The GAA's Management Committee has proposed clarification of the rules on penalties and 20m frees in hurling, which would mean the end of the 'Nash free'.
The recommendations would ensure that in most instances shots are taken from the full 20 metres out with no rushing the ball from defenders.
Controversy has arisen following the style of penalty/20m free pioneered by Cork goalkeeper Anthony Nash, whereby the ball is lifted forward several metres before striking towards goal.
Last Sunday, in an attempt to negate that advantage, Waterford goalkeeper Stephen O'Keefe charged from his line once Nash had lifted the ball and saved from close range.
The referee ruled that the ball was in play once Nash had lifted it and that O'Keefe was within his rights to advance, but there was controversy over whether lifting the ball counted as 'striking'.
The new clarifications proposed confirm that it is not and seek to stop defenders advancing from the goal-line while also forcing the attacking player to strike the ball no closer than 20 metres out.
The attacking player may still lift the ball forward before striking, but must bring the ball back from the line (up to seven metres) to do so.
Central Council is expected to rule on the proposed changes before the weekend.
GAA Statement in full:
The Management Committee of the GAA has asked Central Council to consider and adjudicate on the following recommendations for Interpretations of Rule in relation to the Playing Rules of Hurling 2.2 Exceptions (i) and (ii), 2.3, 2.5 and 4.16(b)
The terms “taken” or “retaken” in Rules 2.2 Exceptions (i) and (ii) and 2.3 shall mean the ball being “struck”.
A player taking a penalty or a 20m free puck, may bring the ball back up to seven metres from the 20m line for the purposes of making a traditional run at the ball, but shall strike the ball on or outside the 20m line but not inside it.
Exception: In the context of Rule 2.5, if a player taking a penalty or free puck on the actual 20m line fails to lift the ball at the first attempt or fails to strike it with the hurley, and that action causes the ball to marginally cross inside the 20m line, the player, as provided for in this Rule, shall be allowed to strike the ball on the ground without delay.
(a) The players defending a penalty or free puck awarded on the centre point of the 20m line shall stand on their goal-line and may not move towards the 20m line until the ball has been actually struck. ‘Lifting’ the ball with the hurley does not constitute ‘striking the ball’.
(b) The players defending a free puck awarded on the 20m line at a point other than on the centre point of that line shall stand a minimum of 20m from the point of award of the free and may not move closer to that point of award until the ball has been actually struck. ‘Lifting’ the ball with the hurley does not constitute ‘striking the ball’.
This Interpretation shall, in accordance with Rule 3.43, Official Guide Part 1, have the force of Rule until Congress 2015, when the issues will be further addressed by way of Motion(s).