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"If The Player Does Not Obviously Stop..." - GAA Seek To Clarify Finer Points Around The Mark

"If The Player Does Not Obviously Stop..." - GAA Seek To Clarify Finer Points Around The Mark
By Conor Neville Updated

 In a press briefing today, the GAA have sought to clarify some of the finer points around the introduction of 'The Mark'.

The rule change just cleared the two-thirds majorty threshold at this year's Congress, was trialled in the Higher Education League this summer, and will be introduced for all Gaelic football competitions from 1 January 2017.

In the past, GAA rule changes have been known to foster confusion among both players and supporters. Some of this, no doubt, is down to lack of education - on the part of the latter in particular.

There are supporters out there now who scream "where's your black card, ref?" after every conceivable infringement. Bizarrely, this cry is often heard even in cases where the infraction clearly warrants a red card.

In the interests of clearing up any confusion, the GAA have answered a series of questions about the Mark that they have deemed "frequently asked."

Below some of the trickier questions are clarified.

(We'll assume that everyone knows that the mark only applies to kick-outs and can only be called between the two 45s. Also the player fielding the ball can call the mark even if the opposing goalkeeper took the kick out.)

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How does the player who is awarded the "Mark", "signify to the referee" that he is availing of the free kick?

In order to signify that he wishes to take a free kick, the player who catches the ball and is awarded "the mark" by the referee should stop playing. If he does not obviously stop it should taken that he is playing on.

How long has the player awarded the "Mark" to take the free kick?

He should not delay longer than five seconds.

Otherwise...

The Mark and free kick shall be cancelled and a throw-in between one player from each side is awarded.

If the player awarded the Mark is injured in the process what is the award?

Any teammate may take the free kick from the hands but he may not score directly from the kick. 

When the player awarded the Mark decides to play on, when may he be tackled?7

He may be tackled after he takes four steps of plays the ball in any way. 

A few interesting fine points there. The player availing of the mark "must obviously stop" and if the player is too injured to avail of the mark then his teammate can step in but he can't score.

They also released this accompanying video showcasing lads plucking the ball out of the sky, from Brian Mullins to Kevin Walsh to Colm Cavanagh.

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Read more: Cast Your Vote For The Ultimate Donegal GAA Cult Hero

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