The controversial rule that stated that player given a yellow card would be sidelined for a period of 10 minutes had been in use in recent inter-county football competitions, with a goal to cleaning up a game that seemed to have been driven by cynical fouling.
Even though the rule sparked intense criticism from several managers such as Meath’s Sean Boylan and Luke Dempsey of Longford, there was a belief that it should be tested further during the upcoming National Leagues, but GAA president Sean Kelly announced last Monday that the experiment was to be abandoned.
Speaking during the All Stars tour of Hong Kong, Kelly said that the main problem was with the way the rule was being implemented, rather than the rule itself.
“There was a realization that logistically it was very difficult for the linesmen and the fourth official to keep track of those who were coming off for the sin bin, and those who were due to come back on.”
As a replacement for the sin-bin, a player who now receives a yellow card for an offense, such as body checking or an off-the-ball foul, will be sent off for the remainder of the game but he can be replaced.
“The main change we decided on was altering the penalty for the yellow card,” added Kelly. “So if a player commits a deliberate foul he will first of all get a ticking. If the player then repeats a cautionable offense he will receive a yellow and will be sent to the line.”
The new measure will be tried on an experimental basis during the league competitions and then voted on at the Association’s annual Congress in April.