40 motions to be voted on at GAA Congress 2018
By John Harrington
A total of 40 motions will go before the GAA's 2018 Annual Congress to be debated and voted on.
Three of those motions have been put forward by Central Council, 15 by the Rules Advisory Committee, and 22 from GAA units.
The first motion put forward by Central Council seeks to prohibit sponsorship by a betting company of any competition, team, playing gear, or facility.
The second Central Council motion proposes that sanctions for players looking to play in Canadian Board, USGAA board, or New York Board areas must be granted by June 15th at the latest.
Previously the cut-off date was July 1 for the Canadian and USGAA boards, and July 20 for the New York GAA Board.
The third motion from Central Council proposes to remove the section of Rule 1.18 which currently allows a sponsor's brand name to be displayed on jackets, tops, jerseys, and kit-bags of match officials.
Many of the 15 Rules Advisory Committee motions are purely technical in nature, though some are potentially significant.
Motion 7 from the Rules Advisory Committee proposes giving individual counties the autonomy to determine its underage grades for club competitions from U-21 down to U-11 subject to the following eligibility years' spans.
U-21: A five years span; U-20 down to U-14/13 - a four years' span; U-12/11 - a three years' span.
So, for example, for a player to be eligible for the U-16 grade he must have celebrated his 12th birthday prior to January 1st or his 16th birthday on or after January 1st of the Championship year.
A number of the motions from the Rules Advisory Committee deal with penalties for specific infractions.
One of these, Motion 10, proposes to give a one-match ban to any player guilty of the following infraction - "Minor physical interference (e.g. laying a hand on, pushing, pulling, or jostling) with an opposition team official either on or off the field of play".
The 21 motions put forward by the GAA units are quite diverse generally, though some are similar in nature.
Both the Offaly County Board and Tipperary club Kilsheelan-Kilcash are proposing that the All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship be replaced by an All-Ireland U-20 Hurling Championship.
But whereas Offaly are proposing an unrestricted U-20 Championship in terms of player eligibility, Kilsheelan-Kilcash want it to be limited to players who have not been previously part of an inter-county senior championship panel.
A motion from Longford and Wexford also deals with the issue of player eligibility at U-20, but in their case purely U-20 football.
They are proposing that only players who play a senior championship match for their county will be ineligible to play for the county U-20 footballers.
As matter stand currently, a player is only excluded from U-20 duty if he is named in the 26-man panel for a Senior Football Championship match.
Another motion relating to player eligibility comes from the Bray Emmets club in Wicklow and deals with special eligibility players - players who are eligible to play for county team of one of their parents or the county of their residence, while still playing with their own home club.
The motion effectively proposes that only counties competing in the Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups can avail of these players.
Another motion of note comes from Britain GAA who propose to give GAA Central Council the power to authorise the use of all GAA property located outside of Ireland and which are owned or controlled by units of the Association for games other than those controlled by the Association.