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New Square Ball Rule from Monday 14th May

By damian Sat 12th May

30ú Aibreán 2012
A chara,
Please note the following Playing Rule changes which were passed at Congress on Saturday, 14th April. These changes will become operative one month from Congress (i.e 14th May) and are to be implemented in all competitions. (They are also operative in Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship on Sunday next, 6th May).  We would ask that you notify all club referees of these changes and the implementation date.

  1. 1. Football Only – “Square Ball”

This has been amended to allow a player enter the small rectangle once the final deliberate play of the ball has been made, i.e as soon as the player kicks, hand-passes, fist passes or deliberately flicks the ball into the small rectangle then the attacking player may enter.  The rule is unchanged with regard to “Set Play” i.e. Free Kicks, Line Balls and 45s – in these instances players are not permitted to enter the small rectangle before the ball.
The text of the new rule is attached as an Appendix to this correspondence.

  1. 2. Hurling and Football

An additional Power of the Referee has been added as follows:
“To consult, on a needs basis, with a linesman or umpire(s) – where neutral – in order to establish matters of fact. In the case of the Umpires, this shall include consultation concerning the validity of a score when the Referee is in doubt”.
This rule change gives the referee power to consult with the linemen and umpires and will be particularly relevant in the adjudication on “square balls”.

  1. Hurling and Football – Rule 2: The Players, Rules of Specification

This has been amended to allow substitutions be made when the referee has stopped play after a score or wide or for a free, sideline puck/kick or where the Referee has stopped play for medical attention to an injured player.
Previously substitutions could only be made when the ball had gone out of play following a score or a wide, or when a stoppage in play was called by the referee for medical attention to an injured player.
If you have any queries then please give me a call.
Is mise,
Pádraig Ó Dochartaigh
Bainisteoir Náisiúnta Oifigigh na gCluichí
Rule 4.9 Official Guide Part 2 – Rules of Foul Play – Rule 4 Technical Fouls:
“For an attacking player to enter opponents’ small rectangle:
(a) During Play (excluding Set Play), before the final play of the ball into the small rectangle
(b) In Set Play, before the ball enters the small rectangle.
(i) If an attacking player legally enters the small rectangle, and the ball is played from that area but is returned before the attacking player has time to leave the area, provided he does not play the ball or interfere with the defence, a foul is not committed.
(ii) When a point is scored from outside the small rectangle and the ball is sufficiently high to be out of reach of all players, the score shall be allowed even though an attacking player may have been, otherwise illegally, within the small rectangle before the ball – provided that the player in question does not interfere with the defence.”

By damian Sat 12th May

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