GAA to extend 'shoot-outs' to decide qualifiers
A raft of motions to protect club fixtures are heading for the GAA's Special Congress, in September, which will restrict when inter-county challenge matches can be played and introduce penalties for teams who break the existing rules on training camps.
An extension of the roll-out of the 'sudden death' mechanism brought in to decide hurling league quarter-finals and semi-finals this year will also be proposed for all championship qualifiers from 2018 onwards.
That would see a free-taking contest, much like a penalty shoot-out, decide a qualifier if two 10-minute periods of extra-time, followed by two five-minute periods of extra-time, haven't settled it.
The case will be made to the Special Congress, which will vote on hurling championship reforms to avoid the potential for replays in a vastly condensed inter-county calendar.
The GAA are planning to leave most of April and the first week of May free for club activity, but recognise the need to protect this period better so it is not absorbed by inter-county preparations. That will put a squeeze on when challenge games can be played.
It comes as the CPA stepped up their campaign for a better deal for club players yesterday.
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