Move to curb football 'back pass' to 'keeper
A Kildare motion calling for goalkeepers in Gaelic football to be compelled to kick a ball that they received from a colleague can be the start of the GAA's battle against excessive handpassing.
The Congress motion is being brought by the Clane club and its architect, Frank Duffy, says that if it's implemented it can make a small but effective change in the right direction.
The proposal is for goalkeepers to be prevented from handpassing a ball that has been deliberately passed to them by one of their team-mates. The penalty is for a 45 metre free from where the 'offence' has happened.
Duffy believes anything that "brings the use of the foot more into football" should be encouraged.
He says his motion is not radical, would be easy to implement and would not tax referees with an extra burden.
He analysed the 'back pass' to the 'keeper in 10 games in 2014 and established that it happened at a rate of three per game. He also established that a goalkeeper is "nine times out of 10" more likely to release a ball with the hand.
"If that meant three less handpasses and three more foot passes then it would be good for the game.
"It would be a disincentive to pass back to a goalkeeper in the first place because the pressure it would apply. Opponents would be encouraged to push up on goalkeepers to increase that pressure," he said.
Recent analysis by the 'Irish Independent' put the ratio of handpasses to foot passes in early league matches at 4:1, a jump from 2.1:1 from the Football Review Committee's analysis three years ago.
Two other more radical handpassing motions from Clare and Tipperary are also down for debate.