GAA set to clamp down on use of ‘wired-up’ on field runners

The GAA has banned hurley/water carriers from using walkie talkie radio systems during games.

GAA set to clamp down on use of ‘wired-up’ on field runners

The GAA has banned hurley/water carriers from using walkie talkie radio systems during games.

A number of inter-county set-ups have “wired up” their set of maor camán/uisce to management members on the sideline and in the stand so they could relay instruction to players.

However, match authorities are keen to stamp out the practice as hurley/water carriers are not official backroom team members and therefore shouldn’t have such privileges.

Match regulations already state water carriers are not allowed to enter the field but hurley carriers can do so when a hurley has been broken.

Only the maor foirne selector (during breaks in plays) and medics in the event of injuries being sustained are permitted onto the playing surface.

However, the maor foirne cannot be a hurley/water carrier as well.

The existing regulations state: “Each (maor uisce) must wear a designated distinctive top and will be situated as per the ‘pitch layout’ of these regulations (the two 45m lines as well as in middle of sideline opposite to the dugouts) and at least 2m from the sideline.

“Official team personnel, substitutes, injured players, or members of the extended panel may not act as maor uisce.

In hurling, the maor uisce will also act as hurley carriers and may enter the field of play with a replacement hurley when necessary.

The regulations also stress that a team cannot have more than two personnel assigned to bringing water onto the pitch for players in football or three in hurling.

Last year, former Tipperary manager Eamonn O’Shea operated as a hurley/water carrier during the county’s All-Ireland-winning campaign.

As he was acting in an advisory role to Liam Sheedy, he was not listed in the official management team but was able to provide direction from the sideline.

However, he did not use a radio system.

Before stepping down as a selector for Limerick last year, Brian Geary was wired up as a hurley/water carrier while coach Paul Kinnerk fulfilled the maor foirne role for manager John Kiely.

Wexford boss Davy Fitzgerald has also used selector Keith Rossiter in the same role.

The development comes as the GAA are soon expected to take measures to curb the privileges of the maor foirne.

The standing playing rules committee are believed to be considering tabling a motion to Congress next month either banning the running selector role altogether or clamping down on what they are entitled to do during matches.

That follows a series of flashpoints last year ranging from Dublin maor foirne Greg Kennedy’s intervention in the Leinster SHC round-robin game against Kilkenny and Tipperary and Wexford selectors Tommy Dunne and Seoirse Bulfin clashing on a number of occasions during the counties’ All-Ireland SHC semi-final.

As well as Peter Crowley picking up an eight-week ban for squirting water at Dublin’s Cormac Costello in last year’s drawn All-Ireland SFC final, Kerry broke a regulation by allowing an injured player to carry out the duty.

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