Wednesday 22 January 2020

Poll: Would awarding two points for a long range score help to combat the blanket defence in gaelic football?

Maurice Fitzgerald's magical point from the 2001 encounter with Dublin
Maurice Fitzgerald's magical point from the 2001 encounter with Dublin
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The sight of teams of keeping possession for minutes at a time in the middle third while 14 opponents wait inside their own 45 for them to eventually attack has been commonplace this summer.

Sides that adopt very defensive structures are criticised, teams that play the ball around teasing their rivals to come out and try and dispossess them are criticised and the game as a spectacle suffers.

With players under increasing pressure not to turnover the ball and anxious to get their number of possessions up, kick passing into the opposition full-back line has become a rare occurence.

There are a number of ideas for combating this, but how about the introduction of two points being awarded for a long range point (like the much talked about proposal of awarding two-points in hurling for scoring from a sideline cut).

Long range scoring would also be encouraged with players have more of an incentive to try a Maurice Fitzgerald-style score.

Irish Independent GAA correspondent Colm Keys explained the merits of the idea on The Throw-In, Independent.ie's GAA podcast.

"Do you legislate for two points for a score from distance that would force a team to come out, like basketball with the two and three pointers," he said.

"It might force a team to come out and apply pressure further out the field that could create openings inside.

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"In reality that may not work either because the distinction is with club and county.

"Often a referee arrives at a club game and he's the only one there. Who can help him on that? It's guess work at that stage. Was he inside or outside the line? And you are distinguishing between Championship games and club games. Maybe that has to happen too.

"They are two different games, no matter what people say. The GAA have tried to align the club and county game and stress that there shouldn't be any difference but  one is 30 minutes, one is 35 minutes straight away. One has access to Hawkeye at two different venues.

"There are little differences coming all the time between the club and county game so maybe it's not as big an issue as in the past.

"Fundamentally, that would change the game and your long range shooters would have that added bonus of being able to put over scores that are worth double and that would force defences to come out.

"I don't see a silver bullet for the game.

"The mark was a very subtle change, getting the kickout over the 20 metre line was another subtle change that has helped in many regards, there isn't the same rucking around the catcher when he catches and having to commit to putting the ball over the 20 metre line has encouraged teams to push up on the kickout which has led to more contest further out the field."

It it something you would support, give us your opinion in out poll below:

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