Review committee seeking feedback on state of game
GAELIC FOOTBALL NEWS:THE GAA’S football review committee is accepting feedback on the state of the modern game via a newly-established website.
FRC chairman Eugene McGee is encouraging the game’s various stakeholders, including members of the Gaelic Players Association, referees and coaches to make their views known.
“We’re asking people the things they like about football and the things they dislike,” McGee explained. “And we will meet with all sections of football – second level colleges, people from weaker counties in groups of 10 and 20, privately. And we don’t want too many big names – we’ll look for the ordinary people to give their views.”
McGee revealed that the FRC will report their findings to GAA top brass before the end of the year. Association president Liam O’Neill is particularly anxious to conduct a root-and-branch review of Gaelic football in an attempt to improve the game.
“We’ll definitely report before the end of the year – that’s what the president wants,” McGee confirmed. “And if there’s sufficient evidence, knowledge and information, he wants a national debate next year. We’ll provide more information about the game than has ever been done before and more views than ever will be compiled. What we will come up with is a white paper in effect. The president and his colleagues will take the next step.”
One of the early FRC findings relates to the ratio of kick pass to handpass in the modern game, compared to now. McGee and his colleagues have forensically examined statistical analysis on Gaelic football’s evolution from the 1970s to the present time and results have revealed that in 1970, the ratio of handpass to footpass was 1:1. That had increased, however, to a ratio of 3:1 by 2012.
McGee warned: “If that trend continues, the ratio will be 4:1 or 5:1 in 10 years. At that stage, you’ll have 20 per cent of football being played – with the rest handpass.”
McGee, who guided Offaly to an All-Ireland SFC final victory over Kerry in 1982, explained: “Some of these things can sneak in without the public really noticing. The same thing happened in the 1970s with the handpass. I was directly involved in games against Kerry and Dublin, when the handpass took over. You could handpass scores as well. Goals were thrown into the net and over the bar, allegedly as a handpass.
“It’s now recognised as a fundamental part of football and it shows that traditional skills can die out without people noticing.”