Congress Will Vote On Three Proposed Football Rule Changes On October 19th

A Gaelic football on a grass pitch to signify the three proposed football rule changes to be voted on at Special Congress

The GAA have revealed additional tweaks to the three proposed football rule changes that the GAA’s Special Congress will vote on on Saturday fortnight.

The three changes to the football playing rules are the Advanced Mark, a sin bin and a change to the kick-outs.

The advanced Mark was trialled during the National League to a mixed reaction. A mark was awarded to players who cleanly caught a ball which was kicked in or outside the opponents 45 metre line and traveled at least 20 metres without touching the ground.

The black card was introduced a few years to stop cynical play, but as a player who is black carded can be replaced there have been questions about how much a punishment it is for teams and it’s being proposed to bring in a 10 minute sin bin for players who receive a black card.

The final proposed football rule change is in relation to kick-outs and its proposed that all kick-outs be taken from the 20 metre line.

There are additional tweaks that have been added to each of the three proposed football rule changes.

As well as the above, for the advanced mark the player must now signal to the referee that he is taking the mark by raising his arm upright very much like players do in Aussie Rules.

If the mark is awarded to the attacking team inside the 13 metre line, the player must take his free-kick from the 13 metre line directly in line with where it was awarded.

The rule for how long a player has to take the kick before the mark is cancelled is proposed to be extended from 5 seconds to 15 seconds.

Defending players must now retreat 13 metres. If the kick taker is impeded the referee will penalise the offending team by bringing the ball forward to the attacking 13m line.

If the referee determines a player has been injured while taking a mark and is unable to take the kick, the nearest player will be directed to take it and may score from it. This may only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

Tweaks to the proposed 10 minute sin bin include a reduction in the maximum number of substitutions during normal playing time from six to five and if a player receives a black card with less that ten minutes of normal playing time left can play in extra-time but must serve his remaining time in the sin-bin first.

And finally the new proposed kick-out rule will see all kick-outs take. From the centre of the 20 metre line and must go forward. If for some reason the goalkeeper isn’t taking the kick-out he must stand outside the 20m line, outside the semi-circular arc and 13 metres from the ball until it has been kicked.

Opponents cannot be inside the 20m line, inside the semi-circular arc or nearer than 13 metres from the ball until a kick-out is taken. The penalty for a failure to do so is the awarding of a free 13 metres forward from where the kick-out was taken.

The proposed introduction of a Tier 2 senior football Championship will also be voted at Congress on the 19th of October.

If the proposal is passed then from next season only teams from Division 1 and Division 2 of the Allianz Football League will be eligible for the All-Ireland qualifiers along with any counties from the lower two divisions that happen to make their respective provincial final.

Teams from Division 3 and 4 will go straight into a tier two championship, which will be run on a straight knock-out basis. From 2021, the Tier 2 winners would also be guaranteed a spot in the qualifiers, regardless of League placings.

The big question for delegates to vote on is to decide whether ‘Division 3 and 4 teams’ will be designated as such based on their final League standings, incorporating promotion and relegation, as of April 2019 or April 2020.