Former All-Ireland final ref Kinsella claims handpass limit has backfired

Former All-Ireland final ref Kinsella claims handpass limit has backfired

Former All-Ireland SFC final referee Eddie Kinsella admits he’s relieved not to still be on the inter-county scene due to the hand-pass limit.

As Central Council reviews that and the other four experimental rules at their meeting in Croke Park today, the Laois man, who took charge of the 2014 Kerry-Donegal final, says the ban on a fourth consecutive hand-pass does the game of Gaelic football no favours.

“They were probably hoping it would do the exact opposite but it’s made the game worse.

“From what I’ve seen so far, lads are kicking the ball 30 yards back because they can’t hand-pass the ball forward after reaching three and it’s suiting the defensive teams. It’s more work for officials and it’s not like there wasn’t enough work for them already.

“I can safely say I’m not sad that I’m not involved.”

Kinsella is still involved in some local refereeing but management takes up most of his time now having guided Courtwood to the Laois intermediate football title last year. And from that perspective, he can see some positives in the proposals.

“I wouldn’t be too down on the sin bin,” he says.

“It was very good when it came in initially (2009) and if I’m not mistaken it was Liam O’Neill who brought that in.

Mickey Harte and a couple of other lads began giving out about it and only for them it would have survived.

“But for that, it would be there now and better with than the black card rule that came in but hopefully it now comes in alongside the black card.” Kinsella has no difficulty with either the forward sideline kick - “there are pluses with that” - and all kick-outs being taken from the 20m line inside the “D”.

However, he believes the offensive/defensive mark would see Gaelic football veer too close to Australian Rules.

“You’re seeing people talking about bringing in fellas who are 6ft6in, 6’7” and putting them in full-forward.

“It’s too close to Australian Rules and why are we copying that shit because I can tell you it is shit.

“I refereed International Rules and I think those rules are crap and I said that to the lads in Croke Park.”

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