GAA Special Congress 2019: The motions explained
By John Harrington
Five motions will be voted on during GAA Special Congress this Saturday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
This motion proposes that the All-Ireland SFC would adopt a two-tier structure after the provincial championships which would be played as currently.
The All-Ireland Qualifiers will be open to teams from Allianz League Divisions 1 and 2 and any Division 3 or 4 teams who qualify for their Provincial Final.
This will mean only two full rounds of All-Ireland Qualifiers in future as opposed to four - an additional Preliminary Round is provided for, however, in years where more than 8 teams are eligible to participate in Round 1.
It is proposed to then introduce a new straight knockout Tier 2 Championship for all Division 3 and 4 teams that do not reach their Provincial Finals.
A range of marketing and promotional supports will be committed to the new competition, as well as the use of Croke Park for semi-finals and finals and a planned increase in TV coverage.
This motion will effectively determine what counties will play in Tier 2 in any given year. There are two options for delegates to consider. If Option 1 is passed, it would mean that teams that compete in Division Three and Division Four of the Allianz Football League in the year prior to the competition year would compete in Tier 2 if they do not qualify for their provincial final.
Option 2 would mean that the outcome of the Allianz Leauges in the current competition year would determine what teams compete in Tier 2.
In other words, the two counties promoted from Division Three in the competition year will be eligible for Tier 1, and the two counties relegated from Division 2 in the competition year will be eligible for Tier 2 if they don't reach a provincial final.
This motion is the first of three playing rules motions and proposes the introduction of an advanced mark.
If this motion is passed, then the referee will award a mark when a player catches the ball cleanly on or inside a 45m line from a kick in play delivered by an attacking player on or beyond the opposition's 45m line that travels at least 20m and without it touching the ground.
The rationale behind this proposed rule change is to offer an incentive for the longer kicking of the ball into the opposition's defensive area and reward players who catch the ball cleanly under this circumstacnes with a mark.
This motion proposes the introduction of a ten-minute sin-bin for a player who commits a black card offence. Teams would not allowed to replace the player while he is in the sin-bin so would be at a numerical disadvantage for that 10 minute period. If a player commits another black card offence after returning to the field he is red-carded.
If a player has previously been yellow-carded before receiving a black card then he will be debarred from playing for the remainder of the game.
The rationale behind this motion is to reduce a rise in cynical play and 'professional' fouling by implementing a penalty 'on the day' that encourages behavioural change.
This motion proposes that goalkeepers must take their kick-out from the 20 metre line. They must kick the ball forward and team-mates must be 13 metres from the ball until it has been kicked.
The rationale behind this motion is to encourage teams to kick the ball further up the field from the kick-out and to present opportunities for the skill of clean catching by bolstering the existing mark rule.