Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 21 April 2018

Connacht in move to quash controversial hand-pass rule

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

ONE of the GAA's central units has already moved to get rid of the controversial new hand-pass rule at this year's Congress.

Connacht Council has proposed a motion at its convention this week to include both a fist pass and an open-handed pass in football "provided it involves a definite underhand striking action".

Hand-passing with an open hand has been outlawed under this season's experimental rules and, less than six weeks into the new season, the decision has drawn the ire of managers and players who are finding it hard to adapt.

Connacht are suggesting that both options be allowed in future and Connacht secretary John Prenty says it is the only one of the current experiments not operating satisfactorily.

But delegates at Thursday's Connacht Convention will hear even harsher words from Prenty on the growing inter-county trend of bringing in backroom staff from other sports.

Prenty estimates the cost of training teams in his province alone last year was €3m, spent on what he described as "a coterie of different types of experts.

"Most of those (experts) have been drawn in from other codes and seem to come at enormous expense," he says. "An industry has been set up around county teams which are not reciprocated by Gaelic coaches being involved with teams in other codes."

Prenty also says that "a cancer of cynical fouling still lurks below the surface" of Gaelic games and says the GAA "lost its nerve" in not sticking to the disciplinary suggestions which it trialled last year.

"The admission by Tadhg Kennelly that he planned to intentionally "take out" Nicholas Murphy in the first minute of the All-Ireland football final proves that cynicism is still not far away."

Irish Independent

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