Gaelic football will be revolutionised with the introduction of the 'mark' on January 1.
Arising from last Saturday’s Central Council meeting, the GAA confirmed that the rule, which was introduced at the 2016 GAA Congress in Carlow, was successfully trialled in Division One of the Higher Education League will come into effect from the beginning of 2017.
The rule states: “When a player catches the ball cleanly from a Kick-Out without it touching the ground, on or past the 45m line nearest the KickOut point, he shall be awarded ‘a Mark’ by the Referee. The player awarded a ‘Mark’ shall have the options of (a) Taking a free kick or (b Playing on immediately."
It is hoped that the rule change will reward the skill of high fielding in the game.
The meeting also ratified the GAA 2017 Fixtures Masterplan.
It included the following points of note:
Fingal have withdrawn from all hurling competitions in 2017 and this will mean that there will be no relegation from Division 3A and there will be a double round of games in this division. There will also be no relegation from the Rackard Cup.
The GAA also announced that an updated protocol has been agreed with the GPA following on from the draft agreement as announced in July last. Revised Central Council guidelines for inter-county players (to include suitable provisions on expenses, tickets, gear etc.) have also been agreed including the adoption of a new players’ charter.