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Sin bin could come into play for hurling championship

The sin bin could be extended to hurling in time for this year’s Championship, the Irish Examiner has learned.

Sin bin could come into play for hurling championship

The sin bin could be extended to hurling in time for this year’s Championship, the Irish Examiner has learned.

The 10-minute black card punishment, which would apply at all competitive levels, is one of a suite of proposals the standing playing rules committee has put to Central Council for endorsement.

Other recommendations include the well-flagged removal of the “maor foirne” role, an amendment to football’s advanced mark inside the large rectangle and a tweak to the advantage rule within scoring distance.

Should these be backed by Central Council next week, they will be put on the Clár at Annual Congress on February 29.

However, it’s the idea of the sin bin in hurling which is sure to cause the greatest debate.

The committee, which features the likes of former Cork secretary Frank Murphy and ex-Galway captain David Collins, proposes that a player be black-carded for one of four cynical fouls: deliberately pulling down an opponent, tripping an opponent with hand(s), arm, leg, foot or hurley, deliberately colliding with an opponent after he has played the ball or for the purpose of taking the opponent out of the movement of play or remonstrating aggressively with a match official.

Threatening or using abusive or provocative language to an opponent or team-mate is also considered a black card offence.

As in Gaelic football, a player picking up a yellow card following a black will be issued with a red card and sidelined for the remainder of the game. A black card following a yellow is also equivalent to a permanent sending off.

Six years ago, Kilkenny great Eddie Keher called for the abolition of yellow and red cards and the addition of another card will be frowned upon by several in the hurling fraternity

Keher said:

I abhor the whole ritual of showing cards to our hurlers. It is a sort of pompous and sometimes triumphalist exercise causing humiliation to our great players in front of their families, friends, supporters and hurling people.”

Five years ago this month, the Hurling 2020 committee’s report objected to the black card in hurling, which became a fixture in football in 2013.

However, their opposition was to a player being removed and substituted for the remainder of the game, not for 10 minutes as it proposed now. Their report read: “Overall, as a committee, we feel that a) hurling is not a cynical game, b) we are best served where the game is 15 v 15…”

However, a growing number of cynical fouls in hurling have convinced the David Hassan-led playing rules committee to take action.

In last year’s Kilkenny-Galway Leinster SHC round-robin game, there were several examples of cynical play as Galway staved off a Kilkenny fightback, while in the 2018 Allianz League three goalkeepers in Division 1 pulled down forwards as goals beckoned and received yellow cards as punishment.

The group are also calling for a change to the new advanced mark rule in Gaelic football so that players can challenge opponents who have made marks inside the large rectangle but chosen to play on.

As the interpretation stands, a player choosing not to claim a mark in the area cannot be tackled for four steps, the amount of time it takes to make four steps or until after an act of play such as a hop or a solo. The adjustment would also apply to the small rectangle.

It was the playing rules committee who proposed the advanced mark in 2018 before it was trialled in last year’s League.

However, they believe the mark as it has been put into practice is not fair on the defending player.

It is also hoped that the advantage rule in both codes can be altered so that the teams who have been offended against can benefit more from it.

The idea is that a free be awarded instead of allowing advantage when the foul has taken place within scoring distance unless the referee believes a goal chance beckons.

That scoring range is also at the referee’s discretion although inside, or on, the 45-metre line in football and 65m line in hurling are provided as guidelines.

It is the body’s opinion that frees, especially in hurling, are often the best advantage to give teams who have had a player fouled.

After a number of flashpoints in the past couple of seasons, the body are seeking to do away with the running selector role (“maor foirne”). It is believed they have considerable support for the proposal at central level.

However, it may not be until Special Congress in September that the motion is eventually tabled.

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