There were a number of rule changes passed at the recent GAA Congress and which come into operation from the 14th of May, to be implemented in all competitions. (They are also operative in Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship on Sunday next, 6th May).
The changes are:
Football Only – “Square Ball”
This has been amended to allow a player enter the small rectangle once the final deliberate play of the ball has been made, i.e as soon as the player kicks, hand-passes, fist passes or deliberately flicks the ball into the small rectangle then the attacking player may enter. The rule is unchanged with regard to “Set Play” i.e. Free Kicks, Line Balls and 45s – in these instances players are not permitted to enter the small rectangle before the ball.
Hurling and Football
An additional Power of the Referee has been added as follows:
“To consult, on a needs basis, with a linesman or umpire(s) – where neutral – in order to establish matters of fact. In the case of the Umpires, this shall include consultation concerning the validity of a score when the Referee is in doubt”.
This rule change gives the referee power to consult with the linemen and umpires and will be particularly relevant in the adjudication on “square balls”.
Hurling and Football – Rule 2: The Players, Rules of Specification
This has been amended to allow substitutions be made when the referee has stopped play after a score or wide or for a free, sideline puck/kick or where the Referee has stopped play for medical attention to an injured player.
Previously substitutions could only be made when the ball had gone out of play following a score or a wide, or when a stoppage in play was called by the referee for medical attention to an injured player.