All 14 of the proposals put forward by the GAA’s three main disciplinary bodies have been endorsed by Central Council.
The measures, devised by the chairs of the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC), Central Hearings Committee (CHC) and the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) with the assistance of the Rules Advisory Committee, were backed by Ard Chomhairle at their December meeting on Saturday.
Ranging from increasing the maximum sanction for an individual from 96 weeks to 240 weeks to doubling a ban for any frivolous, vexatious or over-technical cases brought to a hearings committee, the recommendations are aimed at fortifying the disciplinary system and ensuring greater respect for match officials.
Other motions include preventing team officials who serve suspensions from preparing their teams outside of match day, penalties for infractions by team officials at under-age games to be doubled and penalties for secretary and chairperson of club/county etc for breaches of suspensions by team officials. Also, any alleged interference with a match official, which is contested by an individual or unit, will be brought in front of the CHC.
The proposals were presented to Central Council and will now be forwarded to Annual Congress in February as motions. Should they be supported, an education plan will be developed for disciplinary committees and units within the GAA.
While the new age grades options were not fully discussed on Saturday, a vote to support U17 and U19 as the national under-age levels was defeated. They are to be debated again with the new options at club level to be outlined to counties in the coming weeks before a final decision on them is made at next month’s Central Council meeting.
Meanwhile, Management Committee and Central Council signed off on a new inter-county players charter, overarching agreement and contact hours policy. Their decisions came on the back of months of negotiations between the GAA and Gaelic Players Association.
The CCCC’s 2023 master fixtures plan and match regulations were confirmed, details of which should be available in the coming week. An easing of team registration regulations for senior championship games to allow for last minute injuries and bereavements is on the cards.
Central Council also backed the proposal to confirm January 1 as the return to training date for U17 squads with no challenge games prior to February 1 and no on-field activity for academy squads until March 1.
As well as the CCCC/CHC/CAC motion, those from the standing playing rules committee, the rules advisory committee and the sliotar and hurler workgroup were approved and their motions will also be on the Clár on Congress.