Monday 18 December 2017

Selectors sent to the stands as GAA run out of patience

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

INTER-county selectors look set to be banished to the stands during games next year as the GAA seeks to cut down on sideline crowding.

A crackdown on 'runners' is also on the way after several blatant breaches of the regulations occurred in this year's championship.

Croke Park has asked the Central Competitions Control Committee to devise means of tidying up match-day presentation, with particular reference to the activity of selectors and runners.

It's understood that a review of the championships, including the All-Ireland football and hurling finals, raised concerns which will now result in a tougher regime being put in place next year.

Team managers are allowed to move between the two 45-metre lines during games in order to issue instructions, after which they must return to a designated area in front of the dugout.


Selectors, other than the one acting as the runner, are supposed to remain seated in a designated area on the sideline, but it's a regulation which is frequently ignored. Fines can be applied for violations but are not regarded as a real deterrent.

The latest proposal is for selectors to be seated in the stands with the subs so as to prevent some of the unseemly 'engagements' which arise in the heat of championship battles in particular.

There's also concern that runners are dashing onto the pitch far more often than should be the case. Allowing a runner to ferry instructions onto the pitch was introduced after complaints from managers about the difficulty of communicating with players.

The regulation came with the clear stipulation that the runner enter the pitch via the substitution zone only and exit at the endline or sideline. However, it's regularly ignored and the GAA has now run out of patience, which will lead to runners having far less leeway from next year on.

Irish Independent

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