Rule change fair and square for Corbett

THEY’RE on tour, end of season reward for their heroics during 2008 and 2009, but, for the Vodafone All Stars who landed in sunny Buenos Aries yesterday, hurling was still very much to the forefront, and specifically, the proposed rule changes for the 2010 National Hurling League.

One of those proposed changes, especially – that which allows attackers into the square before the ball, in open play – was exercising the mind of Tipperary forward Lar Corbett.

Given his height, 6’2”, and his aerial prowess, surely this is a rule that’s going to suit the Sars star?

“Well, it’s going to be very hard for goalies with no square ball,” he conceded.

“No matter what rule changes are brought into any sport, you’re always going to try to maximise it to the best effect for your own team.

“At the end of the National League it will be up to the powers that be to see does it work or does it not. It’s like anything at all, all rules have to be given a fair chance and see what happens.”

Won’t it serve a purpose, however, take away the controversy that often surrounds goals allowed or disallowed in such circumstances?

“That’s an interesting question. At the moment I can’t see where it’s going to run but in three or four months time maybe we might be able to find an angle on it there, where it might favour our team.

“I don’t know, we’re just going to have to wait and see what way teams react to it and how players react to it and, more importantly, how goalies react to it.”

Well, Corbett’s Tipperary teammate Brendan Cummins, All Star keeper for 2008, wasn’t exactly enamoured of the idea, speculating that we’re now going to go back to the old days of a crush of big bodies in the square under every high ball delivered from outfield (frees and 65’s are still excepted). But, says Corbett, “it should prove interesting.”.

One change the Tipp man would love to see introduced, however, is a real ‘Advantage Rule’.

It has long been one of the bugbears of the GAA, the fact that once a referee decides to let play go, there is no calling it back, regardless of whether or not a real advantage ensues.”

In the upcoming league the referee will now give a definite indication, by raising his arm, that he is allowing an advantage, but that’s all it is, a signal – there will still be no call-back.

Change that, says Corbett, adopt the rugby model: “I think that would be a serious advantage and it would buy time for the referee as well, so he is not making a decision on the spot.

“And it would be an advantage for the game itself.”


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