'It’s going to be a nightmare for refs' - Kerry's Stephen O’Brien on hand-pass experimental rule

Kerry forward Stephen O’Brien feels referees will be the biggest losers if the hand-pass experimental rule is implemented in the Allianz Football League.

Ahead of Central Council’s meeting on Saturday where its fate and those of the other four trial measures will be decided, O’Brien reckons counting hand-passes only adds to match officials’ duties.

“It’s going to be very hard for the ref to control that. He has to count the steps, they’re going to count whether he’s hopped it twice – they’re trying to look inside if there’s pulling off the ball and he might miss a hand pass.

“It’s going to be a nightmare for refs. Plus, does it promote kicking? You’re going to kick it the man if he’s open and he’s far away from you but you’ll kick to him if he’s close.

“So you’re going to end up with a lot of two-yard jab kick passes to get out of trouble – probably even kicking it backwards if you’re on the third hand pass.

“It’s going to be very hard to break down a blanket defence with it. Maybe if they change it that (the count) doesn’t come into it if you’re in the opposition’s ’65.”

O’Brien has no issues with the other changes - “The other rules are good. I’d be in favour of them. Especially the sin bin.”

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