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'It's A Huge Difference, A Really Big Deal For Mayo' - The MacHale Park Hinderance

'It's A Huge Difference, A Really Big Deal For Mayo' - The MacHale Park Hinderance
Maurice Brosnan
By Maurice Brosnan
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In three of the last four years, Mayo have been felled at home in the Connacht Championship against hard-working, resolute opposition. For a team that favours an expansive gameplan, a trend is becoming apparent that they do not like a tight pitch.

On this week's Three-Man Weave, the Balls.ie GAA podcast, the lads pointed to the kick-out strategies and Roscommon bench as crucial factors, while also discussing the impact MacHale Park's pitch has on the home side.

Full discussion: 1.57


The issue arose last year when Tyrone altered the dimensions prior to Dublin's visit to Omagh. The GAA has a minimum length of 130m and a maximum of 145m maximum. In terms of width, it is 80m-90m.

gaa pitch size

Dimensions can vary on the whim of groundskeepers or manager but MacHale Park claims to be 137 x 82 m. That is considerably less than grounds like Cusack Park and Semple Stadium, which claim to use the maximum. Interestingly, one of the smallest in the country is St Conleth's Park, at 135 x 80 m.

This is the same ground Mayo lost their last Championship game prior to Sunday.

Mick: Normally you'd say 'ah, what difference does it make?' but look at the '65s. They are so close to each other compared to the hurling from Sunday in Pearse Stadium where Mayo's biggest rivals play their home games. There is a huge difference.

It suits teams who want to bunch as much as possible. Mayo are not playing that way. I did see fans having a real discussion about this, their own home ground isn't suited to their style right now.

Mark: Perception is always an issue, Croke Park is 144m x 86m which is less than a lot of grounds. Even goals, if you take out a measuring tape and measure out six and a half metres, GAA goals are that wide. You won't believe it when you look at the length, but they are.

Maurice: There is a massive factor within this, it's subject to change. Brewster Park claims to be 145mx83m. In reality, look at the amount of space the sideline reporter had before the game. Quigley took a sideline and it took a deflection, then went out for another sideline on the other side!

To listen to the full podcast, search 'Balls.ie' on Spotify, iTunes, Pocketcast or any other good podcast platform or click here. 

SEE ALSO: The One Club County, Mayo Mayhem, Tiers Championship Debate - Three Man Weave




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