The Hurling 2020 committee is expected to recommend penalties be changed from the current one forward versus three defenders on the goal-line to one forward versus the goalkeeper.
The committee, chaired by All-Ireland-winning Tipp manager Liam Sheedy, and also includes Kilkenny legend Pat Henderson and Clare icon Frank Lohan, have tried variations on the penalty behind closed doors in Semple Stadium on recent weekends, getting players to take penalties and close-in frees against three, two and one player on the goal-line.
The option favoured by the committee is a lone goalkeeper facing a penalty struck behind the 20-metre line. It is also understood to favour reducing the number of players allowed on the goal-line for close-in frees to just three.
The focus on hurling penalties has increased due to the controversy over Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash’s technique — rising the ball and flicking it goalward, connecting with the ball 14 metres or closer to the goal. When other players, including TJ Reid of Kilkenny, began to use the same technique, the GAA changed the rule, forbidding players from striking the ball inside the 20-metre line. However, the number of goals scored from penalties fell dramatically during the season, and during the All-Ireland senior final and replay, Tipperary won three penalties and had two saved, opting for a point from the third.
The committee may propose the new 1 v 1 system be trialled before the 2015 national league.
Meanwhile, there is intense speculation in Waterford hurling circles about Stephen Molumphy’s inter-county future, with clarification expected this morning about the Ballyduff Upper club man’s intentions.
Army officer Molumphy, 32, won two Munster titles 2007 and 2010) and a league title in 2007, the same year he won an All Star. Waterford have lost two other -serving players, Seamus Prendergast and Shane Walsh, to retirement in a fortnight.
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