Further interpretations and clarifications on Gaelic football’s new rules have been issued to the national referees panel ahead of the start of the Allianz Leagues this weekend.
Much of the new information relates to the advanced mark, which has already attracted criticism from leading match officials, managers and players for a variety of reasons.
Before Christmas, it was explained that a player who has ‘won’ a mark inside the large rectangle could be tackled immediately if he had chosen not to claim it by raising his hand.
However, it has now been confirmed that while a player who does not claim any advanced mark can play on immediately, he may not be challenged for the ball until he carries the ball up to a maximum of four consecutive steps or holds the ball for no longer than the time needed to take four steps and/or makes one act of kicking, hand-passing, bouncing or toe-tapping the ball.
The process of the advanced mark commences with the referee blowing his whistle to register that the player has cleanly caught the ball inside the 45-metre line from a kick 20m or more in length from on or outside the 45m line. An advanced mark cannot follow a kick-out mark as the kick-out mark has been determined a set play.
An advanced mark has been awarded when the player raises his hand to signify he is taking it instead of playing on, which he also has the option of taking. Having claimed the mark, the player has 15 seconds to take the free kick. Should he attempt to play on after raising his hand, a free will be awarded to the opposing team as he has committed a technical foul.
If an attacking player has chosen to take a mark within the 13-metre line, the free kick is taken from the 13m line opposite where it was claimed. Should the defending player claim the mark, the free kick is taken from where they made the catch.
It had also been stated over Christmas that in the event of a goalkeeper being sin-binned, he would have to be replaced by a team-mate already on the field of play and wear a jersey distinctive to the other outfield players.
However, referees have now been told that it is at the manager’s discretion to do that or bring on a substitute goalkeeper, which would constitute one of the five permitted permanent replacements — the maximum number of substitutes has been cut from six as black card offenders can no longer be replaced.
Black cards also carry into extra-time and should a player return to the field before their 10 minutes on the sideline has elapsed they will be shown a yellow card, which on top of the black card results in a red.
A black card following a yellow card also constitutes a dismissal for the remainder of the game including extra-time.
The extended 15-second time limit for taking a mark also applies to the kick-out mark having previously been five seconds.