The GAA continue to experiment with various rules to try and make gaelic football more attacking, with some proving far more successful than others. The offensive mark was widely hailed as a success during the National Football League, but some of the other rules seemed to have little effect on the game.
Considering this, it is not surprising the GAA are looking at other potential changes. One they may choose to revisit is the ban on goalkeeper back passes.
It is a rule that was suggested by the Standing Committee for Playing Rules last year, but did not make it beyond the early round of ideas. The law would stop outfield players from passing the ball to their goalkeeper.
Speaking to members of the media in Scotstown yesterday (h/t Irish News), GAA President John Horan said it was a rule they could look at again later this year, and could be implemented without a trial period.
A proposal on changing the rule doesn’t have to be experimented on.
The stats on it, of the 20 games that were analysed for the National League, there was an average of 10 back passes to the goalkeeper.
If you think about it, if you take out the goalkeeper as the safety valve behind the defence, it then allows the team to press forward much more and actually draw them out instead of going back behind.
It was unfortunate that we didn’t get it into the mix at the particular time, but it’s there for debate now and it will be put out for people to talk about.
I'm not saying this is going to happen - I'm only saying it's out there for debate.
This change would not go down well with many people within the sport. Many teams have evolved to use their goalkeeper as an extra outfield players in recent times, allowing them to launch attacks form the back.
Graham Brody of Laois and Niall Morgan of Tyrone are two of the most well-known examples. Taking this away from the game would seem like a backwards step.
The logic behind its implementation is also flawed. Even if you take the goalkeeper out of the equation, it would not stop teams from passing the ball backwards.
This one seems like a non-starter to us.