National Forum

GAA Need To Ban Hits To The Head

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "The rulebooks need to be rewritten from top-to-bottom and due to this a paralysis in changing existing rules has set in. Committees have gained much more traction in adding rules than removing or modifying rules. To bridge that gap, the GAA uses groups like the GAA medical committee to give legitimacy to Rules Committees. When there's discontent amongst patrons due to shortcomings of the rulebook, the Rules Committees will then issue a directive to the referees committee citing the Medical Committee to ask them to follow their interpretation of a rule. Eventually inter-county referees will (for a short period) referee in a certain way, but that message will be diluted the whole way down to grassroots level where many referees will not know there was any message at all.

There's a romanticism about certain kind of big hits in the GAA that needs to be left behind if the game is to survive. All rules relating to physical contact need to be pulled out and replaced with clear and concise language. All high-impact hits to the head must be a dismissal regardless of intent. The biggest stumbling block for this is the shoulder-to-shoulder challenge which is already refereed inconsistently at all levels. Shoulder charge must be strictly side to side with two players moving in the same direction. This is a relatively well-defined challenge in the book. High-velocity shoulder challenges which don't follow meet that rule must be met with a dismissal. There's too much room for error."
The film "Concussion" is a story about Dr Bennet Omalu in Pittsburgh who highlights the issue of trauma to the head and long term impact of hits to the head. It is a very good watch and makes you think about having your kids involved in sports that allow it. American football finally took action when they got sued. Rugby has now decided to act, but only after a number of high profile cases are about to come before the courts, including one of England's World cup winning players Steve Thompson. There are almost 300 former players named, including Irish players. I agree the onus is on the player attempting to make the tackle/challenge and high challenges should be a red card, whether on purpose or accidentally.

Ulsterchamps72 (Donegal) - Posts: 97 - 14/02/2024 13:45:38    2526036


Hits to the head are banned. Pointless thread

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1622 - 14/02/2024 14:06:05    2526044