New rule to create chaos in the square
With regard to Dermot Crowe's article last Sunday, I suspect that few if any of the delegates to GAA Congress were goalkeepers! I believe that the changes to the rules regarding the small square were made because match officials were incompetent in applying the former rule. Any change made because of the inefficiency of officials is a retrograde step.
Under the previous rule, the officials had the simple task of determining if the ball or an opposing player entered the small square first. While the referee might be unsighted, the umpires had a clear view. Under the new rule, the officials must determine whether an opposing player has entered the small square before the ball is kicked This is an impossible task, particularly if the kick is from 25 to 40 yards out, at which stage it will not be possible to determine whether that ball will come into the square at all.
What will happen, of course, is that the square-ball rule will be totally ignored and we will return to a sight common in the 1960s when I played in goal for Westmeath, the goalmouth melee. I can see the outcome in my mind's eye, goalkeeper and two full-backs, together with numerous forwards and the ball, all in a heap in the back of the net and the rotund umpire reaching for the green flag. Great crack, but rubbish football.
The most progressive rule change would be to not allow any opposing player into the small square at any time. Such a revolutionary change would lead to a significant improvement in the standard of forward play needed to score goals and would open up play around the goalmouth.
Francis hits nadir in sports writing
On reading an article in the Sunday Independent sports section by Neil Francis titled 'Ulster dare to dream' [Apr 29], I was utterly disgusted. Francis needs to take deep look at himself.
He describes a perceived dressing-room relationship between David Humphreys and Brian McLaughlin as better than "two guys with stutters playing snap" in an exercise on observing body language. What a nadir in sports journalism and a gross offence to people who suffer with speech impediments. But this is not the first time Francis has used such gutter-type journalism.
Katie has earned front-page status
I was flicking through the newspaper this morning and the first thing that jumped off the front page of the sports section was the Leinster rugby team's celebrations and below that a picture of Didier Drogba and the subsequent article. I couldn't believe it.
I got up to watch Katie Taylor win her fourth world title, yes fourth. An outstanding achievement by anyone's standards. I have no connection to either Katie or boxing. I just feel that it's an absolute disgrace on the part of the Sunday Independent that her amazing success was only featured in a small article on page 10 of the sports section.
The rugby players were great, well done to them, cheer cheer, and yes I am being sarcastic because I am so cross. They won a European title, Katie already has five, I think, of those and won a world title. Leinster are well-paid professional sportsmen, she is an amateur.
As for Drogba making page 1 ahead of Katie, shame on you. I am no feminist but if Katie was male the news of the title would be spread all across the front page. It's 2012 and ladies' sports are just as important as men's.
So please in future be aware of the fact that around half the population is female and sending us to page 10 is quite offensive.
Sunday Indo Sport