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'The Feedback Is Very Positive' As Gaelic Football's New Rules Are Trialled

'The Feedback Is Very Positive' As Gaelic Football's New Rules Are Trialled
By PJ Browne

Reaction to the five proposed new Gaelic football rules has been positive according to referee Conor Lane.

Earlier this month, the GAA announced that the new rules - which include a restriction on handpassing, the introduction of an offensive mark and a new kick-out protocol - would go through a consultation process during October.

If approved, the new rules will be implemented for the 2019 league, though, not for next year's championship.

The consultation process has included trial games at college level. Lane has not been involved in those games but he has heard from colleagues.

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"David Gough has been involved, Cormac Reilly and Brendan Crawley have done those games, the Thursday night college games," said Lane at the launch of the GAA's new Referee Development Plan.

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"The feedback is very positive. I was chatting to the lads and Pat Doherty [National Match Officials Manager] about it this morning. The feedback has been good.

"I haven't been involved because they've all been in Kildare and Dublin. I'm from Cork so it would be too much of a trip for me to travel up on a Thursday."

Lane believes the new rules could speed up the game.

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Hurling would be my first love. From refereeing hurling in Cork when the defender gets the ball he's trying to get it up the field as fast as he can.

Football at the moment is just a bit slow, so, for me, the quicker we get the ball up the field the more attractive it is for the fans and the more attractive it is for everyone.

Some players have suggested that the new rules could overburden referees. Lane does not think this will be the case.

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"I was involved in the Australian Rules last year and we had the six handpasses rule in it. It was very easy to get it into it.

"It's all about the players buying into it as well. We can all be negative and moan about stuff, we just have to get on with life. It's all positive for us really, we love the extra workload."

Lane also believes that Gaelic football does not require a second referee, as is used in International Rules.

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"This [International Rules] is a different game because it's so fast. The interchanging would be faster. The ball is up and down the field more often whereas our Gaelic football is more lateral. The ball is across more often.

"I think one referee is more than enough. I wouldn't be shouting for two referees at all.

"I don't think our game is fast enough for it. The ball is going back and across a lot. One is plenty for us at the moment anyway.

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"We're not taking that much of a workload on board."

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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