The GAA Hurling 2020 Committee launched its report, which outlines 15 proposals to improve the game, in Croke Park on Tuesday January 6th.
Chaired by Tipperary’s 2010 All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy, the GAA Hurling 2020 Committee was established by GAA President Liam Ó Néill in March 2014 with a broad remit to improve the game of hurling.
The Committee met for the first time on April 22 and underwent an extensive consultation process to gain feedback on the issues that pertain to the game at all levels.
- Website/Survey: An online survey was completed by 3,859 people between June 25 and August 5. A further 100 submissions were made by email and by post
- Stakeholder Meetings: The Committee met with the Medical Scientific and Welfare Committee, Coaching & Games Development Committee and Referees Committee among others
- Focus Group Meetings: Focus groups were held with • Media, Liam MacCarthy counties, Leinster Round-Robin counties, Christy Ring Cup counties, Nicky Rackard Cup counties, Lory Meagher Cup counties.
Following the consultation process, a number of key proposals were arrived at, which can be divided into eight broad categories.
Section 1: Hurling Participation
- Work with an external consultancy organisation to produce a best practice template to be used as a blueprint to share with all counties which if followed will help to build up hurling within each county from its foundations.
- Establish a full-time Director of Hurling role.
Section 2: Proposals For Rule Changes
- The Hurling 2020 committee proposes that the awarding of a penalty in hurling will result in the penalty taker having to face one defender on the line. The ball can be placed anywhere outside the 20m line but must be struck no closer than 20m.
- The Hurling 2020 committee proposes the existing rule be changed to allow for just three defenders on the goal line while enshrining in rule that the ball cannot be struck any closer than the 20m line.
- New Advantage Rule to replace Rule 4.36 and Rule 5.35, for implementation in 2015 (See full report for further details)
- To ensure fairness and consistency, we propose the standardisation of the ball in hurling at all levels.
Section 3: Disciplinary Structures
- Set up a Hurling Referees Sub-Committee at National level from 2015 onwards
- To order off a player who commits a second Cautionable Foul/Infraction by showing him a second Yellow Card followed by pointing to the sideline to indicate he can no longer take part in the game. Allow a replacement from within the substitutions permitted in Rule 2.4, Rules of Specification.
Section 4: Competition Structures
- Remove all Promotion/Relegation playoffs involving teams in different divisions in the Allianz Hurling Leagues.
- Remove the Promotion/Relegation playoff involving the bottom team in the Leinster Round-Robin competition and the Christy Ring Cup champion. Instead, the bottom Leinster Round-Robin team would be relegated to the Christy Ring Cup while the Christy Ring Cup champion would be automatically promoted as a reward for winning the competition.
- Increase the length of time to play the Christy Ring Cup from five weekends to seven weekends.
- Play the Christy Ring Cup Final as a curtain raiser to a high profile Liam MacCarthy Cup All-Ireland Senior Hurling Qualifier
Section 5: The Club
- Reset the terms of reference of the Central Fixtures Oversight Body to ensure the Club Fixtures Schedule, which provides regular games and activity, is adhered to.
Section 8: Miscellaneous
- Increase the number of ‘Maor Camán’/’Maor Uisce’ by one for senior inter-county hurling league and championship games starting in 2015.
- Allocate squad numbers to each team in the Liam MacCarthy Cup prior to their team’s first game.
GAA Hurling 2020 Committee: Liam Sheedy (Chairman), Ed Donnelly (Secretary), Pat Henderson (Kilkenny), Des Cullinane (Cork), Terence ‘Sambo’ McNaughton (Antrim), Ollie Moran (Limerick), Veronica Curtin (Galway), Frank Lohan (Clare), Ollie Canning (Galway) and Paul Flynn (Waterford).