Hand-pass restriction and sin-bin among proposed GAA rule changes

A restriction on hand-passing and the introduction of a sin-bin has been pitched by the GAA Standing Committee on the Playing Rules as part of a list of experimental rule changes designed to shake up gaelic football.

The SCPR will meet with players, coaches, referees and officials in order to discuss the viability of the proposed changes to the rule book, with a total of five changes up for debate.

Included in the submissions is the restriction of three consecutive passes with the fist or open-hand by players of the team in possession, as well as the implementation of a sin-bin penalty for a black card offence.

In the case of the latter, the SCPR have proposed that players who are shown a black card or two yellow cards be sin-binned for 10 minutes, while the showing of a subsequent black or yellow card be followed by a red card which would bring with it a dismissal from the entirety of the match.

Chair of the SCPR, David Hassan, said: “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,” Hassan said.

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

However, if approved by the GAA’s Management Committee, the proposed alterations would be implemented on a trial basis during the 2019 Allianz Football Leagues.

These trial rules would not feature in the 2019 Championship but, depending on success, could be approved by Congress 2020 for implementation in the 2020 Championship.

The other three changes to the rules of gaelic football, as proposed by the SCPR, are as follows:

Proposal 1 – Sideline Kick:

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.

Proposal 2 – The Mark:

The application of the Mark shall be extended 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 3 – Kick-Out/Zoning:

In the case of a kick-out, only two players 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.

Fouls relating to the above rule:

(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.

Punishment for foul relating to the above rule:

(i) Cancel kick-out

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

Fouls relating to the above rule cont’d:

(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.

Punishment for the above fouls:

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

Fouls relating to the above rule cont’d:

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

Punishment for the above fouls:

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).

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