GAA Football

'Common sense' prevailed over decision not to use handpass rule in final says Ulster Council secretary Brian McAvoy

Andy Watters

ULSTER Secretary Brian McAvoy said that "common sense prevailed" in a discussion on whether the experimental three-handpass rule should be used in last weekend's Dr McKenna Cup and Connacht's FBD League finals.

The unpopular rule was voted out (25-23) at a meeting of the GAA's Central Council on Saturday and, rather than use it in the pre-season finals, a decision was taken to do away with it immediately.

"The Ulster Council agreed with the Connacht Council, Croke Park and the four competing counties in the McKenna Cup final and the FBD final (Armagh, Tyrone, Roscommon and Galway) that, as Central Council had agreed to decommission the handpass rule, it wouldn't apply in the pre-season finals in Ulster or Connacht," McAvoy explained.

"It did take all four competing counties to be in agreement that, because Central Council had removed the rule, it wouldn't be used."

He added: "Some people felt that because we had started the competition under the rules we should have finished it (under the same rules). The regulation was clear that it should be used in pre-season competitions but it didn't say it had to be used in every game of the pre-season competition.

"Prior to the vote we wouldn't have considered not using it but once it's been rejected you were going to be asking players to play under a rule that had been rejected. Common sense prevailed."

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