Sport Hurling

Friday 23 March 2018

Time to enforce rule on hurley size – or scrap it

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

PATRICK Doherty, the GAA's national match officials' organiser, clearly has huge faith in mankind.

He told the Sunday Independent that it would be impractical for referees to check the size of the bas on goalkeepers' hurleys before games and, besides, players were trusted to abide by the regulations, which allow a maximum width of 13cm.

Now apart altogether from the visual and anecdotal evidence (ask hurley manufacturers) that the rule on stick size is being broken all the time, why should players be trusted on a matter of equipment but not on other issues?

It takes seven officials to keep an eye on games – and even then they are conned from time to time – yet players are trusted to do the right thing when it comes to the rule on hurley size.

An extra inch (in some cases it looks considerably more) on the width of the bas is worth a lot to goalkeepers. And since they know they won't be checked, it's mighty tempting to opt for super-size. After all, would you play with the regulation hurley in order to stick by the regulations while you opponent is happily wielding a half-door?

Also, why have the rule on size in place if there are no checks to see if it's being abused? Scrap it or apply it.

Irish Independent

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