THE LADIES GAELIC Football Association has moved to ensure that there is no repeat of the controversy surrounding last year’s TG4 All-Ireland senior final by approving the use of video evidence.
Carla Rowe’s point, which was clearly inside the posts, was waved wide by match officials and Dublin’s sense of grievance was heightened when they lost the showpiece decider by the bare minimum.
The ‘HawkEye’ score detection technology was not in use for the Cork-Dublin decider – but it’s unlikely to be in place this year either.
The exact way in which video evidence will be used has yet to be finalised but an LGFA source has indicated that, for televised matches only, an independent observer can signal to the match referee if there is a problem with a score.
The independent reviewer will make contact with the referee if a score which has been indicated as wide was in fact a point, or vice-versa, while video evidence will also come into play to decide whether or not the ball crossed the goal-line.
Rule 518 of the official LGFA guide has now been amended to ensure that “the ref shall be assisted in determining scores by any scoring device as approved by Central Council.”
The new rule will cover all televised grades and the majority of championship matches, as TG4’s live coverage of the All-Ireland series kicks in during the qualifiers and runs all the way to finals day in September.
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With TG4 providing live coverage of the junior, intermediate and senior deciders, ‘HawkEye’ won’t be needed by the LGFA for a contentious issue, as a member of the broadcaster’s production team will communicate directly with the respective match referees.
The LGFA has stressed that video evidence will only be used for scoring purposes and not, for example, to determine if a foul has taken place or otherwise.
There was no specific ‘HawkEye’ motion on the official Clár at LGFA Congress, held at Donegal’s Abbey Hotel at the weekend, but Association officials are confident that the new amendment will suffice.
Congress also reported that the number of juvenile dental claims through the LGFA injury fund has halved since the introduction of mandatory mouth guards.
It also emerged that a combined total of 326 knee injury claims between adults and juveniles in 2016 included 97 for anterior cruciate knee ligament problems – a significant increase on 2015 figures.
Louth also won the race to host Annual Congress next year, fending off rival bids from Dublin, Kildare and Meath.
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