Monday 23 April 2018

Helmet rule needs to be obeyed rather than clarified

Austin Gleeson. Photo: Sportsfile
Austin Gleeson. Photo: Sportsfile

The 2016 Hurler of the Year wants "more clarification" and the Galway captain says the GAA "need to take a look at it".

The item of interest for Austin Gleeson and David Burke is the rule on interference with helmets, which has been high on the agenda in recent times.

Gleeson, whose participation in the All-Ireland final was in doubt after pulling Luke Meade's helmet off in the semi-final, described the incident as a 'total accident'. Referee James Owens obviously agreed, having informed the GAA's disciplinary authorities that he had dealt with the incident.

TV footage didn't back up Owens' benign attitude but once the referee had spoken, there was no case to answer. Gleeson said that if the 'rule was clarified a bit more' there might be fewer incidents.

Interference

Actually, it's a pretty straightforward rule. Deliberate interference merits a red card and a one-match ban. In the circumstances, surely it's best to err on the cautious side, especially if an opponent is on the ground.

Burke admitted that he hadn't "read the wording of the rule," which seems extraordinary for a man who will lead his county into the All-Ireland final.

He elaborated further. "There are a lot of referees coming out saying they don't agree with the rule.

"The GAA need to look at it because people are talking about the wording in the ruling. It is affecting players."

It would be interesting to know which referees don't agree with the rule and to whom are they dispensing their wisdom?

As for "affecting players," the rule is there or one reason - to provide protection against potential danger. No further clarification is needed.

Irish Independent

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