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Everything You Need To Know Ahead Of The Annual GAA Congress

GAA congress

The Annual GAA Congress takes place this weekend with a number of contentious issues will be voted upon.

To help you navigate the weekend’s proceedings, we have compiled this simplified guide to the Congress and the main issues up for debate.



The Congress kicks-off at 7.30 pm on Friday, February 28, and continues on Saturday with formalities resuming at 9.30 am.

GAA congress



The annual GAA Congress takes place in Croke Park.


What is involved? 

The Congress will begin on Friday evening with a vote on the new GAA President who will take over in 2021.

The five nominees are:

Jim Bolger (Carlow)

Jarlath Burns (Armagh)

GAA congress

Larry McCarthy (New York)

Jerry O’Sullivan (Cork)

Mick Rock (Roscommon)

Following that, delegates will begin considering the motions before the results of the GAA President ballot are announced. Consideration of motions will continue throughout Saturday.


How many motions are there? 

In total, 63 motions will be debated and voted on.

GAA congress


What are the main issues being debated?

Among the motions are some contentious issues. Those include:

Motion 2

This motion seeks to give team captains and managers the power to ask the referee to consult with the Hawkeye Score Detection System and/or his fellow officials to clarify if any of the match officials erred in making a decision in relation to the validity of a score or the awarding of a free/sideline/wide/45 or 65 or square infringement.

This would be limited to two failed requests per team and the request must be made before the play resumes.

GAA congress

Motion 13

Probably the most talked-about issue. This proposes the introduction of a black card in hurling for cynical play or abuse towards a referee. A black card would result in ten minutes in the sin bin and if a player is already on a yellow card, a subsequent black card would result in a sending off.

Motion 16

This proposes that a team must designate two players and one official who can approach the referee in a courteous manner to query decisions relating to a free, sideline score, wide or the issuing of a card.

GAA congress

Motion 33

This motion proposes to establish a National Club Fixtures Oversight Committee to investigate matters related to the enforcement of rules on the scheduling and postponement of club fixtures, inter-county player availability to clubs, inter-county challenge and tournament games and closed periods/collective training.

Motion 43

This motion proposes to abolish the All-Ireland Junior Football Championship.

The full list of motions can be viewed here.


When will changes be implemented?  

Any rules amendments that are passed in Congress will be implemented a month later subject to Central Council.


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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter