Trials are currently being conducted in rugby to increase the value of a try from five points to six. That has got us thinking. The scoring system in rugby has undergone multiple adaptations over the years so now we ask the question if it's time to run similar tests in the GAA?
Here are seven possible changes that Balls proposes for the GAA scoring system.
Scoring From A Sideline Cut: 2 Points
It's a skill that takes years to perfect and is a precious asset for any player to have in their armoury. A few seasoned experts from the modern era spring to mind when you think of the sideline cut including Joe Canning (Galway) and Austin Gleeson (Weaterford). It's really a thing of beauty and now it's time to allocate a more suitable reward of two points.
A Goal From Outside The 21': Six Points
Some call them flukes. But regardless of the modesty exuded by the scorer, we know they planned the whole thing. And if a player - particularly a footballer - can put enough force behind the shot while also keeping it under the bar, then six points on the scoreboard is a justifiable reward.
Check out this screamer from Offaly's Ciaran McManus who had something of a penchant for goals from this distance.
The Maurice Fitzgerald Award For Excellence: 2 Points
Do you remember where you were when you saw THAT point in 2001? Kerry were on the brink of crashing out of the championship against Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final when Kerry were awarded a sideline to level the game and spare their blushes.
The responsibility came to Maurice Fitzgerald and viewers could hardly watch. So there he was, with Dublin former manager Tom Carr chawing in his ear and only a cross-wind to help him steer it over. And score he did with a sweeping kick that brought it dropping right over the black spot.
So if you can emulate that effort, we reckon you should get 2 points for the team and everyone must refer to you as Dragon from now on.
The Kevin Broderick 'Egg And Spoon' Award For Excellence: 3 Points
It's tricky enough trying to balance the sliotar when you have players chasing you in the hope of getting a snaky hook in. But imagine the audacity of actually lobbing the ball over an opponent's head and then controlling it again before whacking it over the bar. Kevin Broderick from Galway did it, why can't you? It'll get you three points for the team and the guarantee of never having to pay for food in Supermacs ever again.
Scoring A Point After Nailing A Lad With A Shoulder: 2 points
The effort expended in landing a good shoulder-to-shoulder tackle can leave the offender fatigued. So if you can manage to legally leave a player in a heap and still maintain the composure to put the ball over the bar, you deserve two points for the team. Bonus point if you can do a Diarmuid O'Sullivan on it and score from within your own half.
Watch the Rock, be the Rock
A Goal After Two Dummies: 6 Points
To score a goal after one dummy is human, to score a goal after two is divine. Dummies include a fake hop of the ball, soloing the ball to yourself or showing the ball to make the defender go the wrong way. Bonus point if you can send Darragh Maloney into hysterics. Watch Tyrone's Eoin Mulligan put this craft into practice against Dublin in 2005 on route to claiming their second of three All-Ireland titles.
A Point After A Dummy: 2 Points
There's nothing more threatening than the sight of a demon of a defender gearing up to maul the ball off you. But you can subdue this beast with a well timed dummy. Refer to previous point for list of acceptable dummies and remember that you must take the shot immediately after the dummy.
Take a look at Stephen O'Neill from Tyrone pulling off a textbook example of the dummy.
Playing In Your Bare Feet: 6 Points
It might seem a bit extreme but could you imagine attempting this and still expecting to see all your toes in place after the match? Hurls flying and studs hoofing down on the grass leaves your unprotected foot totally exposed to a few hits you won't forget. But that didn't stop Tipperary legend Michael 'Babs' Keating from doing it in the 1971 All-Ireland final. There was a problem with one of his boots so he decided to discard them both and play in the nip (feetwise).
You have to remain on the pitch for the whole game bootless. All points are taken away if you are substituted either through poor performance or an injury.
Hitting The Ball Into The Goalie's Hands: Minus 2
'Kill it lads. For God's sake, put it wide if you have to but jaysus don't land it in the goalie's hands.' This is the plea of every dismayed coach in Ireland. So to punish you for such a mortal GAA offence, we propose taking two points away every time this happens.