“Advantage should only be played when the player that is fouled is clear and has time and space.”
The GAA have attempted to explain the advantage rule further by issuing additional guidance to club referees ahead of the resumption of adult games next month.
The new updated wording of the rule has sparked confusion across both codes of the Allianz National Leagues, with referees blowing up a lot more fouls early on instead of letting play develop.
The GAA’s new advantage rule.
Before the updated guidance earlier this year, it was at the referee’s discretion whether he would allow an advantage of up to five seconds before having the safety net of bringing the play back for the original foul.
However, a quirk in the GAA rulebook indicates that the referee must give the latest foul that has occurred.
For example, if an attacking player is fouled by the defender but continues to play on and takes too many steps, the referee – even though he is playing advantage to the attacker – must, by rule, give a free out for over-carrying.
Now while this wasn’t strictly implemented, the GAA wanted to cover themselves in case of any match-defining moments coming down to this rule.
GAA advantage rule new wording.
They decided to change the wording of the rule this year, where an official can now only play advantage if there is “the potential of goal-scoring opportunity” or “by creating or capitalising on time and space”, therefore limiting situations where this might occur.
Here are the GAA’s items to note around this rule change:
“A goalscoring opportunity is for the referee to decide but should be a clear opportunity,” the GAA outline in this document.
“Creating or capitalising on time and space, effectively means that advantage should only be played when the player that is fouled is clear and has time and space.
“If a player is surrounded and being tackled, the referee must penalise any foul play by awarding the free.
“If the player who received the advantage committees (sic) a foul within five seconds, the referee shall award a free against that player from where the foul occurred.”
No doubt we will continue to see the vast majority of fouls being blown up early until the GAA withdraws the updated guidance, or gets rid of the rule which makes a referee have to give the second foul, even if it is for a player being fouled.
A long summer ahead…