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Two points for a converted sideline? The key GAA motions up for discussion


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This year’s GAA Congress is sure to have tongues wagging with some seismic decisions to be made in Croke Park on February 28/29. Photo: Sportsfile

This year’s GAA Congress is sure to have tongues wagging with some seismic decisions to be made in Croke Park on February 28/29. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

This year’s GAA Congress is sure to have tongues wagging with some seismic decisions to be made in Croke Park on February 28/29. Photo: Sportsfile

Some particularly interesting proposals will be voted on at Congress in a fortnight’s time. Two points for a converted sideline cut in hurling, anyone?

Or how about neutral venues for the first phase of the Super 8s? The fate of these motions, and many others, are in the hands of the delegates.

This year's GAA Congress is sure to have tongues wagging, with some seismic decisions to be made in Croke Park next weekend. Here is a closer look at topics that are sure to cause huge debate in the coming weeks among the 63 motions, with 60 per cent support required to enforce change.

Motion 1: Extending the role of sideline officials (Tyrone)

Sideline officials can bring to the attention of the referee, during a break in play, any instances of foul play or unauthorised incursions which went unnoticed by the referee.

Likelihood of success: Good

Motion 2: Challenging decisions made by officials (Limerick)

Competing managers/captains can seek clarification if any of the team officials erred in making a decision (validity of scores or frees/sideline cuts/wides/'45/'65 or a square infringement). Two failed challenges can be made per team per game. A successful request retains the right for a further challenge.

Likelihood of success: Unlikely

Motion 3: Entry to field of play and pitch incursions (Central Council)

A team official, including the Maor Foirne, cannot enter the field of play unless the referee gives permission to a team medical officer or authorised official to examine an injured player.

Likelihood of success: Certainty

Motion 4: Possession of the ball to be judged by time rather than steps taken (Montreal, Canada)

Hurling/football rules to be altered from taking a maximum of four steps when in possession to "carried in the hand(s) for a maximum of two seconds."

Likelihood of success: Unlikely

Motion 6: Penalising a direct backpass to a goalkeeper from a kick-out (Raheens, Kildare)

A player in receipt of a kick-out cannot pass the ball directly back to the goalkeeper, with the punishment being a free from where the foul occurred.

Likelihood of success: 50/50

Motion 7: Change to the 'Mark' in football (Central Council)

If a player chooses not to take a 'Mark', then play immediately goes on and the player in possession can be challenged instead of having four steps before being challenged. The only exception is if a player "opts to play on immediately from a 'Mark' awarded in either the large or small rectangle."

Likelihood of success: Strong

Motion 9: Two points to be awarded for a converted sideline cut in hurling (Hollywood, Wicklow)

"Two points are scored when the ball is struck directly over the bar and between the posts from a sideline puck."

Likelihood of success: Very unlikely

Motion 13: Black card for cynical behaviour in hurling (Central Council)

A black card followed by a 10-minute stint in the sin-bin will be dished out to players who deliberately pull down an opponent, deliberately trip or body-check an opponent, remonstrate in an aggressive manner with a match official or threaten/use abusive language/gestures to an opponent or teammate.

Likelihood of success: 50/50

Motion 15: Change to 'advantage rule' to see scoreable frees immediately given (Central Council)

If an infraction occurs within scoring distance from the attacking goal, the 'advantage rule' will see the free being immediately given, unless the referee deems there to be clear potential for a goal being scored.

Likelihood of success: Strong

Motion 19: Neutral venues for first phase of Super 8s (Central Council)

The first phase of the Super 8s will be played at a neutral venue, which means All-Ireland champions Dublin could be prohibited from playing their first Super 8s game, if they qualify, in Croke Park.

Likelihood of success: 50/50

Motion 33: Establishment of National Club Fixtures Oversight Committee (Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce)

A motion to add a new committee which has the responsibility of approving county club fixture programmes on an annual basis, enforcing club fixture scheduling and inter-county player availability to clubs.

Likelihood of success: Strong

Motion 39: Eligibility for U-20 football based on League (Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce)

A player who plays in a National Football League game at any stage in the current year's League shall be ineligible to play in the inter-county U-20 football championship.

Likelihood of success: Likely

Motion 41: Post Primary Schools Championships (Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce)

All-Ireland post primary schools football championship at A and B levels to be completed by fifth Sunday of the year with hurling championships to be completed by St Patrick's Day.

Likelihood of success: Likely

Motion 44: Closed periods for collective training/trips (Fixtures Calendar Review Taskforce)

Inter-county panels return collectively on a timetable determined by Central Council. Collective training which involves an overnight stay is not permitted from April 1 to November 1 - except 10 days prior to a championship game and 17 days before an All-Ireland final - without written permission from the CCCC in advance.

Likelihood of success: Strong

Motion 50: Club transfers in the same season (St Bronaghs, Down)

A player who joins a new club by transfer, and had played for his former club in a particular competition before receiving the transfer, cannot finish out that competition.

Likelihood of success: Strong

Motion 56: Eligibility of players at club level (Gailltír, Waterford)

"A player shall not lose his current championship status by playing in his first game of a higher grade championship" and can drop back to the original grade after one game if desired.

Likelihood of success: Unlikely

Motion 59: Change in Leinster SHC to see six teams competing in it from 2021 (Leinster Council)

Changing the promotion/relegation within the Leinster SHC to see six teams competing at provinicial level in 2021 (no relegation this year) with no change to the Munster SHC. It would also see Joe McDonagh, Christy Ring, Nickey Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups feature six counties each year.

Likelihood of success: Unlikely

Some particularly interesting proposals will be voted on at Congress in a fortnight's time. Two points for a converted sideline cut in hurling, anyone?

Or how about neutral venues for the first phase of the Super 8s? The fate of these motions, and many others, are in the hands of the delegates.

Irish Independent