Hurling’s attitude to FRC proposals will be interesting

The Football Review Committee (FRC) report which was published last week may not attract much attention in this county.

The Football Review Committee (FRC) report which was published last week may not attract much attention in this county.

Nevertheless, it produced some interesting proposals with the inevitable question being whether Gaelic football and hurling are heading in different directions. Some of the proposals are already in place and apply to both codes, but they are not being implemented by every GAA unit.

The call for a phased introduction of mandatory coaching qualifications, particularly for managers/coaches of adult teams at club and county level, is relevant to football and hurling.

So too is a proposal to distinguish between accidental and deliberate fouls, with only deliberate fouls invoking a card punishment.

But it is the proposal that any player who is issued with a yellow card should be subject to mandatory substitution for the remainder of the game that is causing most controversy.

That proposal is further expanded by debarring a team from further substitutions if their players have picked up three yellow cards during a game.

The issue of a player accumulating yellow cards during the season is also covered with a proposal that a cumulative total of three yellow cards for an individual player in any one grade in the same year would lead to a two-match suspension.

A further proposal which states that all offences currently attracting a 13-metre sanction should attract a 30-metre sanction is as relevant to hurling as football.

A proposed new advantage rule is likely to be welcomed by all Gaelic footballers. It also appears to be relevant and suitable for hurling.

Introducing a time clock and extending club adult games to 70 minutes are less controversial and clearly relevant to both codes.

Motions will now be prepared over the coming months for submission to the 2013 Congress in Derry. This big decision for the GAA is whether those motions will only cover Gaelic football.

So where does hurling stand in relation to what are clearly overlapping issues for the two codes? A relevant and pertinent question!

Interestingly, I only heard one senior GAA official commenting on the relevance of (at least some) of the FRC proposals when it came to hurling.

It has been argued by hurling followers that as Gaelic football and hurling are such different sports their rules should not overlap to the extent that they do at present.

The FRC proposals could well steer the two GAA codes in different directions. I know many may applaud such a development, but the implications need close scrutiny.