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Jim Gavin says Gaelic football is only one rule change away from Aussie rules

Jim Gavin

“We’re only one rule away from the game becoming like Australian rules, on a rectangular pitch.”

Jim Gavin believes the GAA are only one rule change away from “becoming like Australian rules” and has questioned the route the sport is taking.

The GAA have recently introduced the attacking mark rule which allows a forward to get a free shot on goal if he catches a ball kicked more than 20m and from outside the 45m line to inside.

jim gavin all-ireland

Jim Gavin.

Gavin feels the logic is flawed and compared the rule changes to his own job working in the aviation industry.

“When I see some of the rules committees, and even the current one, giving statistics behind games, it’s like me doing an air accident investigation, just looking at the flight data recorder and the flight data recorder is going to tell me everything that went on in the flight,” Gavin told the JC/DC Am Seó (Showtime) Podcast.

“You need the cockpit voice recorder, I need to know about the training that the pilots were under, I need to know the organisation culture, the environment, the value set, and that will inform me what the root cause of the accident was.

“So I don’t think we have gone in deep enough to see what the root cause is of the particular style of play.”

Diarmuid Connolly.

In a podcast interview co-hosted by Gavin’s former player Diarmuid Connolly and Jonathan Courtenay, the ex-Dublin manager didn’t hold back and warned that the GAA was one rule change away from becoming like Australian rules.

“We’re only one rule away from the game becoming like Australian rules, on a rectangular pitch,” Gavin continued.

“So if we introduce tackling, as in rugby tackling, like what difference is there from Aussie Rules?

“Because you can call a mark from a kick-out and you can call a mark from both defensively and offensively when it’s kicked into the scoring zone in an attacking play.

“If you introduce a rugby or an Aussie Rules tackle, what’s the difference? There’s a fine line and of course we want to promote skills.”

jim gavin all-ireland

Tackle rule.

While the 1995 All-Ireland winner accepts that the new kick-out mark rule has been largely positive, the GAA’s failure to define the tackle is the root cause of a lot of the rule changes, according to Gavin.

“The kick-out mark has been good but the reason they had to introduce it was because they weren’t enforcing the tackle and the tackle isn’t really that well defined in Gaelic football,” Gavin added.

“So that’s the root cause of it. Why are guys being mauled when they win a kick-out? Because they could get away with it and the tackle was so ill-defined.

“So there’s a little bit of work to be done on that but I don’t want to be too critical because they’ve done a phenomenal amount of work and research but give me the root cause and then I’ll give you the answer.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

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