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'I Don't Think The New Rules Encourage Attacking Play' - James Horan

'I Don't Think The New Rules Encourage Attacking Play' - James Horan
By Gary Connaughton
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The new football rules introduced by the GAA have seen mixed results thus far. While many feel that they have added to the game, others feel that their introduction was the result of some needless pandering to those who thought Gaelic football had become 'boring'.

There is no doubt that the rules were introduced to encourage more attacking play, something many felt had gone out of the game. But have they worked? According to Mayo boss James Horan, they haven't.


The five new rules were trialled in the four provincial pre-season tournaments, with Mayo playing two games in the FBD League featuring the alterations. Speaking to Eir Sport, Horan stated his belief that instead of more attacking play being on show, the rules had the opposite effect:

I think the intention is good, in that they are looking at ways to improve the game. I don't think our game is as bad as some would have us believe. But to try and implement five rule changes in the National League, which was the original intent, I think it was crazy.

It shows a little bit of a lack of understanding on where the game is, and how difficult it is, particularly for refs. We have talked to some of the inter-county refs, and we had them down here to try and understand what the rules were and their implications, and all sides are struggling with them.

When we played the two FBD League matches with the new rules, I don't think it promotes or rewards attacking play or behaviour, I genuinely don't. That was the overall intent of what the rule changes were as I take it, to minimise a more possession based game, and to encourage a more attacking, high catching, high fielding game.

That's my take on what the intent was, and it hasn't in any way. In fact, it has done the opposite.

He's certainly not a fan. While many assumed that the new rules would have a profound impact on the way the game is played, that has not happened. Watching some of the games so far this year, one would notice hardly any difference to the flow of the game in comparison to recent seasons.

The three handpass rule only resulted in short kick passes in a scenario when the ball would normally be moved through the hand, likely a major reason why that rule has already been abandoned. The offensive mark has also failed to change all that much, although that is something that may have more of an impact on drier, faster pitch as the year advances.

It will certainly be interesting to see what opinions players and managers hold at the end of the league, but it is quickly becoming clear that the rules are not having the affect that many would hope they would.


SEE ALSO: How Far Have GAA Big Wigs Diverged From The 'People's Game'?

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