding because the frequency of the catcher being swarmed has decreased dramatically.

O'Sullivan believes however that there is too much ambiguity about what constitutes a proper fist pass and, as a consequence, interpretations from referees which is why he wouldn't like to see the experiment continued.

Irish Independent

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