Sunday 8 December 2019

GAA rule out ban on player-tracking systems

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The GAA have no intention of outlawing the use of GPS tracking systems worn by Dublin footballers in their O'Byrne Cup semi-final against Louth.

The device helps to measure the heart rate and distance travelled by the player wearing it, who slips on a discreet vest around his chest with the GPS device itself sitting into his back between his two shoulder blades.

The system has been available to GAA teams for a number of years now, but few have taken them on because of the high costs involved.

The GAA's head of games administration Fergal McGill said the association had already examined the safety aspects of the device and were satisfied that they were not a danger or obtrusive in any way. "We're satisfied that there are no safety risks attached to them," he said.

Dublin are not the first team to use the devices in competitive match situations. The Galway footballers, under the management of Joe Kernan, who was involved with the company that has the franchise for Ireland, used them in league matches in 2010.

The provincial and national rugby teams are regular users of the system, which provides feedback on fatigue for coaches.

Dublin centre-back Ger Brennan doesn't believe there is any major advantage gained in their use.

"Most of the top county teams are doing something similar and at the upper end of every sport there is very little between success and failure. It's all about getting the 'inches' and stuff like that.

"I wouldn't be too bothered about it," he said.

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