Cynical fouling the main target of detailed report
Among the other headline proposals is the revival of one of the 2010 playing rule experiments, the mark. This will be awarded for a clean catch beyond a team’s 45 from a kick-out. The fielder can either take a kick or play through, as in International Rules.
This was a proposal that might have had a chance of acceptance at congress nearly three years ago but debate on the topic was curtailed and it fell by the wayside.
Another major issue concerned the experience of club players and the manner in which the inter-county season impinges on local fixtures.
“One of the most upsetting findings in the survey,” according to McGee, “concerns club fixtures. Of 1,000 players who responded, 50 per cent thought that club fixtures were ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. It’s very sobering that such a large number of players are disgusted by the provision of fixtures.
“We have to be always conscious that 98 per cent of players have never stood in a county jersey.”
One proposal is that each county’s Competitions Control Committee should have exclusive competence in the area of fixtures, as county boards are felt to be too susceptible to pressure from inter-county managers, as McGee related.
“One county board chairman pointed out that his CCC had stood their ground on an important club match but a motion was put to the county board committee and they overruled the CCC.
“Now this motion here is to prevent that happening. The trouble with one fixture or two fixtures being called off is the ramifications of even one county minor manager behaving in this manner.
“It can upset 20 teams just like that. You know that one of the main sources of complaint . . . is the outrageous horror stories – a wedding that had to be cancelled because someone decided the game was more important, or not, and they are told on a Tuesday night that a match is off and they don’t know when it will be on.”
Other proposals include the extension of all adult club matches’ duration from an hour to 70 minutes. A countdown clock is also proposed, differing from the universal adoption accepted by congress in 2011 but shelved for financial reasons in that it is to be rolled out first at Croke Park and all grounds used for senior inter-county fixtures.