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Free-taking competition to replace replays in knockout stages of hurling league

Meanwhile, the mark will be introduced for all football games from 1 January, 2017.

Tony Kelly takes a free for Clare against Waterford in this year's National Hurling League Division 1 final.
Tony Kelly takes a free for Clare against Waterford in this year's National Hurling League Division 1 final.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE KNOCKOUT STAGES of next year’s National Hurling League will be decided by a free-taking competition in the event of a draw after extra-time, to prevent games from going to a replay.

In a bid to reduce fixture congestion, the GAA has confirmed the pilot measure for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the hurling league if the two sides can’t be separated after extra-time.

The format the free-taking competition will take remains unclear however, and when contacted by The42, the GAA was unable to give further details on the plan until it is signed off in January.

The decision was one of a number of measures agreed at a meeting of the Central Council last Saturday, including the introduction of the mark to all Gaelic football games from 1 January, 2017 following the trial of the rule in the Higher Education League.

It was also decided at the meeting that there will be no semi-finals played in the Allianz Football League, abolishing the semi-final system currently in place for Division 1.

Other developments at the meeting included:

  • The organisation of an U17 competition to address the cross-over from U18 minor to U17 in 2018, as ratified by Congress earlier this year.
  • There will be no relegation from Division 3A of the NHL next year and there will be a double round of fixtures following the withdrawal of Fingal from competition.

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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