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Four-time All-Ireland winner says hooter system has flaws too

Ladies football has long used the system that many feel would address the timekeeping issues in the men’s game.

Dublin ladies footballer Lyndsey Davey.
Dublin ladies footballer Lyndsey Davey.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

THE GAA WILL consider a host of amendments to their rulebook at Congress on the weekend after next, but one rule that won’t come under consideration is the introduction of the clock/hooter system that has been employed by ladies football in recent years. 

Controversies about the amount of injury-time at the end of the second-half cropped up in three of the four Division 1 games played in round 3, leading to suggestions to take timekeeping duties away from referees.

Galway’s Padraic Joyce, Monaghan’s Seamus McEneaney and Meath’s Andy McEntee all voiced their frustration at the stoppage-time that was played in their respective games.

Many believe that the men’s game should adopt the timekeeping model which has proven a success for ladies football over the past decade, but Dublin forward Lyndsey Davey warns that the hooter system is not without its flaws.

“I suppose like everything it kind of has its pros and cons really,” she said at Mitsubishi Motors Ireland’s announcement of their official vehicle partnership with Dublin GAA.

“If you’re coming down to the last few minutes of a game and there’s only 30 seconds left on the clock, that’s all you’re getting.

“So if you’re in the middle of an attack and the time is up, that’s it,” explains the 30-year-old, who claimed her fourth All-Ireland with Dublin last September.

“Whereas with the men’s game if there’s 30 seconds left on his (the ref’s) watch, he may let the play finish out, whereas with the (hooter) clock there’s no chance for that to happen.

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“Once time is up, that’s it.”

The GAA shelved proposed introductions of the hooter system in 2010,  2014 and 2015, despite it being passed at Congress on two occasions (in 2010 and 2013).

Central Council came to the conclusion six years ago that bringing in the method could lead to teams playing ‘keep ball’ to run down the clock or subs being introduced to waste time. 

Those concerns were raised following the trialing of the system in the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon final weekends in 2014.

The decision was made at Congress to delay implementation until the following year, before it was abandoned by the GAA. 

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Kevin O'Brien

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