THE GAA’S CENTRAL Council will debate the introduction of a new Tier 2 football championship at next month’s Special Congress, in addition to three new proposed playing rules.

Last Friday, the Gaelic Players Association called on Central Council to delay the planned vote on the proposals for a two-tier competition, saying the established Fixtures Task Force need further time to develop their own recommendations. 

But the GAA will press ahead with Central Council set to put forward a proposed format for a vote at the Special Congress, which takes place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on 19 October.

Under this proposal provincial championships will be played as currently. The All-Ireland qualifiers will be open to teams from Divisions 1 and 2 and any Division 3 or 4 teams who qualify for their provincial final.

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This will mean only two full rounds of All-Ireland qualifiers in future as opposed to four – an additional preliminary round is provided for however, in years where more than eight teams are eligible to participate in round 1.

It is proposed to then introduce a new straight knockout Tier 2 championship for all Division 3 and 4 teams that do not reach their provincial finals.

The GAA says a range of marketing and promotional supports will be committed to the new competition, as well as the use of Croke Park for semi-finals and finals and a planned increase in TV coverage.

A vote will also be taken on the proposed permanent introduction of three rules at all levels of the game:

  • The taking of all kick-outs from the 20 metre line
  • The introduction of a 10-minute ‘sin bin’ for players who receive a black card
  • The awarding of a ‘mark’ to players who cleanly catch a ball kicked from on or outside the opposition’s 45m line, that travels at least 20m and without touching the ground
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