Former Dublin manager and all-round hurling enthusiast Humphrey Kelleher has a suggestion which he wants aired.
The suggestion concerns penalties and, in particular, the point from which they are struck.
Even the most modest practitioner in the art of making ground will gobble up four metres between lifting and striking, while the hot shots will be close to the 13-metre line when unleashing the missile.
“Compare that with how taking a sideline cut are whistled back if they place the ball a few inches onto the pitch. That doesn’t make one iota of difference but cutting five or six metres off a 20-metre most certainly does,” said Kelleher.
His solution? Insist on the penalty strike being made outside the 20-metre line. Allow as much room as the taker wants on his run-up, but insist that he must be outside the line when striking.
Sounds like a sensible idea and I’m sure Kelleher won’t mind if I add another suggestion which is relevant to penalties and indeed the rest of the game.
Isn’t it way past time that goalkeepers (and defenders on goal-blocking duty) were prevented from using hurleys with heads the size of tennis racquets?
A hurley bas shouldn’t be more than 13cm at the widest point but it’s a rule which is totally ignored. And since nobody ever checks hurleys, who can blame the goalkeepers for giving themselves every advantage?