Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Armagh legend McConville questions experimental rules

Oisin McConville has called on the GAA to ensure that referees enforce the rules already in place.

In the past week there has been a great emphasis on the experimental rules.

It’s almost as if they are a panacea for all the ills that often plague the sport.

A member of the committee set up to draw up the experimental rules, McConville is adamant that referees must implement the rules already on the statute book.

“There is a problem, we all agreed with the handpass, because the relevant rule wasn’t being enforced,” he said.

“It got to the stage where the game was more like basketball and it was unbelievable the number of different versions of the handpass.

“Initially I saw some merit in players being permitted to lift the ball off the ground.

“But having spoken to some people whose views I would respect they made the point that the pick up was and should remain an integral part of the game.

“I’ll probably be blamed for suggesting that penalties should be taken closer to goal,” said McConville.

“If you look at the penalty conversion rate it’s no more than 30 per cent.

“The feeling was that defenders weren’t being sufficiently punished for conceding penalties and that in a sense it paid to foul.

“Another problem we had was that the relevant rule in the book wasn’t being enforced.

“Goalies were coming off their line long before a kick was taken without being penalised.”

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