GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Jim McGuinness says advanced mark is a disaster and killing art of defending in Gaelic football
The advanced mark rule was introduced in Gaelic football at this start of this year. A forward is given a 'mark' when catching a 20-metre kick pass which crosses the 45 line. But Jim McGuinness feels it is having a negative impact on the game.
Last Updated: 03/11/20 3:02pm
Jim McGuinness has blasted the new advanced mark rule in Gaelic football, labelling it a "disaster" and suggesting it belittles the championship.
Speaking on Inside The Game, the 2012 All-Ireland winning manager vented his frustrations around the rule which was introduced this year.
"The advanced mark is a disaster," he said.
"Looking at it and the way it's panning out, it's a disaster. I just don't get what it's doing for the game, apart from the stop-start effect of it. I think teams are taking advantage of it. There was one in Monaghan [vs Meath], the ball went about five metres forward, but it went 20 metres on the diagonal.
Subscribe to GAA alerts!
We'll send you push notifications so you'll receive all of the big GAA news!
"There's an element of tactical aspect to it as well. Everyone is setting up man-to-man plus-one at the back. So a bit like Dublin the last couple of years, they're keeping the ball, trying to suck people out so they can make an incision. There's a lot of bodies outside the 45 that the ball can be recycled to, and they're just putting the ball in that player's hand. Somebody is then making a dart from the top of the D to win the ball, and that's a point-scoring opportunity.
"I think it's killing the art of defending. I'm looking at Peter Canavan there, one of the best forwards that ever played the game. If you think of Tony Scullion, Ciaran McKeever, John Joe Doherty, guys that he came up against in Ulster. When Peter got the ball in his hands, that moment was the moment the whole stadium would go, what's going to happen now? Because you're playing against brilliant defenders, 'who is going to win that battle?'
"There is no battle now! The only battle is if you can get out in front of your man. Maybe you can push him in the first instance to get that first metre."
It's killing the art of defending.
McGuinness feels it is unfair on backs
The rule was brought in with the intention of encouraging long-passing and high-fielding, but McGuinness feels it's not working out in that manner.
"They're not winning the ball above their head," he continued.
"They're winning the ball on their chest. So it's not encouraging the high catching that we thought it was going to encourage. It's not encouraging long [kicking], because people are kicking the ball five metres outside the 45.
"In theory, you could produce players that are free-takers, very poor quality players, but are really quick. And they could put five, six points on the board for you.
"It would make sense if the kick was outside the 65. Then you would have a booming ball. And then the other rule, you've got to catch it over your head.
"But we're saying now, if you can get out in front of your man, catch the ball into your chest, we can stop the game and that's a point-scoring opportunity in championship football, where people have almost died on the pitch for their counties."
"For me, there's just so many negatives. I just don't understand what they are trying to achieve with it," he continued.
"I think it belittles the championship to be honest, and everyone who has kicked a point in earnest in championship football. It's just a terrible rule in my opinion."
Watch Inside The Game, our GAA discussion show, every Wednesday on Sky Sports Mix.