Black Card Success
The black card has been a huge success in the GAA. That's according to the chairman of the committee who proposed it's introduction anyway. He admits that there are a few small issues with the new card, but overall it has been a success.
There are less frees and more scores, that’s the first thing. The goals are up, the points are up and there have been fewer cards and frees. That has to be good and we’ve seen a similar trend in club games.
McGee admits that the black card was never going to signal a massive change in football, citing the resistance to change whenever there is any attempt to curb indiscipline. He feels that once the referee applies the new rules correctly, and don't settle for showing a yellow card instead of a black card.
The number of cards overall is down by about 40 percent, the yellow and red cards have been reduced even though there might be a perception referees have used the yellow card when they should have shown the black card.
McGee cites the All-Ireland semi final as an example for this, with Shane McEnright receiving a yellow for Kerry against Mayo when he should have had a black card.
It’s inbred in the GAA DNA, don’t send a fella off unless he has half-killed a player. That’s a problem that I presume the referees are working on over the winter and hopefully they’ll solve it. If it’s a black card, it should be a black card.
McGee does see things as a work in progress though, and while cards are significantly down, he thinks the new system may take a year to sort out some discrepancies, and for the referees to feel more comfortable and definitive using the black cards. Overall, he feels that cynical play is down and this has lead to a better spectacle for all.