Changes to Gaelic football rules as Tipperary club championships get underway

Excitement building ahead of first games on Friday evening

Eamonn Wynne


Eamonn Wynne


Gaelic football changes

There are changes to the rules relating to kick outs and the mark in Gaelic football

Referees, officials, players and supporters will have to become accustomed to changes to the rules across all levels of Gaelic football ahead of the resumption of club championship games this Friday.

For kick outs, the ball will be kicked from the ground from the centre of the 20 metre line. The ball must be kicked forward. All players should be outside the 20 metre line, outside the semi-circle arc, and 13 metres from the ball.

If the goalkeeper is not taking the kick out, he must remain within the small rectangle. The ball should not travel less than 13 metres and outside the 20 metre line before being played by another member of the defending team.

A player in direct receipt of a kick out may not pass the ball to his team's goalkeeper without another player playing the ball.

A breach of this rule would be a technical foul by the goalkeeper. Under the new rule, this would be a free against the goalkeeper.

If a defender kicks out the ball, the rule does not prevent the ball being kicked back to this defender.

Some changes have been made to the kick out mark, which will align the kick out mark with the advanced mark. The referee awards the mark by blowing his whistle.

The player will now claim the mark by putting his arm in the air. The player has 15 seconds to take the mark, previously it was 5 seconds.

If in exceptional circumstances the player cannot take the mark awarded from the kick out, the nearest teammate will take the free kick and can score from it. The defending player must retreat 13 metres from the taker, previously it was 10 metres.

The kick out mark is also designated a set play. With the advanced mark those conditions apply but certain things must happen for a player to be awarded a mark.

The ball must be kicked by an attacking player, not from a set play, which is a kick out mark, sideline ball or from a free. The ball must travel 20 metres or more from outside the 45 metre line to a player inside the 45 metre line. The ball must be caught cleanly without touching the ground, and a defender can claim the mark also.

The referee awards the mark by blowing his whistle and the player claims it by putting up his arm. If a player claims the mark inside the 13 metre line the ball must be taken out to the 13 metre line directly in line where the mark was awarded.

If the player decides to play on, as with the kick out mark, he cannot be tackled for four steps or the length of time it takes to travel four steps and/or makes one act of kicking, handpassing, bouncing or toe-tapping the ball.

There is one exception to this - when the ball is caught inside the large rectangle including the small rectangle, he can be tackled immediately.

Another change introduced earlier this year is the 10-minute sin bin for a cynical foul, black card offence. 

For more Tipperary sport read West Tipperary looks forward to return of GAA action