GAA Football

Only a third of managers engaged in rules process

Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher last weekend labelled the limit placed on consecutive handpasses as "ludicrous". Picture by Philip Walsh.

ONLY a third of inter-county football managers engaged with the Standing Committee on Playing Rules before the controversial new rule changes were implemented.

All incumbent managers were contacted individually at the beginning of October and given a month to respond with their thoughts on how to improve the game, but roughly two-thirds made no response.

Recent weeks have seen a barrage of public criticism by some managers towards the new rules, particularly the limit on consecutive hand-passes.

Fermanagh manager Rory Gallagher this week branded the limit as “ludicrous”, while Down boss Paddy Tally said it was “confusing” and Donegal chief Declan Bonner labelled the change as “crazy stuff”.

The Standing Committee on Playing Rules (SCPR) will present a report to Central Council on January 19, where a decision on whether the rules will be kept on during the National League will be made.

They had initially been signed off for both pre-season provincial competitions and the leagues until the GPA intervened and forced the caveat of a review in mid-January.

The SCPR's report will be compiled by renowned GAA data analyst Rob Carroll based on the statistical analysis of “10 to 12” games played under the new rules.

Making further alterations to the proposed rules – such as removing the limit on handpasses inside the attacking 45', as some commentators have suggested – will not be a matter for the SCPR directly but could happen if Central Council facilitates such a discussion at the meeting next weekend, although it would be an unlikely outcome.

The minor change to the kickout rule, the introduction of the attacking mark and the alteration of the black card are all expected to pass through, though there may be more debate about the merits of the rule that outlaws a sideline ball from being played backwards.

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