The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) has proposed new rules for the 2019 league season and there are some startling changes. This is the biggest overhaul that Gaelic football is receiving in an effort to make the sport more friendly to consumers and increase the pace of the game. Many fans are excited at the prospect of these rules changes as it will shake the game up and make it much more interesting.
The officials are moving forward with the plans to change the rules as of today. There will be a very painful period for players, club, and referees as they learn the new rules and become used to them during gameplay. Most people are very hesitant to change and Gaa football is no exception; there will always be fans and players who want the game to stay exactly the same and are starkly against all changes. But, with more and more competition for people’s attention, the GAA needs to do something about their sport to make it more appealing to the younger fans. These rule changes are trying to do just that as they attempt to reach a wider audience even outside of Ireland.
“The feedback is very positive. I was chatting to the lads and Pat Doherty [National Match Officials Manager] about it this morning. The feedback has been good. Hurling would be my first love. From refereeing hurling in Cork when the defender gets the ball he’s trying to get it up the field as fast as he can. Football at the moment is just a bit slow, so, for me, the quicker we get the ball up the field the more attractive it is for the fans and the more attractive it is for everyone.” said Lane
It will be interesting to see how the clubs and players react to the new rules in the 2019 season. Many players and clubs are unsure that the new rules will be work for the 2019 season as there are too many moving parts that will not be ready in time.
Paul Mannion had this to say about the new changes, “It is going to change the game in so many ways — if they were all introduced. Now, I know it’s unlikely they would all be implemented but it would just be a completely different game if all those were brought in. I would be completely against them.”
There are many other players that have spoken out against the rule changes but there are some who are open to the new rules. The GAA should work with both players and coaches to come to a consensus on what needs to be implemented for the 2019 season. Gaelic football will continue to be a proud Irish tradition and the GAA should tread lightly when enacting these rules changes so they do not alienate their loyal fanbase.
Here are the five proposed rule changes:
1 Handpass: To introduce a restriction of three consecutive passes of the ball with the first or open hand by players of the team in possession.
2. Sideline Kick: That the ball shall be played in a forward direction from the kick.
3. The Mark: To extend the Mark to the clean catching of the ball on or inside the 20m line from a kick delivered beyond the 45. The option of a kick at goal is permitted should the player avail of the Mark.
4 Sin Bin: A black card or two yellow card infractions would lead to ten minutes in the sin bin. Further infractions would lead to red card dismissals.
5. Kick-Out/Zoning: For 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 will travel beyond the 45 m line before being played by a player of the defending team.