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GAA top brass not expected to approve one-v-one penalties in hurling league

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Anthony Nash has a penalty blocked by Stephen O'Keeffe.'The penalty reforms that will undoubtedly follow from the proposals will help hinder cynical fouling and reward attacking play'

Anthony Nash has a penalty blocked by Stephen O'Keeffe.'The penalty reforms that will undoubtedly follow from the proposals will help hinder cynical fouling and reward attacking play'

SPORTSFILE

Anthony Nash has a penalty blocked by Stephen O'Keeffe.'The penalty reforms that will undoubtedly follow from the proposals will help hinder cynical fouling and reward attacking play'

The one v one penalty trial in hurling will not be in place for the start of the Allianz Hurling League next month unless Central Council makes a dramatic intervention at their meeting on Saturday.

The experiment was launched at the Walsh Cup and Waterford Crystal Cup pre-season competitions in Leinster and Munster last weekend, generating an interesting debate between those who support it as a positive initiative and others who oppose it as a step too far in favour of the attacking side.

Coming a few days after the Hurling 2020 report, chaired by Liam Sheedy, made one v one a major part of their proposal package, it has led to confusion over whether the experiment would apply in the NHL which starts on February 14.

The report will be before Central Council for adoption on Saturday and while there may be some discussion on the general thrust of the proposals, it would be a major surprise if they decided to proceed with the one v one experiment for the league.

That means that the system which applied from June last year (three players in goal, with the penalty-taker required to be outside the 20-metre line when striking the ball) will continue.

Congress

However, one v one will be in operation for the championships if the Hurling 2020 proposal is accepted by annual Congress, which will be held in the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, on February 27-28.

The procedure for committee proposals coming before Congress involves drafting them into formal motions, which are sponsored by Central Council.

That raises an interesting point regarding the recommendation that a player sent off on a second yellow card be replaced. It's the most contentious proposal, but if it's to be put to Congress, it will have to come as a Central Council motion.

That would result in the unusual situation where Central Council, the second highest ruling body in the GAA behind Congress, effectively backed a proposal to reduce the sanctions for foul play, even if many of the members didn't agree with the change.

There appears to be little appetite among the wider GAA community for easing the yellow-card rules pertaining to dismissals. Effectively, it would leave hurling with two fewer disciplinary sanctions than football, where a player sent off on two yellow cards cannot be replaced.

In addition, a footballer dismissed for a cynical foul is sent off under the black card rule but can be replaced. Sheedy's committee insisted a black card sanction was not required in hurling.

Irish Independent