Greater use of match-day technology so as to allow teams to challenge certain decisions will see the game of hurling become “far too stop-start”, according to Limerick’s Tom Morrissey.
At last month’s Limerick GAA convention, club delegates gave their backing to a motion tabled by the county board executive which, if passed by Congress, would afford teams at least two challenges per game to question the validity of a score or the awarding of a free/sideline/wide/’45/’65, or a square infringement.
The motion arises from Limerick’s one-point All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kilkenny last August when officials failed to award the Treaty County a ’65 in second-half stoppages after Darragh O’Donovan’s sideline cut had deflected off Cillian Buckley’s hurl before crossing the end line.
Limerick secretary Mike O’Riordan, in his annual report, said the technology is available to prevent such mistakes going forward.
“The closing stages in this game was hugely disappointing, with the officials failing to acknowledge the potential of a free or ’65 entering the dying stages of the game.
"Given the technology that is available, I believe the powers that be should invest in same to eradicate human error as much as possible.
“The investment of time and finance into teams requires these advances at the minimum,” he wrote.
But while Limerick manager John Kiely has weighed in heavily behind the motion, Treaty half-forward Morrissey is concerned the game could suffer if teams are empowered to challenge different refereeing decisions throughout a match.
As well as last year’s semi-final, Morrissey was part of a Limerick minor team in 2013 which had a legitimate point ruled out by a Hawk-Eye malfunction.
These two injustices, however, haven’t increased his appetite for greater use of match-day technology.
“If there is a decision to be made [about using more technology], you can’t jump straight into it,” he said.
“You need to look into an awful lot of things, like how much is it going to slow down the game.
“There are so many different variables that can happen in hurling regarding tackles, regarding calls [like the one against Kilkenny].
“Would nearly every call the ref makes be challenged? If so, then you’re slowing the game down way too much.
“I can’t say whether I’d like it or not.
“In the rules, there are too many variables that can happen and calls that one management team will feel should be a free and others that are not. How you control that is the thing.
“I think it’ll take too much time if you do enforce it for too many calls.”
The 23-year old added: “I think Hawk-Eye is great. If it is a definite score or not, [Hawk Eye] helps hugely. But, again, you look at the delay you have to get those decisions made when it does need to be used.
"If you were starting to implement that for maybe every single call in a game, it would slow it down an awful lot.
Is that what spectators and players want? I’m not too sure. If you’re using [technology] to challenge different decisions throughout the game, it’s going to be far too stop-start and it’ll slow it down too much.
Morrissey was adamant the Limerick players were not sour over the late officiating mistake against Kilkenny.
They had plenty of chances earlier in the game, he insisted, to draw level with the Cats.
“When humans are making the decisions, you have to allow for human error. We make mistakes ourselves on the pitch,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there was a mistake that day by the officials, but it is something we are not going to make excuses or cry about.
“We had a number of chances to recover the margin.”
The Ahane clubman welcomed the return to the Limerick set-up of performance coach Caroline Currid, the Sligo native having worked with the panel during their 2018 All-Ireland winning season.
“It was well highlighted in 2018 and 2017 what a fantastic job she had done with us, so it’s great to have her back on board,” he said.
“Caroline’s history speaks for itself. She’s one of the best in the game.
“Obviously, we’re trying to be at the top, and it’s great to have a person who’s so capable with us.”