Sigerson serving as final trial for hooter
GAA director general Páraic Duffy has confirmed that most of the grounds used for provincial and All-Ireland series games have the public match clock in place for the new hooter system. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
With near perfect
timing this weekend’s Sigerson Cup finals at Queen’s University will act as a final trial for the GAA’s new hooter system of match-timing, which this weekend’s Congress in Croke Park will look to approve for all football and hurling championship matches.
Last year’s Congress approved the hooter for use in football championship matches, on the back of the recommendations of the Football Review Committee (FRC). On Saturday, motion 3, submitted by Central Council, will look to extend that to both football and hurling.
The exact wording of the motion reads: “That the addition to Rule 3 Official Guide, Part 11, 2012, as approved at Congress 2013 be amended as follows: (1) “A public time-clock shall be used at Croke Park and in all grounds used for the provincial and All-Ireland series senior football and hurling championship Games, the latter for the Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy Cups. (2) Remainder of the addition approved at Congress 2013 to remain unaltered.
According to GAA director general Páraic Duffy, most of the grounds used for provincial and All-Ireland series games have this facility in place, the estimated €150,000 cost of which has been met by Central Council.
Effectively, the responsibility for keeping track of time during senior championship matches is being taken out of the referee’s hands.
Ahead of the Sigerson Cup, the semi-finals of which take place tomorrow afternoon, with the final on Saturday, the workings of the system have been outlined:
“A timekeeper shall be appointed who shall control the clock and hooter on the instruction of the referee; the clock shall count up from 0.00; there shall be in place a “public” clock which shall be the official match clock.
“The timekeeper shall also keep time on his stop-watch for back-up purposes. The timekeeper shall stop the clock when directed to do so by the referee in the case of relevant on-field injuries or for deliberate or other incidental delays.
“For the avoidance of doubt, substitutions, issuing of yellow/black/red cards and consultation between match officials etc shall not normally result in the clock being stopped. The timekeeper shall restart the clock when directed to do so by the referee”. Should the referee fail to instruct on restarting the clock, the timekeeper can do so immediately when he observes the play re-start.
Tomorrow’s Sigerson semi-finals at the Upper Malone Sports complex at Queen’s, will see UCC play NUI Maynooth (3.30) and University of Ulster Jordanstown face UCD (5.30).