GAA congress 2015, what you need to know.

GAA congress is an annual meeting where changes to the rule book or official guide are voted for/against and debated. The people who vote on these decisions are delegates from GAA county boards and provincial councils.

The breakdown: there are 66 motions up for debate today with some motions being voted on together as they are linked. This is the case for the first motion in relation to black cards in hurling similar to Gaelic football.

A note to remember that votes are required a two-thirds majority to be passed.

(Motion 1, 2, 12, 20, 65) were voted on together as were the black card proposed rule to hurling, as the first motion was rejected so was the remainder of the black card group, Yes 29%, No 71%. No Black Card in hurling.)

Motion 1: [Hurling] The number of substitutes would increase to six from five, following the introduction of a black card (Proposed by Maastricht, Europe GAA). Rejected

Motion 2: [Hurling] A substitute would be allowed replace a player giving a black card (Proposed by Maastricht, Europe GAA). Rejected

Motion 3: [Hurling & Football] If a player received a yellow card in normal play that it would not carry into extra-time. (Proposed by Gurtin St Patrick’s, Tyrone and Warrenpoint, Down) Passed 74.9%.

Motion 4: [Hurling & Football] Inter-county u21 games would increase in time from 60 minutes to 70 minutes, each half increasing by five minutes. (Proposed by Newport, Tipperary) Rejected 44.3%

Motion 5: [Hurling & Football] Extra-time would become an compulsory to all of the following games all inter-county championships games at all grades, up to and including the All-Ireland Finals; the knock-out stages of the National Leagues, Inter-Provincial Competitions, Oireachtas and other Inter-County Tournaments, Inter-Club Provincial and All-Ireland Championships, the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups, and any other games in subsidiary competitions. (Proposed by JK Brackens, Tipperary). Rejected 87.6%

Motion 6: [Hurling] Increase the size and diameter to 85-88mm (from 69-72mm) and the mass to 150-160mm (from 110-120mm) of the sliothar meaning it would not travel as far. (Proposed by Cratloe, Clare). Rejected 90.9% 

Motion 7: [Hurling & Football]  in the event that two teams wear similar coloured jersey’s a coin toss would decide who wears their own colours and the other team wear different colours (Proposed by Golden-Kilfeacle, Tipperary). Rejected 52.3%

(Motion 8 & 9 voted on together)

Motion 8:  [Hurling & Football] Umpires and Linesmen would be granted more power in relation to ascertaining a score when a referee is in doubt. (Proposed by St Loman’s, Westmeath) Passed 82%

Motion 9: [Hurling & Football] Linesmen and umpires would also be given more power to notify the linesman by bringing the attention to the referee of incidents such as  any instances of foul play, in particular rough or dangerous play, striking, hitting, or kicking, or unauthorised incursions onto the field of play, which have not been noticed by the referee (Proposed by St Loman’s, Westmeath) Passed 82%

Motion 10: Correction of wording in Duties of a Referee to be amended by inclusion of the words “in play” after the word “committed” in line 2 of vii pg 20. (Proposed by St Loman’s, Westmeath) Rejected 57.1%

Motion 11: Correction of wording in Duties of a Referee to be amended to indicate the place from which all free kicks or free pucks, awarded for fouls, while the ball is “still in play”, shall be taken. (Proposed by St Loman’s, Westmeath) Rejected 57.1%

Motion 12: Linked to Black Card Motions (Proposed by Maastricht, Europe GAA). Rejected

Motion 13: [Hurling & Football] In the event of a player receiving concussion the player will be replaced similar to the temporary blood substitute in place at the moment. (Proposed by Pomeroy, Tyrone, St Molaise, Fermanagh, Aidan McAnespies, North America and others) Deferred (No vote taking place)

Motion 14: [Football] A goalkeeper receiving a pass would have to kick the ball away and would not be allowed to handpass to a teammate, by doing so it would result in a ’45 meter kick. ((Proposed by Clane, Kildare) Rejected 64.6%

Motion 15: [Football] Originally proposed as two parts but first part has been removed by proposing party, the second part means that if a player catches a ball from a team mates handpass they must then kick the ball rather than handpass again (attempt to lower handpassing in football) (Proposed by Kilsheelan/Kilcash, Tipperary) Rejected 72.7%

Motion 16: [Football] After two handpasses in a row a team would be forced to kick the ball (again, attempt to lower handpassing in football) (Proposed by Clondegad, Clare) With Drawn in favour of Motion 15

Motion 17: [Football] Explanation of a handpass to be changed to ‘There must be no propulsion of the ball by the non-striking hand during the execution of the pass’ (Proposed by St Loman’s, Westmeath) Rejected 60.4%

Motion 18: [Football] A player standing too close to a free or sideline kick would be penalised by bringing the kick up the field. (Proposed by St Loman’s, Westmeath)Rejected 40.3%

Motion 19: [Hurling & Football] The number of steps for a player to carry a ball in their hand would be reduced to three from four. (Proposed by St Mary’s, Tipperary) Rejected 67.6%

Motion 20: Linked to Black Card Motions (Proposed by Maastricht, Europe GAA). Rejected

Motion 21: [Hurling]

    • A) A player taking a penalty must remain outside the 20metre line Passed 84.2%
    • B) Only one defender will line the goal for a penalty Rejected 51.9%
    • C) 20 metre frees will have one defender line the goal Rejected 51.9% (Proposed by Hurling 2020)

Motion 22: [Hurling] Similar to Football, hurling would be allocated an advantage rule, meaning if a foul is committed a referee can decide to award five seconds of advantage time after the foul is committed. (Proposed by Hurling 2020) Passed 92.4%
Motion 23: [Hurling] Players who receive two yellows would be substituted rather than two yellows equally a red card. The player would be forced to leave the field but his team would not be reduced by players on the field. (Proposed by Hurling 2020) Rejected 68.6%

Motion 24: [Hurling] Winners of the Christy Ring competitions would be automatically promoted to following year’s Provincial Qualifier Group in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship rather than playing a play-off.(Proposed by Hurling 2020) Passed

Motion 25: [Hurling]

      • A penalty would be struck at the centre of the 20m line and the semi-circle arc or at the point where the player takes the penalty. The player having brought the ball back up to the seven metres from the 20m line if attempting to run while striking. The ball shall be struck on or outside the 20m line but not inside it. Only three defending players shall stand on the goalline and shall not move towards the 20m line before the ball has been actually struck. All other players, with the exception of the player taking the puck, shall be outside the 20m line and the arc and shall not cross the 20m line or the arc until the ball has been struck. If a defending player(s) fouls before the ball is struck and a goal does not result, the Referee shall allow the Penalty Puck to be retaken.
      • For all other free pucks awarded on the centre point of the 20m line and the semi-circular arc, the provisions of (a) above shall apply, except the limitation on the number of defending players that shall stand on the goal-line.
      • The player defending a free puck awarded on the 20m line at a point other than on the centre point of that line, shall stand a minimum of 20m from the point of award of the free and may not move closer to that point of award until the ball has been struck.” (Proposed by Ard Chomhairle) Passed 93.1%

Motion 26: [Hurling] If a player taking a free puck (other than a Penalty Puck or other Free Puck awarded on the center point of the 20m line) fails to lift the ball at the first attempt, or fails to strike it, he must strike it on the ground without delay. Only when he delays may a player of either side approach nearer than 20m. If a player taking a Penalty Puck or other Free Puck awarded on the center point of the 20m line fails to lift the ball at the first attempt or fails to strike it, even if that action causes the ball to marginally cross inside the 20m, he shall be allowed to strike the ball on the ground without delay. Only when he delays may a player of either side approach nearer. (Proposed by Ard Chomhairle) Passed 95%

Motion 27: The addition of a hooter system for all senior football and hurling championship matches was suggested last year to be removed. (Proposed by Ard Chomhairle) Passed 83.1%

Motion 28: To put in place the dates for collective training as a group to return after exiting the championship.
Senior Inter-County panels may return to collective training and/or games for a following year on a timetable determined by their time of exit from the All-Ireland Championships in a current year as follows:
Exit June: Commence Training November 15th.
Exit July/All Ireland Quarter-Finals: Commence Training December 1st.
Exit August /All-Ireland Semi-Finals: Commence Training December 8th.
Exit September (excluding All-Ireland Semi-Finals): Commence Training December 29th. There shall be a mandatory closed period for games and collective training of all Senior Inter County panels from December 21st to 28th inclusive.
The commencement dates for the collective training and/or games of Inter-County underage teams shall, unless otherwise approved by Central Council, be as follows:
Under 21 Football: 1st December for trial/challenge games on weekends only, 1st January for collective training.
Under 21 Hurling: 1st March. Minor Hurling and Football, As determined by Central Council. An Under-Age Inter-County Team (i.e. U21 or Minor) shall be restricted to a maximum of three collective sessions – Training and/or Games – per week.
Post Primary Schools shall have ‘first call’ on players who are also involved with a Team in an Inter-County Under 21 Provincial/All-Ireland Championship, and such players shall be restricted to Training with a Post Primary School Team only, during such dual involvement. Penalties for breaches of Rule 6.43
Senior Inter-County panels: Team forfeits next home game in the Allianz League.
All other Inter-County panels: Prohibited from participating in challenge games/tournaments until 31st January (Under 21 Football) and 31st March (U21 Hurling). (Proposed by Ard Chomhairle) Passed 69.3%

Motion 29: [ Hurling & Football]
This rule does not require the two-thirds majority, it details the number of players on a panel and time before a game in which a team is named. “This enacts a new rule, whereby, for senior inter-county championship games, a panel of 26 players (team plus subs) be registered no later than 9am on the Thursday before a weekend game. The penalty for breaking the rule is the withdrawal of sideline privileges for the manager and/or a €1000 fine. No players may be added to the registered team or panel after it has been submitted (with the exception of a goalkeeper or sub-goalkeeper) and the penalty for breaking this rule is forfeiture of the game. On the day of the match itself, a prescribed team list (as issued by the Committee-in-Charge from time to time), confirming the 15 starting players and maximum 11 additional panel members, shall be submitted to the referee not later than 20 minutes before the official starting time. A fine of €1000 will be issued for every minute after the prescribed time.” (Proposed by Ard Chomhairle) Passed 52.2%

Motion 30: A referee and/or umpire may obtain help from Hawkeye when questioning a point or wide in Croke park and venues around the county’s approved by the Central Council. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 98.6%

Motion 31: A club that cannot enter any team for two consecutive years the Club shall be deemed to be wound up with the foregoing provisions of this Rule having full effect as if the decision to wind up was otherwise taken. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 93.4%

Motion 32: A Club which does not take part in any competition such as Junior, Intermediate or Senior Championship, either as an individual Unit or as part of a Group Intermediate or Senior team (amalgamated), shall lose representation on County and other Committees and shall not be entitled to make nominations, table motions, or participate at the Annual Convention for their county (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 91.8%

Motion 33:
A)An Annual County Convention shall be held before 18th December Passed 85.8%
B)A Provincial Convention shall be held at least five weeks before GAA Congress(Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle)(Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 85.8%

Motion 34: To allow Junior and Intermediate Players of Clubs, (including Players of Clubs unable to field Junior and/or Intermediate teams) to play for Divisional or Group Intermediate and Senior teams, without losing their status as a junior or intermediate player subject to annual review by the County Committee. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 93%

Motion 35:
Planning, Physical Development and Safety Committee, shall be responsible for:
(a) Club Planning and Development including the Training of Club Officers (in conjunction with the Provincial Council)
(b) The Planning and Development of Grounds and Facilities, and Health and Safety. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 96.1%

Motion 36:
Club and underage fixtures must be submitted to it’s Provincial Council by the last day in February each year and shall approve/make suggestions or amend if necessary. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 84.8%

Motion 37:
In relation to Congress Dates, and locations; The Annual Congress shall be held prior to 1st March. The venue shall be selected by the Central Council, who shall give due consideration to all applications received by the Council. It shall consist of the outgoing Council (voting rights as on the Council), the past Presidents, and delegates from Counties in Ireland on the basis of one delegate from each ten affiliated Clubs or fraction of ten over five with a minimum representation from such Counties of four delegates and a maximum representation from any one County of ten delegates. Counties with fewer than five affiliations shall be represented by not more than two delegates. An Overseas County Committee, with representation on Central Council shall have a representation of four delegates in addition to its Central Council delegate. An Overseas County Committee not represented on Central Council shall have a representation of a maximum of two delegates which may be subject to review and adjustment by Central Council from time to time. Provincial Secretaries and Chairpersons of National Committees shall be entitled to attend and speak, but shall not have voting rights. The President, at his discretion, may invite other visitors to Congress to speak. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Deferred 

Motion 38:
Motion(s) for  GAA Congress carried at a County Convention or submitted directly by a County Committee shall be sent by electronic transmission to the Director General within five days of the date on which County Convention is held.
(ii) A Motion from a Provincial Council shall be sent by electronic transmission to the Director General within five days of the date on which the Provincial Convention is held. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 97.4%

Motion 39: [Hurling & Football]  Teams that wish to play at a lower level in the provincal and All-Ireland club championships than in their own county must have permission from the Centeral council first.  (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 95.8%

Motion 40: [Hurling & Football] Amending other relevant connection definitions as:

With a particular County if

        • The member’s parents at the time of the member’s birth were permanently resident in that County.
        • That County is the County of the first Club of either of his parents.

With a Particular Club if

        • The Member’s parents were at the time of his birth permanently resident in the present Catchment Area of that Club. (ii) In the case of a player whose parents were permanently resident in Co. Dublin at the time of his birth, that Club was the First Club of either of his parents.
        • County Bye-Laws either defined generally or for specific cases that particular factors give rise to such a connection.(Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 98.6%

Motion 41: The Competitions Control Committee shall make its decision in accordance with Rule and County Bye Law (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 98%

Motion 42:
Player Transfers: An appeal against a decision on a Transfer shall be made in writing by an aggrieved party to the County Hearings Committee. It shall be made within three working days of the receipt of notification of the decision, it shall state the grounds on which the appeal is being made and shall be signed by the applicant player or in the case of a Club, by its Secretary. Other formalities regarding submission of Appeal (e.g. provision of duplicate copy, fee). (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 97.7%

 Motion 43: A Player shall have played in Club Championship with a Club, Group, or Divisional Team in a County in the previous or current year to be eligible to play in any Inter-County Competition with that County (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed 95.2%

 Motion 44: In the interests of the avoidance of any doubt regarding Age Grade eligibility, Championship year shall mean the Calendar year in which the Competition is commenced. In the event that the Competition is completed in a subsequent Calendar year, such circumstances shall not be construed so as to allow a player who was ineligible, by reason of age, at the date of the commencement of the Competition to play in the Competition at any time up to and including the date of its conclusion. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed  95.8%

Motion 45: County Championships (page 87) be deleted and the remaining sub-sections be re-numbered accordingly Rules Advisory Committee/Ard Chomhairle. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed

Motion 46:
That the third sentence of Rule 6.24 – Official Guide Part 1- Organisation (Provincial and All-Ireland) (page 90) be amended to read as follows: If a County Championship winning team is ineligible as a result of (i) or (ii) above or alternatively ineligible by reason of Debarment, Suspension or as a result of any Disciplinary Action whatsoever, the County Committee concerned shall nominate an eligible Club of the appropriate Championship status to represent it. The remainder of Rule 6.24 to remain unchanged. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed

Motion 47:
That Rule 7.3 (dd) – Official Guide Part 1 – Procedures for Disciplinary and Related Hearings (page 133) be amended to read as follows: Subject to the Rules of Evidence above, the Hearings Committee may make a finding that the facts proved disclose an infraction but either: (i) One less serious than that alleged in the Notice of Disciplinary Action or (ii) One that differs from that alleged in the Notice of Disciplinary Action but is in the same Category of Infraction and may make a decision accordingly. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed

Motion 48:
That Rule 7.5 (j) – Official Guide Part 1 – Term of Suspension (page 137) be amended to read as follows: A Term of Suspension shall be in consecutive weeks except: (a) where a Suspension is extended pursuant to part (g) of this Rule after the expiration of the period first imposed ; (b) where a period of Suspension has already been served by the Defending Party for the particular infraction which is the subject of the Suspension being imposed, in which case credit shall be given for the period of Suspension already served. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed

Motion 49:
That Rule 11.5 of the Club Constitution – Appendix 4 – Official Guide Part 1 (page 170) be amended to read as follows: An independent suitably qualified Person or Persons shall be appointed as Accountant(s) or as Auditor(s) to report on the Accounts/Financial Statements of the Club for presentation at the Annual General Meeting. If deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee of the Club the Accounts/Financial Statements shall be audited. A copy of the Accounts/Financial Statements as adopted and approved shall be submitted to the County Committee within four weeks of the date of the Annual General Meeting. (Proposed by Rules Advisory commitee/Ard Chomairle) Passed

Motion 50:
Proposes that the age of eligibility to play senior club football and hurling be raised from over 16 to over 17, and for inter-county from over 16 to over 18. At U21 level, it proposes that club players be over 16 and that inter-county players be over 18. (Proposed by the Minor Review Committee) Passed 68.9%

Motion 51:
Proposes that a player on an inter-county minor panel shall not play in adult club league competitions/challenge games until his inter-county activity for the year is concluded. (Proposed by the Minor Review Committee) Passed 69%

Motion 52:
This motion proposes the removal of the All-Ireland Minor Championship quarter-finals, and would provide for the four provincial minor champions to proceed directly to the All-Ireland semi-finals. (Proposed by the Minor Review Committee) Rejected

Motion 53: This motion relates to the dates when provincial minor championships should commence. (Proposed by the Minor Review Committee) Passed 84.3%

Motion 54: This motion gives second level schools ‘first call’ on players involved with a county minor or U21 panel until such time that their competitive involvement with their school team is concluded. (Proposed by the Minor Review Committee) Rejected 56% (needed two-thirds approval)

Motion 55: Where a County Bye Law provides that the Treasurer and/or Childrens Officer is not subject to the maximum period of office of five years. If a member is appointed to an Officer position “in term” twenty six weeks or less before the next Convention that time served shall not be considered as part of the five years` period. (Proposed by Limerick) Passed 80.1%

Motion 56: To be amended to read as follows: Motions for consideration by the County Convention shall be submitted only by clubs and the County Committee. Such motions shall be submitted on the motion paper which shall be sent to the clubs at least six weeks prior to the County Convention and which shall be completed and returned to the Co Secretary at least one month prior to the Convention. Motions from clubs must have been approved by an Annual or Special General Meeting of the club and the date of such meeting shall be shown on the motion paper. (Proposed by Cumann Cill Mor, Roscommon) Passed 78%

Motion 57: The Chairperson of each Provincial Sub-Committee shall present a Progress Report on the work of the Committee as required by Provincial Council. A Progress Report shall be presented by all Sub-Committees at least once per year. (Proposed by Munster Council) Passed 91.4%

Motion 58: Central Council shall have the power to authorise the use of Croke Park and all county grounds for games other than those controlled by the Association. Remainder of Rule to remain unchanged. (Proposed by Milltown-Malbay, Clare) Rejected 37.9%

Motion 59: With Drawn (Playing Rules)

  • In general, a player may only play for the County of his Own Club and its Province
  • A Player who transfers to a Club shall have an option to play for either his First County and Province, by declaration, or the County of his Own Club and Province
  • A Player may declare for a County based on ‘Other Relevant Connection’
  • A Player may declare for a County based on ‘Other Relevant Connection’
  • Subject to that County being allowed by Central Council to avail of this provision, and the Player’s Declaration receives the sanction of the Committee of his First County or Own County, as applicable. A written Declaration for a County may be lodged or revoked on or before the last day of March in any year. A player transferred outside his First County after the last day of March may, on such transfer, declare for his First County A player who declares for a County in pursuance of this Rule, may not thereafter declare for another County
  • A player shall have played in Club Championship with a Club or a Divisional Team in a County in the previous or current year to be eligible to play in any Inter-County with that County save:
  • Where the County is his First County or He has Declared for that County under ‘Other Relevant Connection’
  • A player shall not play for a second County in a given year

Motion 60: Playing in USA/Canada/Australasia/Europe.
Authorisations and Sanctions, as outlined in (a) and (b) above, are available only to players who are current members of Clubs in Ireland. Members of Clubs in Britain are not entitled to such Authorizations or Sanctions and if such a Player obtains an Inter County transfer to a County in Ireland, he shall not be eligible to obtain an Authorization or Sanction within two weeks from the date of transfer being granted. (Proposed by Aidan McAnespies GAA in North America) Rejected 90%

Motion 61: Player availability to clubs

The period of time a club player shall not be expected to fulfill inter-club championship fixtures prior to inter-county championship games. It proposes that that period for championship games (except the All-Ireland final) be reduced from 13 days to 6 days. If passed, it would mean clubs would have slightly more access to their players in advance of inter-county championship games. (Proposed by Tyrrellspass, Co Westmeath) Rejected 83%

Motion 62: Motion 62 has been taken off “to speed up Congress” in the words of the delegate

Motion 63: Rejected

Motion 64: Rejected

Motion 65: Rejected as linked with Black Card Debate

Motion 66: 
That Rule 7.3 (aa) (vi) – Official Guide Part 1- Procedures for Disciplinary and Related Hearings (page 131) – be amended by deleting “or other compelling evidence” The remainder of the rule to be unchanged (Proposed by Cratloe, Clare) Rejected

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