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Which Gaelic football rule should be approved for 2020 championship?

Four rules were trialled during the National League and will go before Congress.

Tommy Walsh contesting the ball with Monaghan defender Drew Wylie.
Tommy Walsh contesting the ball with Monaghan defender Drew Wylie.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE TRIAL PERIOD for the experimental Gaelic football rules has come to an end following the conclusion of the Allianz League campaign.

We must now wait until Congress 2020 to see if any, or indeed all of four, of the rules will be implemented in next year’s championship.

But which ones did you think had a positive impact on the game and should get the green light for 2020?

1. Sideline Kick

Rule: That the ball shall be played in a forward direction from the kick.


In the case of a sideline kick being taken by an attacking player on or inside the opponents’ 13m line, the ball may be kicked in any direction.

Impact: This rule made a rather seamless introduction, with no major controversies associated with it. Players didn’t seem to struggle too much with adapting to it either, which would suggest that it could be added to the 2020 championship without much fuss. 

“The sideline rule is not making a huge difference but it’s probably positive, it encourages a bit of forward play,” Kerry defender Paul Murphy recently remarked to the media at a football league final launch.

2. The Advanced Mark 

Rule: 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.

Impact: The impact of this rule was the most visible of the four, with a number of players illustrating its worth with some impressive high-fielding.

Tommy Walsh Tommy Walsh has rediscovered his form with Kerry. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Kerry’s Tommy Walsh was arguably the most proficient with executing the mark, which is no surprise given his AFL experience. His presence on the edge of the square gave Kerry a deadly scoring outlet throughout the league.

The advanced mark rule might not be in action during this year’s championship, but with Walsh discovering a return to form in his second stint with Kerry, that long-ball tactic is a useful weapon to have in their locker. 

Tyrone also utilised the rule well in their win over Dublin, with Peter Harte and Cathal McShane combining to hit three points from advanced marks.

3. The Sin-Bin 

Rule: 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.

Impact: There were few objections to the introduction of a sin-bin during the league.

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In fact, many saw it as the antidote to the controversial black card. Rather than sending a player off for the entirety of the game, the sin-bin offers a more lenient punishment to the offender, which most fans seemed to agree with.

Niall Morgan Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

4. Kick-Out

Rule: 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.

Impact: No major incidents attached to this rule either. Similar to the sideline-kick, the new parameters around the kick-out aimed to promote more attacking play.

Which rule gets your preference? Cast your vote below.

Poll Results:

Advanced Mark (930)
The Sin-Bin (802)
All of the above (765)
Kick-Out (238)
None of the above (211)
Sideline Kick (167)

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