The GAA has shaken things up with a new set of rules that are now in full swing.
It is difficult to calculate how much of a difference these changes will make, but they seem set to change the way football and hurling are played.
Here are some of the key changes:
• All 26 players not involved in the throw-in must be behind the 45-metre lines instead of the ’65s. Though there is no sanction for breaking the rule, the game will not recommence until players return to the prescribed areas.
• Free or sideline cuts and kicks may be retaken if an opposing player interferes with the goalposts while the ball is in flight. Referees may also award a score if they believe that any shaking or interference with the uprights has prevented a score during open play.
• The use of an unapproved match sliotar is now a yellow card offence.
• The referees’ panels for the championship will be confirmed in the coming days, and the football group may be larger to accommodate the additional games in the two grades of the championship: Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cup. The Association will also take a look at the impact of the championship’s intensity on referees, and they seek to ensure that referees are appointed carefully to avoid injuries.