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Experimental Rule Changes Proposed For Gaelic Football

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The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has issued a list of proposed experimental rule changes for Gaelic Football.

The SCPR now plans to engage in a consultation process in relation to these rules during the month of October and will hold detailed discussions with players, coaches, referees and officials.

If approved by Coiste Bainistíochta, the proposed rule changes would be implemented as a trial during the 2019 Allianz Football Leagues. Any trial rules would not feature in the 2019 Championship but, based on their success in the trial phase, could be approved by Congress 2020 for implementation in the 2020 Championship.

There are five rule changes proposed. They are:

Proposal (1)

Handpass - To introduce a restriction of three consecutive passes of the ball with the fist or open hand by players of the team in possession.

Proposal (2)

Sideline Kick

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

Exception:

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

The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has propsed extendin the application of the Mark to the clean catching of the ball on or inside the 20m line from a kick delivered on or beyond the 45m line without it touching the ground.
The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has propsed extendin the application of the Mark to the clean catching of the ball on or inside the 20m line from a kick delivered on or beyond the 45m line without it touching the ground.
Proposal (3)

The Mark - To extend the application of the Mark to the clean catching of the ball on or inside the 20m line from a kick delivered on or beyond the 45m line without it touching the ground.

In the case of a Mark being awarded to an attacking player on or inside the 20m line, the free, if availed of, shall be taken from the point on the 20m line directly in line where the Mark is awarded.

In the case of a Mark being awarded to a defending player on or inside the 20m line, the free kick, if availed of, shall be taken from the point where the Mark is awarded.

The application of the Mark in the two areas of it arising (i.e. as in current Rule and in new Proposal) shall be standardised as follows:

- Up to 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.

- A score may be made from a free awarded for a Mark.

- 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.

If a player opts to 'play on' when awarded a Mark, he may be challenged i.e. provisions (b) (i) and (ii) of the current Mark Rule shall not apply during the experimentation.

Proposal (4)

Sin-Bin - The Penalty on the day for a Black Card Infraction or two Yellow Card Infractions - an ordering off for ten minutes in a Sin Bin.

A subsequent Black Card Infraction shall be penalised by the showing of a Black Card followed by a Red Card.

A subsequent Yellow Card Infraction shall be penalised by the showing of a Yellow Card followed by a Red Card.

In either 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 this Proposal.

The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has proposed a sin-bin penalty for black-card infractions.
The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has proposed a sin-bin penalty for black-card infractions.
Proposal (5)

Kick-Out/Zoning

For a kick-out, two players only from each team shall be positioned between the two 45m lines.

The goalkeeper and a maximum of six players from each team shall be behind the respective 45m lines, until the ball is kicked.

The ball from the kick-out shall travel beyond the 45m line before being played by a player of the defending team.

Other Rules relating to the kick-out to remain unchanged.

Penalties:

(1) For another player on the team taking a kick-out to play the ball before it has travelled outside the 45m line or has been played by an opposing player.

Penalty:

(i) Cancel kick-out

(ii) Throw in the ball on defenders' 20m line in front of the scoring space.

(2) For a player to cross a 45m line before the ball is kicked for the kick-out.

(3) For a player(s) to, in the opinion of the referee, deliberately seek to delay the kick-out by not retreating behind the 45m lines in a timely manner.

Penalty for the above Fouls:

A 45m free off the ground and in front of the scoring space shall be awarded to the opposing team.

(4) For a player(s) of each team to simultaneously cross the 45m line(s) before the ball is kicked from the kick-out:

Penalty:

A throw-in ball shall be awarded on the centre of the 45m line involved or at the centre of the field (if infringements are made on both 45m lines).

The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has proposed that a goalkeeper's kick-out must pass beyond his team's 45-yard line before it can be touched by one of his teammates.
The GAA'S Standing Committee on the Playing Rules has proposed that a goalkeeper's kick-out must pass beyond his team's 45-yard line before it can be touched by one of his teammates.
The SCPR is chaired by David Hassan. He said: "In advance of this document there was extensive research carried out including detailed consideration of video footage, data provided on inter-county games from 2011 to the current season, and discussion on the part of the Committee's members during the course of the year.

"Proposed changes are designed to enhance the core skills of Gaelic Football. The Committee will now embark on a period of consultation with all of the key stakeholders involved in the playing of our games. This feedback is important, and we also know that the ultimate test of any proposals is when we see them implemented on the field of play."

Communication was also sought from all 32 GAA county boards as well as overseas units seeking feedback on the existing playing rules of Gaelic Football, as well as holding a meeting between the SCPR and the Chair of the Referees' Development Committee.

It should be stressed that these proposals are on an experimental basis only and will be subject to a review.

During 2018 much of the Committee's focus has been on Gaelic football. It has also reviewed the playing rules of Hurling as well as a number of other areas that span both codes and will consider these in much more detail during the second and third years of its three-year term.

Under GAA rule, changes to the playing rules of Gaelic Games are only possible in years divisible by 5, making 2020 a year that permits changes to the playing rules.

The Standing Committee on Playing Rules is comprised of:

David Hassan (Chair), Tracy Bunyan (Sec), Pat Daly, Seamus Kenny, Brian Cuthbert, Michael Delaney, David Collins, Alex McQuillen, Frank Murphy.

DonaldDuck (Tipperary) - Posts: 417 - 02/10/2018 16:11:30    2144791

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Early days , have just had a read through , first impressions are positive, ultimately you'd need to see a few games in play before you could make a final judgement kicks going forward from sidelines I like , limiting hand passes I like not sure about the mark expansion, but after watching footballs recent evolvement as a spectacle I'd be all for anything that brings back speed excitement and rewarding attacking play

Damothedub (Dublin) - Posts: 5157 - 02/10/2018 16:35:04    2144795

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Something did have to be done.

Will all of of these be implemented for the 2019 league. It's seems like 5 changes are too many.

The last change regarding zoning is a bit mad.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2167 - 02/10/2018 16:49:18    2144799

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So after three handpasses the ball has to be kicked in that passage of play?! This would be the most important addition to the game in a number of years and bring back "football"! It would transform the football landscape and bring very good teams to the fore. The likes of Tyrone would struggle as I think this one change would reward attacking teams. If you can't kick the ball, you would seriously struggle to get into any attacking positions. The other suggestions look complicated and would need to be seen during a game.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 340 - 02/10/2018 16:52:59    2144800

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I like alot of those rules but not the zoning.

The mark is a great idea as long as there is no diddy daddling on the free.

Hand pass rule would be good but 3 handpasses are far too little and would not work 7 handpasses is more realistic.

Tarismelting22 (Roscommon) - Posts: 341 - 02/10/2018 17:14:44    2144803

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Who'd be a referee. Counting handpasses, checking zones, a deck of cards with different rules depending on the sequence they're shown in, tracking direction of kicks. You'd nearly need zone based referees to keep track of affairs with so many parameters in play. It's a game of football at the end of the day not a space shuttle launch. Rules like 3 handpasses then kick sound great on paper but in practice I think this would be difficult for players to adapt to, years of playing with instinct, and difficult to referee. So if there are 3 handpasses in your 45 and you receive the ball just outside your 45 then solo charge to the other team's parallelogram you can't dish a handpass out to your half forward to clip a point when you come into contact with the backs? Sounds like a bit of a knee jerk reaction.

Joxer (Dublin) - Posts: 3322 - 02/10/2018 17:20:08    2144804

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Replying To sam1884:  "So after three handpasses the ball has to be kicked in that passage of play?! This would be the most important addition to the game in a number of years and bring back "football"! It would transform the football landscape and bring very good teams to the fore. The likes of Tyrone would struggle as I think this one change would reward attacking teams. If you can't kick the ball, you would seriously struggle to get into any attacking positions. The other suggestions look complicated and would need to be seen during a game."
Three hand passes passes followed by a short kick-pass (maybe backward) followed by another three hand passes and so on, would change very little.
If the changes are brought in, refs are going to have a lot on their plates which is worrying considering how difficult they find it to apply the rules consistently at the moment.
Interesting that a Black card is considered the eqivalent of two yellow cards.
The 'quick' kick-out brought in to speed-up the game is being replaced by a rule that will slow the game right down and be difficult to ref.

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts: 1400 - 02/10/2018 17:24:45    2144805

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Replying To Joxer:  "Who'd be a referee. Counting handpasses, checking zones, a deck of cards with different rules depending on the sequence they're shown in, tracking direction of kicks. You'd nearly need zone based referees to keep track of affairs with so many parameters in play. It's a game of football at the end of the day not a space shuttle launch. Rules like 3 handpasses then kick sound great on paper but in practice I think this would be difficult for players to adapt to, years of playing with instinct, and difficult to referee. So if there are 3 handpasses in your 45 and you receive the ball just outside your 45 then solo charge to the other team's parallelogram you can't dish a handpass out to your half forward to clip a point when you come into contact with the backs? Sounds like a bit of a knee jerk reaction."
Time will ultimately be the judge agree it's dangerous , but personally I don't think people are turning away because Dublin are winning people are turning away because they don't like what they see, something had to be done it's experimental and may Not work , but doing nothing would be far worse

Damothedub (Dublin) - Posts: 5157 - 02/10/2018 17:40:28    2144806

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Replying To sam1884:  "So after three handpasses the ball has to be kicked in that passage of play?! This would be the most important addition to the game in a number of years and bring back "football"! It would transform the football landscape and bring very good teams to the fore. The likes of Tyrone would struggle as I think this one change would reward attacking teams. If you can't kick the ball, you would seriously struggle to get into any attacking positions. The other suggestions look complicated and would need to be seen during a game."
3 hand pass rule is ridiculous in my opinion as it actually encourages teams to be far more defensive. Saying Tyrone would struggle shows nothing but contempt for that county as well.

Club players will become sick of these changes. I think you will see more club players drifting away from the game as more and more changes are introduced.

Sin Bin is a great proposal though. I'm open to most of the others bar the hand pass rule which lacks complete foresight and is a knee jerk reaction to something completely unrelated to the hand pass.

Where is the proposal to try and improve the standard of club and county refereeing around the country?

HandballRef (Donegal) - Posts: 443 - 02/10/2018 17:53:20    2144808

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They're a joke . The only rule that would make a positive change is the expansion of the mark. The reduction of the hand pass rule would see teams flood their defensive area forcing the opposition to kick from distance . Has a kick been clearly defined ? How far does the ball have to travel for it to be a kick ? The suggestions in relation to the cards speak for themselves . The suggestion in relation to the kick outs is another joke . The high catch will disappear . Put your sprinters in to the middle and hit the ball outside them . Then watch the dirty dash from some forwards out to get the ball whilst the six defenders stay inside and four from the other end of the field sprint back . Meanwhile the midfielder who has lost the ball will foul the midfielder who has the ball . Drop all this b******t right now . Go with the expansion of the mark . Consider employing the fourth official to implement a rule which limits the number of short kick outs per team to three per half and consider also Joe Brolly's proposal of an exclusion zone .

Greengrass (Louth) - Posts: 4896 - 02/10/2018 18:04:55    2144809

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All the improvements in goalkeeping regarding accurate and varied kickouts, to be reduced to 'lump it'! Wonderful.

m_the_d (None) - Posts: 1035 - 02/10/2018 18:05:13    2144810

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Wouldn't be in favor here, increasing kick passing generally and limiting hand passing just promotes blanket of shell defenses in my opinion. Why not have all your men behind the ball and wait for the attacking team to make a kicking error. Think it will lead to low scoring games. Seems like high risk, less reward for the attacking team and low risk high reward for the defending team, also if you have a better chance of a defensive mark you are going to have more men back.

Also think the increase/expansion in Marks will just lead to a general melee of big lumps up front milling about, some very skillful but slight forwards will be at a disadvantage. Think the spectacle will decrease.

Would be in favor of the sin bin for the black card, the black card has well been manipulated by a lot of county teams and was quietly done away with last year.

All the rules seem a bit simplistic to me, im sitting here thinking for all of five seconds and came up of ways to get an advantage in each so they can be loop holed.

The whole thing seems more like a move towards AFL to me and seems to be increase the technical burden on referees and increase interruption in games which i dont really like.

We seem determined to ring the game back to past, let the game evolve naturally in my opinion. Dont see anything here to rid the real problem with the game the blanket defence.

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 1893 - 02/10/2018 18:08:02    2144811

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While I'm at it, 1 and 2, as well as 5 are absolute nonsense.

m_the_d (None) - Posts: 1035 - 02/10/2018 18:16:44    2144812

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I like the kickout rule, the rest no. Handpassing is not an issue it's lateral and backwards passing is the issue, we could now have it arise that a nice flowing attacking move gets punished, absolutely ridiculous stuff

Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1177 - 02/10/2018 18:27:20    2144815

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My two cents on these -

Handpass - Generally in favour of limitation, but it does not contribute to resolving the blanket defence problem.

Sideline Kick - I am neutral, backwards is not bad if followed by forward progress.

Mark - I like this the best - why not implement for all 'two line' plays (e.g. across both 65s). Again, as Brolly pointed out, the potential forward inside the 20 could face a thick blanket.

Sin Bin - Yes, implement in lieu of back card - but I would award a free as well with less than 10 mins left in each half (player can't serve full 10 mins).

Kick Outs - I like the kick beyond 45, but does the trial as written state that 6-2-6 is req'd - or 5-3-6 and 6-3-5 are also allowed, for example ?

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1403 - 02/10/2018 18:59:57    2144817

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It's quite worrying for the future of football if these the people put in charge of coming up with changes can't see that lateral handpassing is a symptom of the problems in football and not the cause.

I mean the whole "just ban/limit the handpass" argument is what drunks at the bar come up with and shows a complete lack of understanding about football as a game.

Absolutely lunacy to try and limit handpassing.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12115 - 02/10/2018 19:00:51    2144818

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Replying To TheUsername:  "Wouldn't be in favor here, increasing kick passing generally and limiting hand passing just promotes blanket of shell defenses in my opinion. Why not have all your men behind the ball and wait for the attacking team to make a kicking error. Think it will lead to low scoring games. Seems like high risk, less reward for the attacking team and low risk high reward for the defending team, also if you have a better chance of a defensive mark you are going to have more men back.

Also think the increase/expansion in Marks will just lead to a general melee of big lumps up front milling about, some very skillful but slight forwards will be at a disadvantage. Think the spectacle will decrease.

Would be in favor of the sin bin for the black card, the black card has well been manipulated by a lot of county teams and was quietly done away with last year.

All the rules seem a bit simplistic to me, im sitting here thinking for all of five seconds and came up of ways to get an advantage in each so they can be loop holed.

The whole thing seems more like a move towards AFL to me and seems to be increase the technical burden on referees and increase interruption in games which i dont really like.

We seem determined to ring the game back to past, let the game evolve naturally in my opinion. Dont see anything here to rid the real problem with the game the blanket defence."
Yeah let's just go the whole hog and ban sleeves on the geansaí and make the ball oval.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12115 - 02/10/2018 19:03:04    2144819

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As allways with football boo hoo everything before it's even trialed , same happened with black card same happened with the mark , same happened with modifications to kick outs , this years Championship had one of the best teams ever playing in one of the worst championships ever from a spectator view, people are voting with their feet , if you don't put on entertainment they will find it elsewhere, hurling wipes the floor with the big game this year from everything from basic skills entertainment and close games , big ball needs to fight back , give changes a chance if they don't work fair enough bin them , from what I've read they are to be trialed only , where's the harm , as I said in earlier post not making changes will do more harm than good

Damothedub (Dublin) - Posts: 5157 - 02/10/2018 19:35:16    2144822

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"The maximum number of substitutions in normal time to return to five."

The only worthwhile suggestion there. All others trying forcing teams to play a style they don't want to play. And a style I personally don't want to watch. Hoofball. Teams will circumvent these rules with even more negative play. What do you think happens after 3 hand passes and no man open? A 30 yard hoof backwards to a free man that's what.
The kick out rules are particularly convoluted. Nothing wrong with the rule as it stands.

Pantani (Dublin) - Posts: 27 - 02/10/2018 20:20:48    2144829

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I presume/hope they don't intend to implement all of these changes and each is a stand alone option? I think most of them are ridiculous, none more so than the handpass restriction. Close second is the nonsense of the kick outs. It'll take an age to get kick outs taken as teams have to get themselves set like it's the start of a game or second half every time there's a score or a wide.

We should be trying to keep the game as simple as possible to play and referee but these changes would only turn players off as too many things to be thinking of every time they get the ball. Refereeing would be an absolute nightmare.

The only rule change worth considering is the extension of the mark.

Onion Breath (Carlow) - Posts: 1071 - 02/10/2018 20:26:00    2144830

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