The release of the hurling 20/20 report has put the spotlight on the issue of discipline in hurling. The problem has stirred the pot and has divided those who want tougher rules and those who feel hurling should be left alone.
It is fair to say that the review has shed some light on issues concerning the game’s welfare and these cannot be overlooked.
1. Professional fouls
With this proposed yellow card rule offered by the committee, cynicism in hurling is at risk of becoming more commonplace, and also going unpunished.
2. Player welfare
The penalty rule that will be trialed at the start of the year involves the penalty taker only facing the goalkeeper on the line. One would have to ask if the goalkeeper will face a higher risk of injury should a shot be taken from the proposed 20 meters?
It has been recorded that these shots can reach 150 kph, and if it strikes someone in the throat area, it could cause extremely serious injuries.
3. The standard of refereeing
Perhaps if we are looking at the whole discipline area of hurling, then surely the way the game is approached by referees should be looked at too.
Referees can only implement the rules set out before them, but they must also exercise common sense when making decisions. If a player commits a foul worthy of only a ticking but recieves a yellow card, and another player who commits a harsher fouls only gets a ticking, there is a major problem.
If the hurling 20/20 committee wants to look at the whole area of discipline in hurling, then it needs to also look at referees.
Ashling Dalton, Pundit Arena