GAA Rule changes
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Please note the following Playing Rule changes which were passed
at Congress on Saturday, 14th April 2012. These changes will become
operative one month from Congress (i.e 14th May) and are to be
implemented in all competitions. (They are also operative in
Connacht GAA Football Senior Championship on Sunday next, 6th May).
We would ask that you notify all club referees of these changes and
the implementation date.
1. Football Only - "Square Ball"
This has been amended to allow a player enter the small rectangle
once the final deliberate play of the ball has been made, i.e as
soon as the player kicks, hand-passes, fist passes or deliberately
flicks the ball into the small rectangle then the attacking player
may enter. The rule is unchanged with regard to "Set Play" i.e.
Free Kicks, Line Balls and 45s - in these instances players are not
permitted to enter the small rectangle before the ball.
The text of the new rule is attached as an Appendix to this
2. Hurling and Football
An additional Power of the Referee has been added as follows:
"To consult, on a needs basis, with a linesman or umpire(s) - where
neutral - in order to establish matters of fact. In the case of the
Umpires, this shall include consultation concerning the validity of
a score when the Referee is in doubt".
This rule change gives the referee power to consult with the
linemen and umpires and will be particularly relevant in the
adjudication on "square balls".
3. Hurling and Football - Rule 2: The Players, Rules of
This has been amended to allow substitutions be made when the
referee has stopped play after a score or wide or for a free,
sideline puck/kick or where the Referee has stopped play for
medical attention to an injured player.
Previously substitutions could only be made when the ball had gone
out of play following a score or a wide, or when a stoppage in play
was called by the referee for medical attention to an injured
Rule 4.9 Official Guide Part 2 - Rules of Foul Play - Rule 4
"For an attacking player to enter opponents' small rectangle:
(a) During Play (excluding Set Play), before the final play of the
ball into the small rectangle
(b) In Set Play, before the ball enters the small rectangle.
(i) If an attacking player legally enters the small rectangle, and
the ball is played from that area but is returned before the
attacking player has time to leave the area, provided he does not
play the ball or interfere with the defence, a foul is not
(ii) When a point is scored from outside the small rectangle and
the ball is sufficiently high to be out of reach of all players,
the score shall be allowed even though an attacking player may have
been, otherwise illegally, within the small rectangle before the
ball - provided that the player in question does not interfere with