HomeFootballGaelic football – time for a rethink

Gaelic football – time for a rethink


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Sir, – Some 30 years or so ago I did an experiment.

I recorded the scores by all the teams in that year’s championship and discovered that the number of points scored was almost exactly six times the number of goals. I concluded that the goal was undervalued and that it should be worth about five points.

If the same experiment were carried out now, the ratio would certainly be much higher.

The skill of players in scoring points from all angles and distances is admirable, but I wonder if the goal was worth about seven points and there were more attempts at goal would the game be improved.

I see no reason why this could not be done. In my time, the try in rugby has been increased from three points to five and the drop-goal reduced from four points to three. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6.

Sir, – The main problems, as I see them, arise from the tackle, the hand-pass, illicit holding of the ball, and the number of players on the field.

A mixture of a maul and a brawl, the tackle involves punching the ball in the player’s possession and often punching the player. The hapless possessor drops to a kneeling position, surrounded by three or four opponents. A one-on-one shoulder charge and attempts to block the kick should be the extent of the tackle; otherwise the player in possession should get a free. The hand-pass should be fisted not slapped or, best of all, not allowed. It is getting very close to the “basketball” decried by the old players.

The referees are not enforcing the important three-step rule on carrying the ball.

Many problems result from overcrowding on the pitch. Players nowadays are bigger and stronger than they were when the GAA was founded. Teams of 11 or 13 would allow space for tactical and open play and abandon the overly defensive approach, with players hesitating to shoot for points unless within 25 yards of the goal.

The GAA needs to take action urgently. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

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