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GAA Congress votes in Hawk-Eye trial, black card and anti-racist stance

The assembly in Derry have also passed motions to install an advantage rule, but the mark has been rejected again.

Delegates at Congress yesterday.
Delegates at Congress yesterday.
Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty

Updated 16.20

AFTER PASSING A motion to open GAA venues to a potential Rugby World Cup bid, GAA Congress has continued in Derry today.

Some major rule-changes put to a vote by the gathering of delegates in the walled city.

Here are some of the highlights from the decisions taken before lunch.


Motion 4: The Black Card.

The introduction of a new black card to deal with five specific cynical fouls required a two-thirds majority and was passed with 71% of the vote.

A player shown the black card will be sent from the field of play, to be replaced by a substitute. The rule will come into force on January 1 2014. The five player actions covered by the black card are:

  1. Aggressively remonstrating with an official.
  2. Pulling down an opponent.
  3. Deliberately tripping an opponent.
  4. Body-checking after the ball is played.
  5. Using threatening, abusive or provocative language to an opponent.

Motion 19: Advantage.

This motion was passed and allows a referee wait five seconds after an offence to see whether a team can obtain an advantage by playing on.

Motion 22: Open-handed point.

A large majority of delegates passed the motion which now allows a point to be scored with an open-palm as opposed to the fist.

Motion 24: Public clock.

For the second time, congress has vowed to implement a public clock at senior championship fixtures to allow the attending crowd clearly see how much time has been played.

Motion 27: Jersey branding.

90% of delegates approved the motion to allow more than one sponsor appear on jerseys.

Motion 52: Hawk-Eye.

Technology will be used on a trial basis in Croke Park after congress voted overwhelmingly in favour of it.

The trial will take place over a period yet to be confirmed by central council. In that period Hawk-Eye will be available to a referee or umpire to help clarify whether a point has been scored, or if the result should be a wide or 45/65.


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Motion 54: ‘Enshrining’ Anti-Sectarian / Anti-Racist stance into official guide.

90% of delegates voted in favour of the motion which provides for a 96-week suspension for:

“Any conduct by deed, word or gesture of sectarian or racist nature or which is contrary to the principles of inclusion and diversity against a player, official, spectator or anyone else, in the course of activities organised by the Association, shall be deemed to have discredited the Association.”

©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty


Motion 16: 30-metre advantage.

The proposed change allowed for the ball to be moved forward 30 metres if a player delayed a quick free being taken. The motion was the first to be defeated on day two of congress.

Motion 20: The Mark.

The motion to allow a player who has cleanly caught a kick-out past the 45 metre line take an unchallenged kick or play on with the ball in hand needed a two-thirds majority. The motion narrowly failed.

Motion 21: The Clean Pick-up.

A rule which would have allowed players (under certain conditions) to use their hands to pick the ball off the ground received only 46% of support.

Motion 25: 70 minute duration for all adult games.

A massive 83% of delegates voted against the motion. Adult games at club level will remain at 60 minutes.

Motion 49: Release of teams to the media.

The motion proposed demanded that senior championship teams would be announced four days before a game. The motion failed to reach a two-thirds majority.

Motion 71: To play All-Ireland finals one week earlier.

Cork clubs Nemo Rangers and St Nicholas’ proposal to play the All-Ireland senior finals one week earlier to give club games more space in the calendar was opposed by 74% of delegates.

Motion carried: GAA Congress approves use of grounds for Rugby World Cup bid

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Sean Farrell

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