Cynical fouls to be tackled at next month’s GAA Congress

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Cynical fouls are one of the main issues to be discussed at next month’s GAA Congress.

To combat players being dragged down to the ground preventing a goal scoring opportunity, new rule changes may be brought in.

One of the proposals put forward will see a penalty given for a cynical foul, even if it occurs outside the large rectangle, as long as it denies a goal-scoring opportunity.


The player who commits the foul will also be sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes.

Ardfinnan native Willie Barrett, Chair of the National Referees Development Committee, is hopeful these changes will be approved at congress:

“I think there’s a bit of momentum in terms of people writing and talking and expressing views, both managers etc. about cynical fouling that at times it pays to commit a cynical foul.

“I’d say there is certainly at present, momentum in terms of that and I would be hopeful and believe it will get through the congress.”

Hand-passing is another rule the two-time All-Ireland final referee believes should be enforced more often.

“There’s a growing concern shall I say amongst people as regards the execution of the hand-pass in hurling.

“It’s certainly one that I think referees will have to be very, very vigilant on going forward.

“I think it’s in the interest of everyone that referees will continue and even more strongly penalise that particular foul going forward.

“It’s where there’s not a clear striking action, there must be a clear striking action and I’d certainly say that is one we certainly have to take on board for the year ahead.”