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Football Review Committee Report Released

Monday 10.12.2012
Team Talk Mag

The GAA Football Review Committee (FRC) launched the first of a two-part report which reviews the current state of Gaelic football at club and county level, the current playing rules, the role of administrators, coaches, managers and referees. It also includes proposals for changes to the playing rules and other aspects of the game and is available to read in full on and The second report, focusing on championship structures and related matters, will be published in early 2013.

The proposals in the report are as follows…

Proposal 1: The FRC proposes that with regard to club fixture making, the CCC rather than the County Board shall have ultimate control in each county, thus mirroring the CCCC at national level.

Proposal 2: To protect the club and club players, the FRC is proposing that the existing Manager’s Charter become a formal agreement, submitted to Croke Park by 1st week in January each year, with Croke Park reserving the right to audit the agreement to ensure compliance.

Proposal 3: The FRC proposes the phased introduction of mandatory coaching qualifications, particularly for managers/coaches of adult teams at club and county level. The appropriate mandatory coaching qualification should be set by Croke Park. A reasonable time period should be allowed for implementation but by 2015 at the latest.

Proposal 4: The FRC proposes that a distinction between Accidental and Deliberate fouls be written into the Rules, with only Deliberate fouls invoking a card punishment.

Proposal 5: The FRC proposes the publication of a laypersons guide to the playing rules which aims to explain the most common rules but which would not carry legal or formal standing. This publication would incorporate any changes arising from this report. As an aid to bringing clearer understanding of playing rules to the wider audience, individual rules should be published in match programmes throughout the 2013 Championship.

Proposal 6: The FRC proposes that in the interest of improving refereeing standards at all levels the direct link that currently exists between the head of referees in each province and county and the Chair of the Referees Committee should be considerably strengthened, to work towards greater consistency on a national and local basis through communication/discussion/seminars etc.

Proposal 7: The FRC proposes full and proper enforcement by referees of the rule governing field incursions. This is absolutely essential for the good of the game and such proper enforcement would go some way to address the issue of time-wasting.

Proposal 8: The FRC proposes that a recruitment drive for referees among recently retired players be pursued with some urgency.

Proposal 9: The FRC proposes that before all club and county games, referees should go to each team dressing room to introduce themselves to the players, in the interests of building rapport and respect.

Proposal 10: The FRC proposes that:  Players issued with a Yellow Card should be subject to mandatory substitution for the remainder of the game  After a team has been given three Yellow Cards, any further Yellow Card will mean the player going off with no substitution  For inter-county competitions a cumulative total of three Yellow Cards for an individual player in any one grade in the same year should lead to a two-match suspension  To be fair to all concerned, the number of substitutes permitted should be increased from the present five to six, to coincide with the introduction of this proposed change The above proposed changes should be introduced within the current rules and implemented from 2014.

Proposal 11: The FRC proposes that all offences currently attracting a 13-metre sanction should attract a 30-metre sanction. The FRC also proposes that, in addition to the existing rules, if the player who commits a foul has the ball he must place the ball on the ground immediately and retreat the required distance. Failure to do so should attract a 30-metre sanction.

Proposal 12: The FRC proposes that correct tackling be promoted and emphasised as a key skill of Gaelic football within all GAA coaching manuals. Also, the FRC recommends a fuller definition of the tackle rule be introduced which will reduce misinterpretation among players, spectators and referees. Proposed new definition of the Tackle: “The tackle is a skill by which a player may dispossess an opponent or frustrate his objective within the rules of fair play. The tackle is aimed at the ball, not the player. The tackler may use his body to confront the opponent but deliberate bodily contact (such as punching, slapping, arm holding, pushing, tripping, jersey pulling or a full frontal charge) is forbidden. The only deliberate physical contact can be a Fair Charge i.e. shoulder-to-shoulder. More than one player can tackle the player in possession.

Proposal 13: The FRC proposes the following new Advantage Rule to replace Rule 4.36 and Rule 5.35, for implementation in 2013: “When a foul is committed the referee may allow the play to continue if he considers it to be to the advantage of the offended team. He shall signal that advantage by raising an arm upright. If he deems no advantage to have occurred he may subsequently award a free for that foul, from where it occurred. The referee shall allow the advantage to run by maintaining his arm in the upright position for up to 5 seconds after the initial foul or for less time if it becomes clear that no advantage has accrued. He shall apply any relevant disciplinary action.”

Proposal 14: The FRC proposes, for implementation in 2014, that:  The Mark should be introduced for any catch from a kick-out where the ball is caught cleanly on or past the 45 metre line.  The referee will blow his whistle to signify the player has caught the ball cleanly and earned the Mark. The player has the option to play on immediately or if he intends to avail of the Mark he must indicate this to the referee. If he elects to take the Mark he must then kick the ball from his hands  Once he indicates he is taking the Mark, the opposition must retreat 10 metres to allow the player space to take the kick.  If an opposition player deliberately blocks or attempts to block the kick within 10 metres, or if an opposition player impedes the player while he is taking the kick the referee will penalise the opposition and bring the ball forward 30 metres.  Once the player indicates he is taking the Mark the Referee will allow up to 5 seconds for the player to take the kick.  If the player delays longer than 5 seconds the referee will cancel the Mark and throw the ball up between 2 players.  If the player gets injured in the process of taking the Mark, and is unable to take the kick, his nearest teammate may take the kick but cannot score directly from the kick.

Proposal 15: The FRC proposes that in addition to the existing rules on picking up the ball, a clean pick-up should be permitted, subject to the player being in an upright position, with at least one foot on the ground, while making the pick-up. Implementation date: 2014.

Proposal 16: The FRC proposes the amendment of rule 3.1 to allow a point to be scored with the open hand as well as the fist, with implementation in 2013.

Proposal 17: The FRC proposes that a public time clock be introduced in Croke Park and in all grounds used for Provincial and All-Ireland series games in 2013 and rolled out thereafter as practicable. The clock should be stopped for injuries, with the clock stopped and re-started as indicated visibly by the referee and also audibly where possible (if wired up) to the official in charge of the clock. When the game time has elapsed this would be signalled by a hooter, with any ball in flight allowed to complete its journey, and if that resulted in a score, that score would stand.

Proposal 18: The FRC proposes that the duration of the adult club game be changed from 60 minutes to 70 minutes for all adult club competitions. It is believed this time period is more in keeping with the fitness level of the modern-day adult club players. Implementation date: 2014



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