Saturday 24 February 2018

We have to get Hooter system '100pc right', insists O'Neill

GAA president Liam O'Neill
GAA president Liam O'Neill
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

GAA president Liam O'Neill has insisted that the Association is committed to introducing the hooter time-keeping system for the 2015 championships.

The move was postponed for the second time in recent years at last Saturday's Central Council meeting, due to concerns that the rulebook didn't properly legislate for the intricacies that the new system would bring.

"We weren't satisfied that we had it fine-tuned with our rules well enough and that we had every situation covered," O'Neill said.

"To go with it without being 100pc sure, we wouldn't have been happy to do that. In fairness to the players who train hard and put in the effort for the championship, we need to have this 100pc right."

After reviewing a trial run in this year's Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cup competitions, the GAA yesterday released a paper revealing their findings, which outlined where playing-rule changes are required.

There are fears that substitutions could be used to run down the clock late in a game, and the rulebook will have to be changed to allow the clock to be stopped for changes.


In order to avoid controversies, the game will not be stopped until the ball has gone out of play after the hooter sounds. That will also have to be covered by the rules.

A sideline official will be hooked up to a communications system linked to the referee to ensure the clock is stopped at the correct times. This will cost about €5,000 per annum.

Croke Park officials have indicated that the necessary equipment will be installed at various venues around the country in preparation for the introduction of the hooter system next year, while trialling of the new system will continue in third- level competitions.

O'Neill also expressed his satisfaction with the format of the hurling league, which went down to the wire last weekend.

"We took a decision to add quarter-finals and the results were there to be seen. We have to be pleased because it was great drama," he said.

Irish Independent

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