THE 2014 inter-county Gaelic football season kicks off this weekend and players will have their first official outing where gum shields are compulsory. It also marks the introduction of a black card for cynical behaviour fouls, while the number of substitutes allowed per game has increased from five to six.
Players guilty of cynical behaviour fouls (black card) will be ordered off. The first three ordered off on a black card infringement may be replaced but after that, a replacement will not be allowed.
In the new disciplinary system, a player sent off on a red card, as before, cannot be replaced. A black card offence means a player sent off may be replaced. If more than three players earn a black card in the course of the game, no further replacement will be allowed.
A yellow card earns a player a caution, while two yellow cards will result in a sending off with no replacement allowed. A combination of a yellow and a black card will also result in a sending off, with no replacement allowed.
At all levels, a black card results in a player missing the remainder of the game. At senior inter-county level, once a player accumulates three black cards, it will mean a one-match suspension, while three double yellow cards will also mean a one-game suspension. A combination of both (totalling three) will also lead to a one-game suspension.
At all other levels, two double yellow cards within 48 weeks will result in a two-week suspension, while two yellow cards followed by a black card within 48 weeks will also result in a two-week suspension. A combination of both will also lead to the same suspension.
Well-known Clare dual referee, Rory Hickey explained this week that “referees will be using the referees’ black notebook as the ‘black card’”.
He also confirmed that the maximum number of subs allowed for black cards is three over the course of a full game including extra time.
More information on these changes is available on www.gaa.ie/rules.