As much as rule changes have been debated in the GAA in recent times, one that has often been overlooked is the advanced mark in Gaelic football.
While the law was brought into the sport last year, we did not see it utilised all that often in the 2020 championship. That could change this season as teams become more used to it being part and parcel of the game.
That could have major consequences. The amount of frees awarded in hurling over the last two weekends has been a huge point of contention and the mark could have a similar effect in the other code.
While it is one thing to award a magnificent piece of high fielding, getting a free for a simple pop pass into the chest is a very different thing.
Speaking on Allianz League Sunday, Tomás Ó Sé said he is certainly not a fan of the advanced mark rule and believes that it has the potential to have major negatives impacts on the future of the game.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) May 16, 2021
This is something that has been in my head constantly. I love the game of football, there are certain things that have to be changed, but I think this is a rule that shouldn't have been brought in.
Football was changing at the time, there was long kicking coming in. I don't think the rule has done anything for it.
There is more kicking in the game, but I think the rule completely dilutes it. You have marks in the defence, marks in midfield, marks in the forwards. You're teaching defenders that the game is not up when they get a ball.
I think it's completely, totally, and utterly not our game. It has been slipped in under the radar, these short [kicks] going across the field.
I don't think it has been exploited as it can be. We had covid when it was brought in last year and teams were trying to get themselves organised.
I really, really feel strongly about it. I think it's a total cop out.
It is difficult to argue with that assessment.
Gaelic football would certainly become a far less enjoyable sport to watch should the advanced mark become a more frequent part of general attacking play.