The advanced mark rule should not be used in Gaelic football, according to Mayo and Kerry footballers Colm Boyle and David Moran.
The rule states that if a player catches a ball that has been kicked over 20 metres from outside the 45-metre line that the player will be awarded a ‘mark’ and have 15 seconds to kick the ball.
The rule was trialled in the Allianz League earlier this year and was formally voted in at the Special Congress in Páirc Uí Chaoimh last month.
Boyle and Moran were on Off The Ball on Saturday and both were unhappy to see the rule being put in place for next year’s championship.
“I’d be totally against it, to be honest… Especially in the two finals - would an advanced mark have improved the All-Ireland finals this year? Definitely not. It would have slowed the game down.
“Would it improve any of the club games that we’re seeing at the minute that are being shown at the weekends? I don’t think so,” Boyle said.
"I don't see the need for it."@colmboyle is totally against the introduction of the advanced mark in the football championship.
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) November 2, 2019
Dublin footballer Jack McCaffrey also recently spoke out about the rule and Boyle shared his fears that it could strip Gaelic football of some of its best elements.
“In time teams will nearly become so good at utilising the mark that between marks and free kicks it could turn into basically a glorified free-kick competition.
That’s not what our game is about, to me anyway. I’d much prefer the game to be flowing and I think Jack’s point there is the nail on the head.
Players turning and taking on their men and defenders turning their men over and coming back up the field. I think that’s the best part of our game or one of the best parts of our game anyway,” Boyle said.
Moran was worried that smaller, more skilful players would become obsolete, as tall players would have a significant advantage as the ability to cleanly catch the ball will become crucial.
“When I look at say the minors this year and I see Dylan Geaney there who would be Paul’s first cousin and he’s like nine stone and he’s absolutely magic.
“I would hate for that to be gone out of the game where you have a guy who’s very light and just a joy to watch.
“As Colm [Boyle] said, you want them on the ball the whole time so they’re skinning fellas and there’s magic the whole time,” Moran commented.
While the rule didn’t have an enormous impact on the game in the Allianz League, as teams learn to utilise the rule its effects could become far more apparent.