GAA promise to get tough
BAD publicity like the recent O'Byrne Cup bust-up between Kildare and Laois has forced the GAA to reiterate that they will clamp down hard on what they deem 'highly disruptive' fouls during this year's National Leagues, WRITES Cliona Foley.
Ironically, that phrase originated from the task force whose package of disciplinary experiments was thrown out after narrowly failing to get enough support at Congress last year. Incoming President Christy Cooney did not replace that committee.
Under their proposed 'experimental rules' certain fouls were classified as 'highly disruptive' and players were immediately sent off for them -- but on one yellow card, which meant they could be replaced.
Now the GAA has stressed that these 'highly disruptive' fouls are still yellow card offences and there is clearly going to be a further offensive to try to root them out.
Croke Park has reiterated this point to referees and managers in separate meetings in the past fortnight and clearly feel that referees were not flashing the yellow consistently enough.
On the eve of the throw-in to this year's NFL, they have now issued a similar warning to players that they will automatically get yellow cards for these most cynical of offences.
Fouls that are interpreted as 'highly disruptive' are "to pull down an opponent; to trip an opponent with hands/foot/hurley; to deliberately body collide with an opponent after he has played the ball away for the purpose of taking him out of a movement of play".
They also include "the bringing of an arm or hurley around the neck of an opponent; using the hurley in a careless manner and remonstrating in an aggressive manner with a match official".