Duffy hints at pilot plan as Hawk-Eye looks close to lift-off
THE GAA'S director-general Paraic Duffy has dropped the strongest hint yet that the score detection technology Hawk-Eye will be introduced to Gaelic games.
Croke Park chiefs are now prepared to test the technology at a number of venues, something that was ruled out by the Monaghan official last January when he stated: "If this type of technology was to be introduced, it couldn't apply at Croke Park alone. We couldn't have one set of rules for games at Croke Park and another for games elsewhere."
But with a complete roll-out of the technology said to cost in the region of €500,000, the GAA are now prepared to consider using the technology at a small number of venues.
"In terms of the roll out of it you'd have to consider finance because it wouldn't be financially challenging to put it in Croke Park only," said Duffy.
"But if you decided Hawk-Eye would be used in every single championship game that would be a financial challenge. I'm not sure what the figures are yet but that's something you'd have to look at.
"There might be a case for doing it on a pilot basis, perhaps even in Croke Park for one or two years."
The system is already widely used in other sports such as cricket and tennis, but the Scotstown clubman believes the initial challenge of adapting the technology to suit Gaelic games has been overcome.
"You have uprights that are very high and shake in the wind so you have to be absolutely certain that the technology is 100pc effective. Now I'm pretty confident that will be the outcome but there are a lot of technical issues around making Hawk-Eye work for GAA," said Duffy.
The Association's Research Committee will make a presentation on the technology to a management committee meeting on Friday week -- with Duffy stating that a decision will be made "fairly quickly after that."
Duffy also confirmed that the 'square ball' rule is to come under review when the standing committee that monitors playing rules is finalised this month, as was reported in yesterday's Irish Independent.
That standing committee -- set to include GPA representatives, Dessie Farrell and Donal Og Cusack -- will have power to bring motions to Congress to alter playing rules. Previously, playing rules could only be changed on years divisible by five.
"If the implementation of rules is causing a problem, they have the right to bring recommendations to Central Council and to Congress for change," said Duffy. "Clearly there is an issue around the square ball rule over the past couple of years. There is a problem with the implementation of this rule and I think there's an obligation to look at it."