Referee chief Willie Barrett ‘happy’ with sin bin plan

Referees chief Willie Barrett believes the sin bin will make Gaelic football match officials’ lives easier — but admits the possible rule change is open to time wasting.

Referee chief Willie Barrett ‘happy’ with sin bin plan

Referees chief Willie Barrett believes the sin bin will make Gaelic football match officials’ lives easier — but admits the possible rule change is open to time wasting.

Barrett feels referees will be more comfortable in administering a black card in the knowledge that the offender can return to the field instead of being replaced for the remainder of the game — as is now the case. It is one of the three playing rules motions that will be voted on at Special Congress in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday week.

“It’s going to be easier for referees when, say for a situation in the 24th minute, a player who has been shown the black card can return to the field in the 34th. You’re punishing the team, not the player that way.”

However, the GAA’s national referees development chairman accepts that because the 10 minutes are interrupted there is scope for the numerically disadvantaged team to cynically use up time either by exaggerating injuries or playing keep-ball.

“The team that is in front and goes down to 14 men for those 10 minutes, they can try and play down the clock. You could stop the clock for injuries but we’re happy enough with the way it is proposed. It can be amended, of course.”

Barrett accepts the offensive/defensive mark could be an “awkward” one as the referee has to determine if the ball has travelled a minimum of 20 metres.

“That will be a judgement call whether it has travelled the required distance. We had it in the National League and it might be awkward at times but I don’t think it will present a huge problem.

The player must now put his hand up if he is going to take the mark and that will a help to both the referee and the defender. The player also now has 15 seconds to kick it after calling a mark.

Meanwhile, Barrett says current inter-county referees will have to deployed as TV match officials (TMOs) if Limerick’s pending motion is passed at Congress in February.

The Tipperary native, who already acts as a HawkEye official as well as Dickie Murphy and Noel O’Donoghue except when their own county is involved, says referees will keenly watch on to see if the proposal to introduce video technology in live games gets the green light.

“We will await with interest to see what happens there. I saw (Limerick chairman) John Cregan’s comments in reference to the All-Ireland semi-final. It will be a completely new game if it comes in because what we’re effectively talking about is a TMO.

“We’ll take on board whatever Congress recommends. It’s a thought-provoking idea and if it were to come in we’d be looking at current referees taking up that role.

“Dickie, Noel and myself are the HawkEye officials but I could only see current inter-county referees doing that TMO job. We would have to be utterly transparent about it like we would in appointing a referee to a match.”

Meanwhile, the three Kerrymen managing Leinster teams have been kept apart in the 2020 provincial SFC draw. Jack O’Connor’s Kildare will face the winners of Carlow and Offaly in next year’s Leinster quarter-finals. In their last-eight game, Laois and Mike Quirke await the winners of Louth and Longford.

Should Paul Galvin’s Wexford be successful in seeing off neighbours Wicklow, they will take on Meath. Chasing a 10th Delaney Cup, Dublin meet Westmeath in their quarter-final.

2020 Leinster SFC: First round: Louth v Longford; Wexford v Wicklow; Carlow v Offaly.

Quarter-finals: Dublin v Westmeath, Louth/Longford v Laois, Wexford/Wicklow v Meath. Carlow/Offaly v Kildare.

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