GAA Football

Special Congress 2017: Short kick-out move a 'sensible' call says committee chairman Jarlath Burns

Armagh's Jarlath Burns gets up above Down midfielders Sean Ward and Gregory McCartan at Clones in 1998. Picture by Ann McManus
Neil Loughran

DUBLIN boss Jim Gavin might have to tweak some of his tactical plans next year after a new rule banning kick-outs that don’t travel outside the 20-metre line was passed at Saturday’s Special Congress.

The motion was brought by the Standing Committee on Playing Rules, and means goalkeepers can no longer go short into the corners, with any breach of this rule resulting in a throw-up on the 20-metre line.

Perhaps unsurprisingly there was some opposition from the floor, most notably from Dublin, whose long-serving goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton is credited with revolutionising the use of short kick-outs.

“We are punishing the team that wants to innovate and rewarding the teams who want to play negatively,” said Dublin delegate Mick Seavers.

“This rewards the people that can't play ball properly.”

But Burns feels the new rule is a “sensible” introduction to Gaelic football after the motion received 82 per cent of the vote.

“From our own perspective and the committee on playing rules, I think it was a very sensible change to be brought in,” said the former Armagh midfielder, chairman of the Standing Committee on Playing Rules.

“It wasn't overly-radical, you can't afford to be overly-radical when you are trying to get changes through Congress. It was reasonable - I think if you approach rule changes from that perspective it’s easier to get them in. Eighty-two percent today I thought was a great endorsement and we’re very, very pleased.

“If you wanted to get a motion through, today was the day to do it because we were definitely in the mood for change and Congress, the way it was today, I felt it was very focused.”

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