GAA Football

GAA look to ban Maor Foirnes entering pitch and force off players treated for injury

The GAA is aiming to bring in a new rule that would see any player treated by a physio on the pitch forced to leave the field until the next break in play. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.

MAOR Foirnes will be banned from entering the field of play and players will be forced to leave the field after receiving physio treatment if proposed new rules are passed by the GAA's annual congress next month.

The freedom of the Maor Foirne to encroach on to the pitch has led to teams appearing to use it in a very cynical manner.

The issue came to a particular head last May when Dublin hurling Maor Foirne, Greg Kennedy caught the ball from a TJ Reid free during their game with Kilkenny, preventing a goal chance which enraged Cats' boss Brian Cody.

The rules had allowed for the Maor Foirne to enter the pitch during a break in play, although some counties – most notably Dublin, through Jason Sherlock – appeared to use the leeway to interfere with the game without touching the ball, by running into certain areas on the opposition's kickouts.

It's understood that the GAA will, through the Standing Committee for Playing Rules, propose a ban on team officials entering the pitch.

It will also attempt to cut off cynicism surrounding how teams deal with the new sin-bin punishment for the black card.

There have been concerns that teams would eat up the 10 minutes for which they will be reduced by a man for a black card offence by ensuring the game is stopped to treat injuries.

Stopping the game is only a requirement if the referee feels there may be a head injury, although the apparent rise in such incidents has led the GAA to look for another way to curtail cynicism.

The proposed new rule would take a leaf from soccer's book and force anyone treated by a physio on the pitch to then leave the field until the next break in play.

If applied during a sin-bin period, it would leave a team down to 13 men for a brief period, something that is likely to act as a deterrent to teams attempting to kill the 10-minute punishment time.

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GAA Football