National Forum

New Rules For Gaelic Football

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Like many Im sick of watching a game of "keep ball" and other possession strategies that have literally killed the game of in the last two decades. We could look at the extreme actions like defund Dublin or split them in two, the result of which will be TWO Dublin teams in the All Ireland final. Dublin has perfected the current game of football, using skillful but supreme athletes playing a no contact, patient (boring) strategy with explosive burst of quick release attacking. No amount of money or splitting (or the stupid idea of merging counties) will change this.
We can learn from other sports though, remember the pass to the keeper in soccer that used to kill soccer games, icing in hockey and what other sports have done to remove negative play?
Here are a couple of examples that could make football better

1) No back pass to the keeper, or if so they have to play it on the ground like soccer. This is needed as GKs are now used as a defensive mismatch and allow for "Keep Ball" to played

2) Once passed half way line - NO PASS BACK, think of basketball there is no backcourt, or in hockey there is no icing in other words once you commit to offence you cant back out. Dublin are masters of just kicking laterals and playing back into defense until there is an opening in attack. The ball is played back and forth forever, in fact the last 6 minutes of last years All Ireland was basically Dublin playing defensive keep ball.

3) Put a line between half way and 30 yard line any over the bar from there (from play only) is worth 2 points. Like basketball 3 pointers this encourages shooting. Right now the risk reward is JUST NOT THERE, if you shoot from distance for a score the only thing you are certain off is that you are giving away possession to the opponents.

Other sports have learned to make games more exciting, if nothing is done then even the Dublin supporters will not bother watching, revenues an sponsorship will drop and football will be a backwater sport in no time.

Would love to hear others thoughts

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 15:18:04    2320268

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Replying To BostonGuy:  "Like many Im sick of watching a game of "keep ball" and other possession strategies that have literally killed the game of in the last two decades. We could look at the extreme actions like defund Dublin or split them in two, the result of which will be TWO Dublin teams in the All Ireland final. Dublin has perfected the current game of football, using skillful but supreme athletes playing a no contact, patient (boring) strategy with explosive burst of quick release attacking. No amount of money or splitting (or the stupid idea of merging counties) will change this.
We can learn from other sports though, remember the pass to the keeper in soccer that used to kill soccer games, icing in hockey and what other sports have done to remove negative play?
Here are a couple of examples that could make football better

1) No back pass to the keeper, or if so they have to play it on the ground like soccer. This is needed as GKs are now used as a defensive mismatch and allow for "Keep Ball" to played

2) Once passed half way line - NO PASS BACK, think of basketball there is no backcourt, or in hockey there is no icing in other words once you commit to offence you cant back out. Dublin are masters of just kicking laterals and playing back into defense until there is an opening in attack. The ball is played back and forth forever, in fact the last 6 minutes of last years All Ireland was basically Dublin playing defensive keep ball.

3) Put a line between half way and 30 yard line any over the bar from there (from play only) is worth 2 points. Like basketball 3 pointers this encourages shooting. Right now the risk reward is JUST NOT THERE, if you shoot from distance for a score the only thing you are certain off is that you are giving away possession to the opponents.

Other sports have learned to make games more exciting, if nothing is done then even the Dublin supporters will not bother watching, revenues an sponsorship will drop and football will be a backwater sport in no time.

Would love to hear others thoughts"
1) I think if a keeper wants to play ball, let him at it! It's a tough position to fill and we don't want to disincentivize young lads from being keepers. If a keeper wants to go walkabout, let him run that risk!
2) I do like the idea of a backcourt strategy but would worry it runs the risk of ultra defensive set ups to counteract it.
3) it'd be great if we had a line around 45 yards out alright! That's an interesting one because it would definitely incentivise teams to play a higher line of defence, creating more room for inside forwards..

The first thing I'd do anyways is certainly abolish the advanced mark. Tried, failed.

Sweetspot (Kildare) - Posts: 256 - 08/12/2020 15:34:34    2320283

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Replying To Sweetspot:  "1) I think if a keeper wants to play ball, let him at it! It's a tough position to fill and we don't want to disincentivize young lads from being keepers. If a keeper wants to go walkabout, let him run that risk!
2) I do like the idea of a backcourt strategy but would worry it runs the risk of ultra defensive set ups to counteract it.
3) it'd be great if we had a line around 45 yards out alright! That's an interesting one because it would definitely incentivise teams to play a higher line of defence, creating more room for inside forwards..

The first thing I'd do anyways is certainly abolish the advanced mark. Tried, failed."
No problem with a back pass but he/she has to manage the ball like soccer off the ground. It actually made soccer GKs better footballers, not just shot stoppers.

There has to be a way to commit a team to attack, maybe like aussie rules theres a second set of posts for one pointers and get rid of the bloody mark its a disaster, it slows the game and allows for defensive setups. Again the problem is the risk reward, most shots at points are close range because of the risk of turnover. If I shoot for an over I get a nice reward 2-3 points and if I miss (from distance) I at least get a point. Trying to put the ball over the "H" for ONE point from distance is just not worth the risk right now.

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 16:12:35    2320300

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Lacrosse I believe only allows a certain number of players from each team in each half, if a defense man carries the ball over the half way a mid fielder must stay back until he returns. I think this would create more space for forwards and along with the back court rule improve the game

TheDigger (USA) - Posts: 63 - 08/12/2020 16:16:33    2320303

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Replying To Sweetspot:  "1) I think if a keeper wants to play ball, let him at it! It's a tough position to fill and we don't want to disincentivize young lads from being keepers. If a keeper wants to go walkabout, let him run that risk!
2) I do like the idea of a backcourt strategy but would worry it runs the risk of ultra defensive set ups to counteract it.
3) it'd be great if we had a line around 45 yards out alright! That's an interesting one because it would definitely incentivise teams to play a higher line of defence, creating more room for inside forwards..

The first thing I'd do anyways is certainly abolish the advanced mark. Tried, failed."
Yeah the advanced mark is rubbish.

I think that once you cross a line you should be able to play back behind the preceding line.

You cross your own 45 you can't play back into your own 21, you cross your own 65 you can't play back into your own 45, you cross the opponent's 65 you can't play back into your own 65.

This would encourage pressing higher up the pitch as there is more opportunity to squeeze the opposition higher.

I don't mind the pass back to the keeper. It's a risky move as has been shown in the past and as recently as this Sunday.

I wouldn't change the points scoring yet.

I think 1 or 2 real changes should really only be implemented at a time and see how they fly.

Minimal rule changes, maximal impact.

The rule change I suggest is kind of drastic but really is needed, it's so easy to hold possession in the modern game, the effective pitch needs to be reduced in football.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3640 - 08/12/2020 16:22:02    2320307

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Replying To Sweetspot:  "1) I think if a keeper wants to play ball, let him at it! It's a tough position to fill and we don't want to disincentivize young lads from being keepers. If a keeper wants to go walkabout, let him run that risk!
2) I do like the idea of a backcourt strategy but would worry it runs the risk of ultra defensive set ups to counteract it.
3) it'd be great if we had a line around 45 yards out alright! That's an interesting one because it would definitely incentivise teams to play a higher line of defence, creating more room for inside forwards..

The first thing I'd do anyways is certainly abolish the advanced mark. Tried, failed."
Agreed the advanced mark should be abolished , it is rediculous and adds nothing to the game

superbluedub (Dublin) - Posts: 2792 - 08/12/2020 16:29:30    2320318

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Replying To BostonGuy:  "Like many Im sick of watching a game of "keep ball" and other possession strategies that have literally killed the game of in the last two decades. We could look at the extreme actions like defund Dublin or split them in two, the result of which will be TWO Dublin teams in the All Ireland final. Dublin has perfected the current game of football, using skillful but supreme athletes playing a no contact, patient (boring) strategy with explosive burst of quick release attacking. No amount of money or splitting (or the stupid idea of merging counties) will change this.
We can learn from other sports though, remember the pass to the keeper in soccer that used to kill soccer games, icing in hockey and what other sports have done to remove negative play?
Here are a couple of examples that could make football better

1) No back pass to the keeper, or if so they have to play it on the ground like soccer. This is needed as GKs are now used as a defensive mismatch and allow for "Keep Ball" to played

2) Once passed half way line - NO PASS BACK, think of basketball there is no backcourt, or in hockey there is no icing in other words once you commit to offence you cant back out. Dublin are masters of just kicking laterals and playing back into defense until there is an opening in attack. The ball is played back and forth forever, in fact the last 6 minutes of last years All Ireland was basically Dublin playing defensive keep ball.

3) Put a line between half way and 30 yard line any over the bar from there (from play only) is worth 2 points. Like basketball 3 pointers this encourages shooting. Right now the risk reward is JUST NOT THERE, if you shoot from distance for a score the only thing you are certain off is that you are giving away possession to the opponents.

Other sports have learned to make games more exciting, if nothing is done then even the Dublin supporters will not bother watching, revenues an sponsorship will drop and football will be a backwater sport in no time.

Would love to hear others thoughts"
Jesus just leave the game alone. Every year we have this nonsense. Last year's All Ireland Final was an incredible sporting spectacle. The rules are fine. Protect the game from the endless, pointless, ridiculous tinkering that has resulted in stupidity like the advanced mark being inflicted upon us.

Greengrass (Louth) - Posts: 5707 - 08/12/2020 17:00:38    2320339

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Replying To TheDigger:  "Lacrosse I believe only allows a certain number of players from each team in each half, if a defense man carries the ball over the half way a mid fielder must stay back until he returns. I think this would create more space for forwards and along with the back court rule improve the game"
Thats a good point, lacrosse does keep the ball moving and stops defensive blankets. It does allow for defenders to go forward but keeps the field open. The problem here is there are 30 players on the field and how do you keep that in synch. Lacross has ten players and typically a smaller field than GAA, but they have stopped "parking the bus" and is a very enjoyable game to watch.

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 17:11:51    2320346

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I agree, the advanced mark needs to go ASAP.

Injury time needs sorted out too. No explanation or breakdown of stoppages and its enough to cost a team a match they might or should have won.

Other than that I'd leave it as is. We've had some great matches this year. Obviously Dublin are another issue but we can't just keep reinventing the game when a dominating team come up with a new tactic that the rest can't figure out how to beat. We need to learn how to evolve tactics rather than rules.

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 2278 - 08/12/2020 17:50:30    2320361

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Replying To Greengrass:  "Jesus just leave the game alone. Every year we have this nonsense. Last year's All Ireland Final was an incredible sporting spectacle. The rules are fine. Protect the game from the endless, pointless, ridiculous tinkering that has resulted in stupidity like the advanced mark being inflicted upon us."
Leaving it alone means that we will see more 16 -20 point hammerings to come, supporters will walk away leading to revenue drop. The first thing we have to do is acknowledge that football in its current state is not exciting. Teams have managed to build a strategy that rewards conservative defensive play, "keep ball" and rewards supreme athletes who have brought fitness to Olympic levels. For every spectacular game of football we have seen there has been at least 5-10 or even more that were downright awful.

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 17:57:29    2320363

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As soon as there are rule changes to improve attacking play some coaches will find ways to counteract them if they're a benefit to their opposing teams. There will be continue to be more defensive coaches and coaches who take risks. Gaelic Football is not entertainment, competition for Netflix, even though TV companies might think that it is. It's a sport and not every viewer or supporter likes to see gung-ho football every game. They enjoy defensive football in some games and smart tactics. I'd rather see the GAA narrow the standards gap between top and weaker counties than change rules.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 6310 - 08/12/2020 18:16:16    2320373

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*Any county beginning with DUB are not to be continually voted to play in Croke Park by the Leinster Council.

jimbodub (Dublin) - Posts: 20342 - 08/12/2020 19:05:12    2320386

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Replying To BostonGuy:  "Leaving it alone means that we will see more 16 -20 point hammerings to come, supporters will walk away leading to revenue drop. The first thing we have to do is acknowledge that football in its current state is not exciting. Teams have managed to build a strategy that rewards conservative defensive play, "keep ball" and rewards supreme athletes who have brought fitness to Olympic levels. For every spectacular game of football we have seen there has been at least 5-10 or even more that were downright awful."
Did you just start watching the championship at the semi final stage? Plenty of close hard fought matches this year. I watched matches years ago too and there were as many brutal drubbings back then. Grass is always greener on the other side to some. What you seem to be hinting at is put a ban on any tactics that don't satisfy total entertainment or else some nostalgic return to hail Mary hoofball. Imagine every sport decided to change their rules after a couple of bad games

SaffronDon (Antrim) - Posts: 2278 - 08/12/2020 19:37:42    2320415

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "As soon as there are rule changes to improve attacking play some coaches will find ways to counteract them if they're a benefit to their opposing teams. There will be continue to be more defensive coaches and coaches who take risks. Gaelic Football is not entertainment, competition for Netflix, even though TV companies might think that it is. It's a sport and not every viewer or supporter likes to see gung-ho football every game. They enjoy defensive football in some games and smart tactics. I'd rather see the GAA narrow the standards gap between top and weaker counties than change rules."
Have to disagree football like any other sport IS entertainment and the funding and revenue drawn from it is is a key contributor to what keeps it alive. People pay to see good competitive games, sponsors pay to be seen at games and O' Neills sell gear and even hoganstand here is providing entertainment and generating revenue. How many of these will stick around if the result is decided before the teams run out on to the field (Dublin last 6 years) or you watch a game that ends 6 points to 3 and with 4 scored from frees.
As for reducing the gap between counties, personally I dont think Dublin is the most skillful football of all time, the most successful, yes without doubt and the fittest ever, yes again and the most dedicated to a system there again yes. If you want an example of where fans and sponsors abandoned the game because they did not tweak the rules, look at baseball in the US, once called America's sport its now a pale shadow of its former self, and sports like lacrosse are taking off because they have made the games engaging and provide entertainment.

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 19:45:50    2320417

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Replying To BostonGuy:  "Have to disagree football like any other sport IS entertainment and the funding and revenue drawn from it is is a key contributor to what keeps it alive. People pay to see good competitive games, sponsors pay to be seen at games and O' Neills sell gear and even hoganstand here is providing entertainment and generating revenue. How many of these will stick around if the result is decided before the teams run out on to the field (Dublin last 6 years) or you watch a game that ends 6 points to 3 and with 4 scored from frees.
As for reducing the gap between counties, personally I dont think Dublin is the most skillful football of all time, the most successful, yes without doubt and the fittest ever, yes again and the most dedicated to a system there again yes. If you want an example of where fans and sponsors abandoned the game because they did not tweak the rules, look at baseball in the US, once called America's sport its now a pale shadow of its former self, and sports like lacrosse are taking off because they have made the games engaging and provide entertainment."
I never mentioned Dublin. This is Ireland, not the US. The GAA is about tribalism, bragging rights, pride in the jersey and a lot more. I lived in the US, their professional sports are about razzmatazz and scheduled around TV schedules and advertisers.Good TV mind you but expensive to go to games. You posted earlier about hammerings in the game, not many this year bar Dublin who are well ahead of the rest. A great year, Cavan winning Ulster, Tipperary winning Munster. If there are rule changes it's the same for both teams in a game. How will that prevent further hammerings where one team is better than their opponent? Tighten the standards gap and give more supporters interest in games before changing rules. It's sport for me.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 6310 - 08/12/2020 20:13:13    2320438

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Replying To SaffronDon:  "Did you just start watching the championship at the semi final stage? Plenty of close hard fought matches this year. I watched matches years ago too and there were as many brutal drubbings back then. Grass is always greener on the other side to some. What you seem to be hinting at is put a ban on any tactics that don't satisfy total entertainment or else some nostalgic return to hail Mary hoofball. Imagine every sport decided to change their rules after a couple of bad games"
Nope watched the full championship, saw Dublin hammer everyone in sight, saw two semi's that were over after 15 minutes. Agree there were matches in the past that teams got hammered but not 3 successive Leinster finals in a row. Next year how many people will go to a Leinster final? As for me being nostalgic, nope I'm a realist, if you are in sport your are in the entertainment business whether you like it or not. Companies that sponsor teams that get beaten by 22 points will stop sponsoring as they want to protect their brand. TV will stop showing games or people just wont bother watching, advertisers will look elsewhere. Rule changes can help with evolving the game, for example square balls stopped half the opposition from killing the GK, and hand passed goals bans stopped the likes of Eoin Liston just hand passing every ball over the bar or in the net. Hurling penalty changes stopped a player from lifting a ball into the 15 yard line and nearly killing a person with a 100mph ball, single goalie pushed the odds in favor of the striker of the ball.
As for a a couple of bad games, get real football has been awful for almost two decades since the Jim McGuiness days of Donegal, you can point to a couple of epic encounters but a single swallow does not make a Summer.

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 22:00:20    2320485

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Replying To GreenandRed:  "I never mentioned Dublin. This is Ireland, not the US. The GAA is about tribalism, bragging rights, pride in the jersey and a lot more. I lived in the US, their professional sports are about razzmatazz and scheduled around TV schedules and advertisers.Good TV mind you but expensive to go to games. You posted earlier about hammerings in the game, not many this year bar Dublin who are well ahead of the rest. A great year, Cavan winning Ulster, Tipperary winning Munster. If there are rule changes it's the same for both teams in a game. How will that prevent further hammerings where one team is better than their opponent? Tighten the standards gap and give more supporters interest in games before changing rules. It's sport for me."
Im very familiar with the fact as you say "this is Ireland", but if you think the influence of US sports has not affected soccer or GAA you need to take a read of Moneyball or look at Sport Science. Where did stats come from, for example ground covered analysis, total time in possession, GPS trackers and player recovery routines, so please enough of the this is Ireland not US stuff. Also If you think the GAA is NOT about entertainment, revenue generation, marketing, concerts, massive sponsorship, licensing deals and brand management then I think you have a very narrow view of what the GAA has become in recent years.
Blanket defense and keep ball is killing football, do you think the GAA is more interested in a drop in overall revenue across all its platforms due to spectator disinterest in order to keep "pride in the jersey"?
The GAA can also learn a thing or two more from US sports such as baseball or boxing for that matter if its not exciting or entertaining then fans will leave, other sports will get focus such as lacrosse and UFC for example and it is very hard to win them back.

BostonGuy (Galway) - Posts: 29 - 08/12/2020 22:29:52    2320496

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Replying To BostonGuy:  "Thats a good point, lacrosse does keep the ball moving and stops defensive blankets. It does allow for defenders to go forward but keeps the field open. The problem here is there are 30 players on the field and how do you keep that in synch. Lacross has ten players and typically a smaller field than GAA, but they have stopped "parking the bus" and is a very enjoyable game to watch."
I always liked this rule. On paper it is easy to enforce. Allow 7 players in the offensive or defensive side of the field. If a half back or mid fielder carry the ball into the offensive side the 2 midfielders or 1 midfield has to stay out. If there is a turnover there should be the proper number of players on the other side of the field. It would be the end of the blank defenses. It works in Lacrosse. Don't know if it would work in football but it is worth a shot. I do agree the advanced mark is a complete failure.

gatha (Kilkenny) - Posts: 305 - 08/12/2020 22:35:06    2320500

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Two point for sideline kick that goes over
New 45m arch and two points for anything that goes over from there
All deliberate fouls in last 10 min results in free from that 45m line
Only kick passes back to keeper and keeper not allowed handpass that back pass
2 min shot clock

tirawleybaron (Mayo) - Posts: 881 - 09/12/2020 07:36:15    2320538

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Max of 2 hand passes then have to kick.
Free kicks have to go forward.
Has to be 4 of your own players inside each half at all times. Linesmen to control this.
Get rid of inside mark. Keep kick out one.
Bring back that overhead hand pass they used to do in the 70's! Was a good way of keeping the ball moving.

hopballref (Galway) - Posts: 318 - 09/12/2020 09:29:18    2320550

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