Griffin fears ‘halfway house’ will encourage cynicism

Former All-Ireland-winning manager Liam Griffin has blasted the key recommendations of the Hurling 2020 report, believing an automatic substitution for a second yellow card amounts to a "halfway house".

Griffin fears ‘halfway house’ will encourage cynicism

The former Wexford boss says the proposal, if passed at Congress, will give rise to alarming levels of cynicism in the game.

Griffin favours the introduction of the sin bin in punishing yellow card offences, lamenting the committee’s lack of courage to replicate other sports in this regard.

“This proposal is a halfway house,” he said. “I favour the sin bin for a period of 10 minutes. The sin bin would make a big impact on a hurling match and I think it will eventually come.

“Two yellow cards followed by a substitution amounts to a halfway house. It is not the answer. The sin bin is in place in other sports and maybe we are afraid to be seen to be copying another sport. If the man who invented the wheel hadn’t been copied then we’d all still be sitting on our asses.

“This proposal will lead to cynicism. Lads won’t be rushing to commit dangerous fouls that merit red cards, but will commit fouls if they know the most they are going to get is a yellow. If a man is on a yellow but has to foul to stop a score and knows his team won’t be reduced to 14, then of course he will foul.”

Liam Sheedy’s group have plumped for a one-versus-one penalty, a move vehemently opposed by Griffin.

“I think we could have used our heads on this that if a players lifts the ball on the 20m line then he should be entitled to take a step or two forward when striking. The striking motion doesn’t require three or four steps. It only requires one. I would see no issue with a penalty taker lifting the ball on the 20m line and taking only a step or two in the striking motion with three men facing him inside.

“There is this perception that because penalty takers now have to strike from outside the 20m line, the three on the goal-line will definitely save it. This proposal hands advantage to the forward. They might as well let him run forward with the sliotar inside the 20m line as far as he wants such is the advantage they will have if this proposal is passed. My gut feeling is that this won’t work. This rule will have to evolve itself again.”

The 1996 All-Ireland winning manager did find favour with the recommendations for a separate hurling referees body, removing all promotion/relegation play-offs in the league and automatic promotion to the top tier for the Christy Ring Cup champions.

“A referees body for hurling is long overdue. It is not right that you have one committee in charge of both codes and the threat of nuances or systems from one game influencing the other,” Griffin said.

He added: “At present there is far too much tokenism with regard to emerging counties. If we are serious about the game of hurling then we must be serious about bringing these emerging counties centre-stage in August and September.

“Originally, the Christy Ring and Nicky Rackard finals were played before the All-Ireland senior semi-finals. That is the way it should be again. I don’t think minor teams should take precedence over emerging counties. Automatic promotion for the Christy Ring winners must also be returned to rule.”

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