WATCH: The new kick-out and mark rules explained
By John Harrington
The GAA has produced two videos detailing how the new kick-out, kick-out mark, and advanced mark rules will work in Gaelic Football.
These videos are just one element of an education package that should ensure all referees are up to speed with the rule changes after a long period of inaction due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Since Covid-19 kicked in, for most referees it's 20 weeks since we've refereed you know, and even I as a club referee, (I know) it's going to be difficult getting back to it,” says the GAA’s National Match Officials Manager, Donal Smyth.
"For club referees we actually sent out a video that every club referee should have got last week and that contained mental health advice, advice in relation to how to get back up the fitness, and the pathway going forward.
“This week we'll be sending out a video for hurling and football. Two separate videos that will allow them look at their new rules as part of an in-service that they can get up to date on the rules, up to date on some of the stuff for going forward in relation to the new rules.
“It'll be like their in-service they did, but it will be done with a video that they can download themselves and they can watch it back at any stage.
“They should ensure that the Referee's Administrator gets that out to them this week or especially next week before competitive games start because all the new rules are explained and it'll help them get back into thinking about the game.
“We will be getting the information out regarding the new rules on YouTube videos to county boards and to all clubs.
“In the last eight months we've have a real change. We've had the new kick out rule we've had an advance mark and all those things were played in the National League.
“But since Congress 2020 we got two more rules. We got the one in relation to the kick out and the other thing is there's a slight change in the advance mark."
The kick-out and mark rules are explained below.
The ball will be kicked from the ground from the centre of the 20M line. The ball must be kicked forward. All players shall be outside the 20 metres line, outside the semi-cirlce arc, and 13 metres from the ball.
If the goalkeeper is not taking the kick-out, he must remain within the small rectangle. The ball shall not travel less than 13 metres and outside the 20 metre line before being played by another member of the defending team.
A further change was made at GAA Congress 2020. A player in direct receipt of a kick-out may not pass the ball to his team's goalkeeper without another player playing the ball.
A breach of this rule would be a technical foul by the goalkeeper. Under the new rule, this would be a free against the goalkeeper.
If a defender kicks out the ball, the rule does not prevent the ball being kicked back to this defender.
Kick-out mark and advanced mark rules
There have been some changes to the kick-out mark which will align the kick-out mark with the advanced mark. The referee awards the mark by blowing his whistle.
The player will now claim the mark by putting his arm in the air. The player now has 15 seconds to take the mark, previous it was 5 seconds.
If in exceptional circumstances the player cannot take the mark awarded from the kick-out, the nearest team-mate will take the free kick and can score from it. The defending player must retreat 13 metres from the taker, previously it was 10 metres.
The kick-out mark is also designated a set-play. With the advanced mark those conditions apply but certain things must happen for a player to be awarded a mark.
The ball must be kicked by an attacking player, not from a set play, which is a kick-out mark, side-line ball, or from a free. The ball must travel 20M or more from outside the 45M line to a player inside the 45M line. The ball must be caught cleanly without touching the ground, and a defender can claim the mark also.
The referee awards the mark by blowing his whistle and the player claims it by putting up his arm. If a player claims the mark inside the 13 Metre line the ball must be taken out to the 13 Metre line directly in line where the mark was awarded.
If the player decides to play on, as with the kick-out mark, he cannot be tackled for four steps or the length of time it takes to travel four steps and/or makes one act of kicking, hand-passing, bouncing, or toe-tapping the ball.
There is one exception to this, when the ball is caught inside the large rectangle including the small rectangle, he can be tackled immediately. This was changed at GAA Congress 2020.