Rule changes and tiered championship up for debate at GAA Central Council

Proposed rule changes and the introduction of a tiered football championship will be debated at a GAA Central Council meeting this morning.

Back in October, it was reported that five changes to the playing rules of gaelic football had been pitched, including a restriction on hand-passes, the introduction of a sin-bin for a black card offence, and the extension of the Mark to include the catching of the ball inside the 20-metre line — although that has since been amended, following a consultation process, to the clean catching of the ball inside a 45-metre line from a kick in play.

Other changes to the proposed rules involves alterations to kick-outs. Under the initial pitch, only two players from each team would be able to contest a kick-out. That has since been amended to include no restriction on the amount of players that would be able to compete for the kick-out

The rule changes are due to be trialled in the upcoming National Leagues and provincial tournaments, pending approval at Central Council today.

Meanwhile, the introduction of a tiered-championship in football has been on the agenda for a while, with the Gaelic Players’ Association (GPA) saying that 60% of inter-county footballers were in favour of the move and Martin Coleman — Wicklow’s Central Council representative — telling the Irish Independent that a two-tiered championship would present “light at the end of the tunnel for Division 3 and 4 counties.”

“The new competition would give them something to aim at with a chance of winning and would also and give them a chance of playing in Croke Park on the biggest days,” he said.

Football rules trial

1) Hand pass to be restricted to three in succession before ball must be kicked.

2) Kick-out to be taken from 20-metre line and must travel to the 45-metre mark.

3) Side-line balls must be kicked forward except when in or on the opposition 20-metre line.

4) An attacking mark may be taken inside the opposition 45 provided kicked in play from within the opposition 45 and travelling at least 20 metres.

5) A black-card infraction to be punished by 10 minutes in a sin-bin rather than automatic substitution by a replacement.

Tiered football championship

6) A tiered football championship to be introduced for Division Three and Four counties. There are two

Option 1: Division Three and Four counties to enter the new second-tier championship upon elimination from the provincial championship.



Option 2: Division Three and Four counties would be allowed to compete in the provincial championships and the All-Ireland Qualifiers. Those division Three and Four counties eliminated in the first two rounds of the qualifiers would then be entered into the new second-tier championship.

Under-20 football championship

7) To enhance the developmental aspect of the championship, a group structure to be introduced.

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