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Championship will be real test for strict rules clampdown

EXPERIMENTAL playing rules, plus various changes to disciplinary issues, have dominated the January landscape in recent years, often creating controversy.

All is calm on that front this season but it seems that stricter implementation of existing rules is again on the agenda.

Football goalkeepers who leave their line before a penalty is kicked can expect to face a second take if they make a save. That's always been the rule but how often has it been implemented?

In last Sunday's O'Byrne Cup, Longford referee Derek Fahy ordered a retake after David Lyons (DIT) saved from David Glennon (Westmeath), resulting in a goal second time around.

Question is: are we witnessing another of those early season campaigns that rarely last? Put it this way -- we'll believe the war on advancing 'keepers is for real when a retake is ordered in the summer

Incidentally, if football 'keepers are to be punished for advancing off their lines, isn't it time that hurling referees examined the size of hurleys used, not only by goalkeepers but also by defenders who face a penalty or close-in free?

Many of them are closer in head size to a tennis racquet than a regulation hurley.

Irish Independent