GAA Football

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte is far from a fan of the 'mark' idea

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte is no fan of the 'mark'

TYRONE boss Mickey Harte believes the introduction of the ‘mark’ would “spoil" Gaelic football and thinks the GAA should “leave the game alone”.

The playing rules committee, chaired by Jarlath Burns, has tabled a motion for this weekend's congress that seeks to introduce the mark in a bid to preserve the art of high-fielding in the game.

Burns argues the GAA needs to constantly review its playing rules to make it a better spectacle and insists the mark is one way of doing that. However, Harte feels the game would become "stop-start" and that it would serve no positive purpose.

“I just do not see the point of bringing it into our game and the reasons that they suggest is to increase high-fielding," Harte said.

"It won’t do that because you won’t let teams catch high-ball if they’re going to have the freedom of the park when they get it, so there’ll be more broken ball because of it. There is still high-fielding in the game. [But] I don’t see why that should be the protected element of our game… The stop-start nature that it will bring would spoil the game.

"You only have to look at the Compromise Rules stuff - it was stop-start, boringly stop-start. You’d love someone to chair one of these committees and for them to say: leave the game alone."

Burns, who will address delegates this weekend, said: “It’s not a coach’s job to produce a spectacle - their job is to win a game. It’s our job as legislators to try and make the game attractive to watch.”

The playing rules committee also wants to make a tweak to the black card rule by ammending the wording “body collide with an opponent” to simply “collide with an opponent”.

Like many observers, Harte feels the layered disciplinary measures thrust upon referees in particular reached breaking point last year: "It’s very difficult to referee all these rules: black cards, yellow cards, the advantage rule… They’re adding to the degree of difficulty to the referee,” Harte added.

“It’s a ridiculous ask. I recall Ronan McNamee being sent off in our All-Ireland semi-final [against Kerry] last year on a black card when it was a stonewall yellow card. It wasn’t even in the realm of a black card… So we lost one of our best defenders over something he should never have been sent-off for.”

GAA Football

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