It starts with the CCCC, moves to the CHC and then on to the CAC before a final stop at the DRA.

That’s the GAA’s disciplinary system at its most simple - but of course, it’s not nearly as simple as that. This is something that Waterford hurling fans will get to know well before the All-Ireland final.

So let’s start with the various bodies. There’s the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC), the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) and Central Appeals Committee (CAC), which all fall under the control of Croke Park.

At the top of the tree is the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA), whose members are appointed by the GAA, but which operates independently of the Association.

These committees came about in 2005 under the administration of then-GAA President Sean Kelly. Their members change every three years and are appointed by the incoming Uachtarán.

There was a feeling at the times that the disciplinary process needed to be streamlined and also that something needed to be done to stem the rising tide of cases taken to the courts by players against Croke Park in order to get bans overturned.

The final straw came in 2004 when Westmeath midfielder Rory O’Connell sought, and was granted, a high court injunction against a three month suspension imposed on him by the old Games Administration Committee.

Former GAA President Sean Kelly in 2005

This allowed him to play in the Lake County’s historic, and so far only, Leinster final win over Laois that year.

The main function of the CCCC is set fixtures at a national level and appoint referees. They also review referee’s reports, applying any suspensions that may arise coming from sendings-off, or cumulative black cards.

Another role is to review footage of games where they feel further disciplinary action needs to be taken, though this can only happen once the referee confirms that they missed the incident in question.

If the ref says that they saw the incident and took appropriate action, the CCCC’s hands are tied.

The last resort for a player is the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA), essentially the GAA’s version of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In other words, Conor Gleeson of Waterford will be handed an automatic one-match ban for his strike in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final win over Cork. Austin Gleeson must wait before finding out has the CCCC found anything in his apparent face mask pull on Luke Meade on video review.

The CCCC only recommends a punishment, for example an automatic one-game ban for a straight red card following a striking incident. It is then up to the player in question to either accept or contest that sanction.

In the words of Kelly when he was unveiling the new system, the CCCC are essentially the gardaí, while the CHC are the court.

If a player contests the punishment they have been given, they request an appearance before the hearings committee. The CHC have the power to uphold a CCCC sanction, increase it, decrease or overturn it altogether.

Austin Gleeson caught on camera

If they player doesn’t get the result they want their next port of call is the Central Appeals Committee (CAC). This body’s role is simply to uphold or quash a penalty or to send it back to the CCCC for review - in essence they are the appeals court.

The last resort for a player is the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA), essentially the GAA’s version of the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Its presence means cases involving football and hurling suspensions can’t find their way into the courts of the land without a visit to the DRA first. The thinking is that the court would be highly unlikely to overrule the DRA should it go that far.

The DRA, currently headed up by former Offaly hurler Rory Hanniffy, generally rules only on procedural matters and technicalities. Waterford’s Tadhg de Búrca went all the way to the DRA in a bid to have his semi-final suspension overturned following his red card in the win over Wexford.

The case was heard the Thursday night before the game and the ruling only came out in the early hours of Friday morning, but he was unable to prove that the CCCC had made any procedural errors and thus he missed the game.