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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Controversial handpass rule ditched but four others to remain under trial through league

The GAA’s Central Council met at Croke Park today to decide on the proposed Gaelic football rule changes.

THE PROPOSED HANDPASS rule has been ditched ahead of the 2019 National Football Leagues but the other four experimental rules will continue, the GAA have confirmed.

Ciaran Kilkenny Ciaran Kilkenny ready to handpass the ball. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Central Council met at Croke Park today to decide on the proposed changes and agreed that four of the five will undergo further examination through the league.

The new sin-bin, kickout, sideline kick and forward mark rules have all gotten the green light, but the controversial handpass change — which limits fisted passes to three before the ball must be kicked –  will not continue.

Trialled throughout this month’s pre-season competitions, the handpass rule was the one that cut the most ice, with critics, players and managers alike all slamming it and saying it does nothing to eradicate deep, blanket defences, as intended.

The trial rules will not apply to the 2019 Championship, the GAA also confirmed.

Here’s a reminder of the four rule changes that were finalised by the GAA’s standing committee on playing rules (SCPR) in November before they were implemented in inter-county fixtures: (The now-scrapped handpass rule has been excluded.)

1. Sideline Kick

The ball shall be played forward from the kick except where the kick is inside the 20m line of the opposing team.

Penalty: Cancel side-line kick. Throw-in the ball in accordance with Rule 2.2 Exception (v)

2. The Advanced Mark 

To extend the application of the mark to the clean catching of the ball inside a 45m line from a kick in play (i.e. not from set-play) delivered by an attacking player on or beyond the opposing team’s 45m line, that travels a minimum of  20 metres and without it touching the ground.

Fergal Conway and Daniel Flynn with Aidan O’Shea Kildare's Fergal Conway and Daniel Flynn with Aidan O’Shea of Mayo. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The application of the mark shall be standardised as follows: 15 seconds shall be allowed for a free to be taken from a mark.

If the referee determines that the player who makes the mark has been injured in the process and unable to take the kick, the referee shall direct the player’s nearest team mate to take the kick, but this may only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

A player shall signify he is taking a mark by immediately raising an arm upright.

A player that ‘plays on’ may be challenged/tackled.

A score may be made from a free awarded for a mark in all cases.

In the case of a mark being awarded to an attacking player on or inside the 13m line, the free, if availed of, shall be taken from the point on the 13m line directly in line with where the mark is awarded.

In the case of a mark being awarded to a defending player on or inside the 13m line, the free kick, if availed of, shall be taken from the point where the mark is awarded.

The normal rules governing free-kicks shall apply (e.g. players being 13m from the ball before it is kicked).

Exception: A free-kick from a mark shall be taken from the hand(s) only.

3. The sin-bin 

To have a penalty on the day for a black card Infraction by ordering off the offending player for ten minutes in a sin-bin.

The 10 minutes shall commence with the ordering off to the sin-bin and shall end on the expiry of the 10 minutes, irrespective of delays.

Paddy Neilan yellow cards Andrew Murnin Armagh's Andrew Murnin sees yellow. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The 10 minutes shall be monitored by the 4th Official, where operating, and otherwise by the Referee.

The player may only re-join the game at a break in play and on the instruction of the fourth official or referee.

A subsequent black card Infraction shall be penalised by the showing of a black card followed by a red card.

In this case there shall be no substitution allowed.

  • The maximum number of substitutions in normal time to return to five.
  • The duties of a Referee and Sideline Official to be amended in accordance with the main proposal.

4. Kick-out

The kick-out shall be taken off the ground from a point on the part of the 20 m line that forms the semi-circular arc.

The ball shall not be played by a defending player until the ball has crossed the 45m line (nearest the kick-out point) or is played by an opposing player.

All players, other than the Goalkeeper (and another player if the goalkeeper is not taking the kick-out) shall be outside the 20m line, outside the arc and 13m from the ball until it has been kicked.

Rory Beggan Monaghan keeper Rory Beggan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Penalties: For another player on the team taking a kick-out to play the ball before it has crossed the 45m line (nearest the kick-out point) or has been played by an opposing player:

  • Cancel kick-out
  • Throw in the ball on defenders’ 20m line in front of the scoring space.

For an opposing player not being outside the 20m line, outside the arc and 13m from the ball when it is kicked:

  • Free kick 13m more advantageous than place of original kick-out.

For another player on the team taking a kick-out not being outside the 20m line, outside the arc and 13m from the ball until it has been kicked:

  • Cancel kick-out
  • Throw-in the ball on defenders’ 20m line in front of the scoring space.

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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