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Experimental Rule Changes Proposed For Gaelic Football

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Replying To bdbuddah:  "Yes at times hand passing moves can be good but the problem with the game is when kicking forward is not in the mix. The the amount of hand passing in a game and blanket defense when it comes to seeing what causes the other is a bit like the chicken and egg situation. I think making teams line up in their 'zones' from kickouts would have a huge positive effect on the game as it would make kicking the ball forward after the kickouts much more effective than it is now and with about 40 kickouts in a game would dictate how the game was played."
I'd have to say it's the blanket defence that's the cause. They only hand pass side to side because defences are pack and you need to wait for the right opportunity to attack or you'll most likely be turned over. Most teams play at pace on the counter attack when numbers aren't back because they have the room to

tipp11 (Tipperary) - Posts: 313 - 10/10/2018 13:05:52    2145929

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Replying To gunman:  "Handpassing or footpassing the ball over and back the field for long periods was started by Dublin as a way of getting around packed defences.They waited for the right opening to appear and usually seized the opportunity.A lot of teams of lower ability have copied this passing about without the ability to do what Dublin can do.There are fat too many copycat coaches in the game who put no innovative thinking in to the game."
And I'd argue strongly that what Dublin has been doing is brilliant. It's baffling people giving out about Dublin keeping the ball while ignoring the opposition still sitting there with 13 behind the ball. It's tactically brilliant playing a safe way to hold possession to see out a game and if the opposition push then exploit the room now in defence.

tipp11 (Tipperary) - Posts: 313 - 10/10/2018 13:09:26    2145930

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Replying To Greengrass:  "The idea of the ball going ten yards when the ball is passed with the fist/hand is interesting but may prove very difficult to monitor . It may also help teams that play defensively because one of the most effective ways of opening up defensive teams is to move the ball quickly with good support play . I accept your point about players who hit frees from the hand encroaching on the goals . An effective way to stop that would be for the referees to be supplied with the same spray that the soccer referees use . They could use the spray to show from where the free must be taken . If a free taker goes beyond the point marked by the referee then there a free out would be awarded from the point where the initial free should have been taken . I would not dispense with frees from the hand . I was at an Ulster semi final in 2016. Donegal led Monaghan by two points with time almost up . Monaghan were awarded a free from 52 yards out in front of the posts . Conor McManus hit it from his hands and scored . Very shortly afterwards Monaghan were awarded a free from almost the exact same spot . McManus scored for the hand again to draw the match . It was magnificent to see . In relation to your concerns about the sideline ball I think that the new proposals deal very well with them . The game is not broken . The current framework within which the game is played has the potential when teams are evenly matched to provide for compelling sport . It has already done so as has been illustrated on previous posts .
I would never say that football is more skillful than hurling . Hurling is the most skillful field game on the planet . The key is competition . Hurling is on a huge high at the moment following the greatest sporting competition I have ever witnessed. Football, which I accept has declined as a spectacle is suffering by comparison . However hurling is only now emerging from a prolonged period when the championship was barely worthy of the name because of it's stultifying predictability. For fifteen years the eventual winners could be named on two fingers . That was partly down to the enduring magnificence of Kilkenny . Dublin are now similarly magnificent . That will also come to an end . Football is not broken . The framework is there . The cohort of high profile, relentlessly negative, highly remunerated "analysts" must be resisted and faced down . Yes the spectacle must be improved but the last thing we need is a knee jerk reaction and the package of reforms that are now being proposed. In 2007 and 2008 we had two of the most depressingly one sided All Ireland finals of all time but did the hurling people panic ? No they didn't . They did as they always do . They reacted with common sense and had faith in the game . Football deserves the same courtesy ."
Greengrass you are one poster that is not in denial. Too many are like the alcoholic. Why is there constant requests year in year out for changes to football if it is the greatest game in Ireland. Black cards, yellow, cards and red cards have come but still no improvement on cynical play,. Kicking from the hand etc. I will tell you why the game has gone down. There is American Football, Australian Football, Rugby , Soccer to compare it with and Gaelic has lost its uniqueness. Ball going backwards, played across the back and maintaining possession going nowhere has made it a bastard style soccer.
It only took three words from Brian Cody to put everyone back in their box when it came to hurling. "LEAVE HURLING ALONE".

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 348 - 10/10/2018 13:55:43    2145944

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The pitch is too big. I'm not saying to change it that though, that's clearly not feasible.

What can be done is to limit the effective size of pitch and not allow players to pass backwards across the 65m line similar to the 7 a side rule.

There's a good argument for nothing to be done though too. Dublin have exploited the extreme blanket. The top teams need to come up with a counter now to that. I can see what they might try. They pull 14 men back but then they start to squeeze as a coordinated block. Push Dublin back and then start to smother them.

With 5 lines of 4,3,2,3,2 you could get a solid block with limited gaps to start to properly press the ball. That could really be the makings of a great game.

In my head the last 2 seasons have shown that the extreme blanket can't win the All Ireland.

Teams are ambitious, there's incentive for them to change style. The 3 better Ulster teams are starting to do so but there's a way to go for them to catch Dublin.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2130 - 10/10/2018 19:00:12    2145984

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The only rule I would put in place is that you must keep 4 players in the opposition half, this can easily be spotted by the sideline refs. Penalty kick award for infringement.

maroondiesel (Mayo) - Posts: 808 - 10/10/2018 19:15:49    2145987

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Replying To maroondiesel:  "The only rule I would put in place is that you must keep 4 players in the opposition half, this can easily be spotted by the sideline refs. Penalty kick award for infringement."
As much as the present game irritates me I would love to see it fixed. The fix is as easy as peeing down a well. No need for all those intriqet new rules. Just two. If you receive a hand pass you can not give one. The ball must go forward in your own half. These players will see the uselessness of hanging around in their own half and overlap on the attack quickly.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 348 - 10/10/2018 22:24:59    2146006

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Replying To Whammo86:  "13 a side will me 13 men behind the ball in their 45. It will not be mean loads of room opening up.

Inside the 45s are the only parts of the pitch that matters. Players hit percentage shots and increasingly hit only from inside the 45 in the middle of the pitch.

The pitch is too big for the game and managers have found that out and that's why the middle third is not contested in regular play. This is the problem.

Also managers pull everyone back because they want as many of their players in the game at one time. There's no point in having someone standing picking his hole not doing anything.

The 2 points for a score outside the 45 and 4 points for a goal could improve the game. You now get a wider viable shooting zone.

Finding other ways of encouraging teams to press could help also.

I think stopping teams from being able to play backwards behind lines could help.

So if a team enters the 65 then they can't play it back to a man behind that line."
I think valuing a goal as much as two long-range scores is about right - but a close-range point at one quarter of a goal is probably under valued.

I would go with 3-1.5-1, or 6-3-2 to eliminate fractions - so the value of long and close-range 'points' are in line with the 'basketball ratio'.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1358 - 11/10/2018 04:24:44    2146021

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Replying To Whammo86:  "The pitch is too big. I'm not saying to change it that though, that's clearly not feasible.

What can be done is to limit the effective size of pitch and not allow players to pass backwards across the 65m line similar to the 7 a side rule.

There's a good argument for nothing to be done though too. Dublin have exploited the extreme blanket. The top teams need to come up with a counter now to that. I can see what they might try. They pull 14 men back but then they start to squeeze as a coordinated block. Push Dublin back and then start to smother them.

With 5 lines of 4,3,2,3,2 you could get a solid block with limited gaps to start to properly press the ball. That could really be the makings of a great game.

In my head the last 2 seasons have shown that the extreme blanket can't win the All Ireland.

Teams are ambitious, there's incentive for them to change style. The 3 better Ulster teams are starting to do so but there's a way to go for them to catch Dublin."
This is very important.

I feel we're probably naturally reaching the tipping point against the blanket defence. Of the top teams, Super 8s this years and Mayo only really Galway could be argued were playing quite defensively. Donegal went into their shell a bit in the last few minutes against Dublin but that was more to do with the structure of the Super 8s, that was actually a decent enough game up until that point. And one would assume, with the forwards they have, that Galway are ready to develop their game now into a system that can challenge for the All-Ireland.

The danger in radically altering the rules at this stage is that we could end up tipping the balance back in favour of a blanket defence.

For example if the handpass restrictions are brought in that would majorly incentivise the blanket defence as it would take away the best way any team has of attacking a blanket defence.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12065 - 11/10/2018 08:05:20    2146023

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Replying To MesAmis:  "This is very important.

I feel we're probably naturally reaching the tipping point against the blanket defence. Of the top teams, Super 8s this years and Mayo only really Galway could be argued were playing quite defensively. Donegal went into their shell a bit in the last few minutes against Dublin but that was more to do with the structure of the Super 8s, that was actually a decent enough game up until that point. And one would assume, with the forwards they have, that Galway are ready to develop their game now into a system that can challenge for the All-Ireland.

The danger in radically altering the rules at this stage is that we could end up tipping the balance back in favour of a blanket defence.

For example if the handpass restrictions are brought in that would majorly incentivise the blanket defence as it would take away the best way any team has of attacking a blanket defence."
The danger in radically altering the rules at this stage is that we could end up tipping the balance back in favour of a blanket defence.

For example if the handpass restrictions are brought in that would majorly incentivise the blanket defence as it would take away the best way any team has of attacking a blanket defence.
MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12041 - 11/10/2018 08:05:20 2146023

With respect, - as it stands many clubs and counties already have latched on to the blanket defence, so I think the balance is already tipped in its favour, and the incentive is already there for the rest to follow suit before any alterations are made to the current rules.
The way I see it is, counties of a lesser God in the upcoming NFL are being used as Guiney pigs to address issues in the game that were created by the elite / super duper counties, and as a result forced weaker counties to play the same game or suffer the consequences.
To address the blanket defence problem then major pruning is required, rule changes should apply to not only to Inter county football but to club football as well, simultaneously.

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 1792 - 11/10/2018 11:57:44    2146059

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With respect, - as it stands many clubs and counties already have latched on to the blanket defence, so I think the balance is already tipped in its favour, and the incentive is already there for the rest to follow suit before any alterations are made to the current rules.
The way I see it is, counties of a lesser God in the upcoming NFL are being used as Guiney pigs to address issues in the game that were created by the elite / super duper counties, and as a result forced weaker counties to play the same game or suffer the consequences.
To address the blanket defence problem then major pruning is required, rule changes should apply to not only to Inter county football but to club football as well, simultaneously.
supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 1790 - 11/10/2018 11:57:44


Could you explain how weaker counties only are being used as Guiney Pigs in the upcoming NFL?

Are the new proposed rules, they may or not be used in the 2019, to apply only to some counties?

The argument that I'm making, as well as others on here, is that maybe we are currently seeing the end of the blanket defence naturally as few of the top counties are using it anymore, or have at least evolved into teams that attack more than they may have done. The point being, as you've said, weaker counties followed the "super duper" counties into the blanket defence that they'll also follow them out of using the blanket to a more balanced system because playing a blanket will no longer win things.

There is an argument to be made that 'major pruning' is not needed to address the blanket but that the 'major pruning' being proposed (for example restricting handpassing) may actually reincentivise use of the blanket defence.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12065 - 11/10/2018 16:41:14    2146101

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Instead of officials getting headaches with handpass counting and ensuring 6-2-6 on kickouts - why not make effective simple rules - e.g. every 4th play must be a kick of at least 20 metres, outside the opponent 65.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1358 - 11/10/2018 17:30:27    2146104

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Replying To omahant:  "Instead of officials getting headaches with handpass counting and ensuring 6-2-6 on kickouts - why not make effective simple rules - e.g. every 4th play must be a kick of at least 20 metres, outside the opponent 65."
Ref would need to carry his tape measure with him - are you on the wind-up?

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts: 1365 - 11/10/2018 19:37:50    2146118

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Any poster old enough to remember when Antrim were demonised for ruining football by introducing the hand-pass?

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts: 1365 - 11/10/2018 19:45:53    2146120

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Replying To MesAmis:  "With respect, - as it stands many clubs and counties already have latched on to the blanket defence, so I think the balance is already tipped in its favour, and the incentive is already there for the rest to follow suit before any alterations are made to the current rules.
The way I see it is, counties of a lesser God in the upcoming NFL are being used as Guiney pigs to address issues in the game that were created by the elite / super duper counties, and as a result forced weaker counties to play the same game or suffer the consequences.
To address the blanket defence problem then major pruning is required, rule changes should apply to not only to Inter county football but to club football as well, simultaneously.
supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 1790 - 11/10/2018 11:57:44


Could you explain how weaker counties only are being used as Guiney Pigs in the upcoming NFL?

Are the new proposed rules, they may or not be used in the 2019, to apply only to some counties?

The argument that I'm making, as well as others on here, is that maybe we are currently seeing the end of the blanket defence naturally as few of the top counties are using it anymore, or have at least evolved into teams that attack more than they may have done. The point being, as you've said, weaker counties followed the "super duper" counties into the blanket defence that they'll also follow them out of using the blanket to a more balanced system because playing a blanket will no longer win things.

There is an argument to be made that 'major pruning' is not needed to address the blanket but that the 'major pruning' being proposed (for example restricting handpassing) may actually reincentivise use of the blanket defence."
Could you explain how weaker counties only are being used as Guiney Pigs in the upcoming NFL?

If all counties were of super 8 standard there would be no need for "Experimental rule change" but because there is such a gap between the super 8 and the bottom 8, an experimental rule change has been proposed, experiments are mostly carried out with the weakest in mind hence the word Guiney pigs.

The argument that I'm making, as well as others on here, is that maybe we are currently seeing the end of the blanket defence naturally as few of the top counties are using it anymore, or have at least evolved into teams that attack more than they may have done. The point being, as you've said, weaker counties followed the "super duper" counties into the blanket defence that they'll also follow them out of using the blanket to a more balanced system because playing a blanket will no longer win things.

The super 8 and a few other counties can abandon with confidence the blanket defence as required and adapt to another route with confidence,( whereas the weaker county would struggle to adapt with the same ease shall we say), that would give them the same positive result. Sorry, I didn't say the weaker counties followed the "super duper" counties into the blanket defence, what I said was, "they were forced into playing the same game or suffer the consequences, by the same token they won't follow them out either rather they will be forced to follow them out.

There is an argument to be made that 'major pruning' is not needed to address the blanket but that the 'major pruning' being proposed (for example restricting handpassing) may actually reincentivise use of the blanket defence.

Should a system be found to discourage the blanket defence then major pruning would not be necessary, if that was the case then the hand passing would go unnoticed.

Are the new proposed rules, they may or not be used in the 2019, to apply only to some counties?

I have to assume the same rules will apply to all counties, the rules are not the problem, how to adapt is. ( Please refer to answer # 2)

supersub15 (Carlow) - Posts: 1792 - 11/10/2018 22:32:38    2146143

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Replying To tipp11:  "I'd have to say it's the blanket defence that's the cause. They only hand pass side to side because defences are pack and you need to wait for the right opportunity to attack or you'll most likely be turned over. Most teams play at pace on the counter attack when numbers aren't back because they have the room to"
Yes but the blanket idea originally followed as a response to the way teams started playing where they primarily tried to hand pass through a defence with few few kicks into the forwards. The blanket seemed like a way to stop teams running through you.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 479 - 11/10/2018 23:36:28    2146154

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Replying To Whammo86:  "The pitch is too big. I'm not saying to change it that though, that's clearly not feasible.

What can be done is to limit the effective size of pitch and not allow players to pass backwards across the 65m line similar to the 7 a side rule.

There's a good argument for nothing to be done though too. Dublin have exploited the extreme blanket. The top teams need to come up with a counter now to that. I can see what they might try. They pull 14 men back but then they start to squeeze as a coordinated block. Push Dublin back and then start to smother them.

With 5 lines of 4,3,2,3,2 you could get a solid block with limited gaps to start to properly press the ball. That could really be the makings of a great game.

In my head the last 2 seasons have shown that the extreme blanket can't win the All Ireland.

Teams are ambitious, there's incentive for them to change style. The 3 better Ulster teams are starting to do so but there's a way to go for them to catch Dublin."
'With 5 lines of 4,3,2,3,2 you could get a solid block with limited gaps to start to properly press the ball' if I'm understanding you right I would rather the game go in a bit of a different direction. I would prefer to bring in rules so that teams had an incentive to leave their forwards in a forward position and move the ball in quicker. A game where accurate kicking was encouraged. That's where I'm coming from thinking making player's stick to a zone at the kickouts and the kickouts proposal could be positive. In fairness to you I do think what you are saying is well thought out and could improve the game we currently have but I would just prefer to go in a different direction.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 479 - 11/10/2018 23:59:16    2146156

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Replying To neverright:  "Ref would need to carry his tape measure with him - are you on the wind-up?"
How do Aussie refs do it - their rule is it's a mark anywhere on the field provided minimum distance is played (I think it's 15m in this case) - basically, the ref makes best judgement on close plays - how does a baseball umpire determine the strike zone - sorry, no tape there either.

omahant (USA) - Posts: 1358 - 12/10/2018 02:30:55    2146158

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Replying To bdbuddah:  "'With 5 lines of 4,3,2,3,2 you could get a solid block with limited gaps to start to properly press the ball' if I'm understanding you right I would rather the game go in a bit of a different direction. I would prefer to bring in rules so that teams had an incentive to leave their forwards in a forward position and move the ball in quicker. A game where accurate kicking was encouraged. That's where I'm coming from thinking making player's stick to a zone at the kickouts and the kickouts proposal could be positive. In fairness to you I do think what you are saying is well thought out and could improve the game we currently have but I would just prefer to go in a different direction."
Ah you see, I think going my way you will get to see some teams playing long.

If a team is being pressed in a 4,3,2,3,2 by their opposition, they will want to try to get men forward to beat the press by using a long ball.

Transitions will continue to be important but it will be the transition from defense to attack which will be interesting.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 2130 - 12/10/2018 14:34:04    2146231

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Replying To omahant:  "How do Aussie refs do it - their rule is it's a mark anywhere on the field provided minimum distance is played (I think it's 15m in this case) - basically, the ref makes best judgement on close plays - how does a baseball umpire determine the strike zone - sorry, no tape there either."
Ah! guesswork, the perfect answer to all problems.

neverright (Roscommon) - Posts: 1365 - 12/10/2018 15:38:25    2146248

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I see I lot of players and managers have come out against the rule changes.

God help the refs, I just can't see them been able to manage games with these rule changes.

The_Fridge (Tyrone) - Posts: 1366 - 12/10/2018 18:08:59    2146271

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