Every ladies footballer will agree with this new tackle rule proposal 2 months ago

Every ladies footballer will agree with this new tackle rule proposal

Sarah Rowe went from ladies football to the AFL and suddenly she was going from a sport where she could only be tackled when she was playing the ball, to a game where she could be jumped on from behind and dragged to the ground, playing the ball or not.

Two episodes in to PlayXPlay and Jenny Murphy is already campaigning for change. The Ireland rugby international and former GAA player thinks the rules of ladies football were holding players like her back, players who want a bit of physicality. "A little shoulder every now and then," as she puts it.

Currently, the LGFA are strict on the tackle rule.

It reads:

When making a tackle to dispossess a player of the ball, it must be timed when the player in possession is soloing, bouncing, kicking or passing the ball. The ball must be knocked from the opponent's hand by flicking it with the open hand or hands...

But even if you aren't advocating for contact or that little shoulder, the rules don't allow for some genuinely class pieces of skill.

Mayo and Dublin's finest, Sarah Rowe and Niamh McEvoy, were in agreement about a new proposal for the female game. Like most matches in this country, "depending on a referee, you never know what you can and can't do" but it's written in the rules about the tackle and the rules are ruining an element of the competition.

Rowe is playing in Australia now and got a serious awakening to the style there.

"The first week in training someone came in from behind me, I hadn't a clue. I got absolutely crunched," she said.

Then, back home, it's the other extreme. During the Cork and Galway Lidl league final at the weekend, Rowe watched one player getting pulled up for the cleanest of tackles but the ball wasn't being played at the time so it's technically a foul.

Along with Dublin All-Ireland champion Niamh McEvoy, the pair see a better way forward.

Listen to their idea from 26:25 here:

Although Jenny Murphy has a thirst to see the big hits, it doesn't have to be that way either but neither of the current inter-county players think it's good in its current state.

Niamh McEvoy: "You're supposed to have the discipline to wait until they hop or solo or go to play it but there are players who get really clean dispossessions when the ball is in and it's a foul"

Sarah Rowe: "Sinead Burke actually did one really good tackle at the weekend but because the ball was in, it was a free against her. But she didn't touch anyone's hand, she just touched the ball and flicked it out of her hands.

Niamh McEvoy: "In that situation, she should get away with it."

Listen to the full show right here.