Tuesday 17 September 2019

Inter-county players reject handpass proposal

The proposals were passed by Central Council
The proposals were passed by Central Council
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Inter-county players have rejected the proposed restriction on the number of consecutive handpasses to three as proposed by the GAA's Standing Committee on Playing Rules (SCPR).

The proposals are due to go before Central Council for approval next week with a view to being trialled during the pre-season and league competitions.

But players, surveyed by the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) in recent weeks, have come out "strongly" against the restriction and are also against the insistence that a sideline kick must go forward (unless it's within 20 metres of the opposing goal) and 'zoning' of the kick-outs whereby they must cross the 45-metre line.

However, players "marginally" favour an experimental mark inside the 20-metre line while a small majority are also in favour of a 10-minute sin-bin for a black-card offence.

In a statement on the issue the GPA pointed out that a majority of players were in favour of a second referee which is not part of the SCPR's suite of proposals.

The findings of the survey have been presented to the SCPR.

GPA chief executive Paul Flynn stressed the importance of the league to so many teams who prioritise it.

"For many squads, promotion from the National Football League is their main objective for the season," he said.

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"Implementing all of these significant rule changes at this stage, they fear, would disrupt their detailed game plans... and it could cost them a promotion," he said.

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