Jackie Tyrrell suggests radical rule-change in hurling to stop it turning into football 4 months ago

Jackie Tyrrell suggests radical rule-change in hurling to stop it turning into football

Kilkenny legend Jackie Tyrrell has suggested two radical rule-changes to increase the speed of hurling as a game.

Donal Óg Cusack, on the other hand, reckons it's just fine as it is.


Comparisons with Gaelic football's penchant for lateral passing and sideways passages of play has led Tyrrell to the conclusion that, from a hurling perspective, something has to change.

In order to combat this footballisation of hurling, the James Stephens club-man has suggested that, after a maximum of two hand-passes, players should have to strike the ball.

His incline that there is too much hand-passing in the modern game is supported by the stat that, over the last five years, there has been a 40% increase in the number of hand-passes in an average game of inter-county hurling.

"I believe we've the greatest game ever in hurling," said Tyrrell.


"And I think the level of skill has never been higher, but I have slight concerns around the game around the restart of the puck-out and the continuous use of the hand-pass."

"I do believe we're four or five years behind football in that possession is so important now, it's all hand-passes.

"I believe we need to limit it to two hand-passes and a strike then," he added.


Secondly, to reward one of the game's greatest skills in the high catch, Tyrrell believes that all puck-outs should have to pass the 45. In that case, short puck-outs would be a thing of the past.

"The puck-out. I see it in football, you kick it out, it goes back to the keeper.

"I believe the puckout should have to travel past the 45 before it can be contested by the team pucking the ball out because we're losing the flow of the game, the high catch, skills of the game that need to be harnessed and protected," he added.


"Possession is nine tenths of the law," said Tyrrell.

"It's key. Limerick are systematic, and you have to applaud them, they hold onto the ball and give it at the right time. It's very like football, you see teams playing it across the middle of the field, I think hurling is following that way from football.

"I believe we should trial it because we are losing that bit of continuity, that flow."

Donal Óg Cusack has a different take, in that he feels that the system and the structure deployed by Limerick, for example, is something to be proud of.

"In general, it's a great time for hurling. It's a great spectacle, and it's something we can put up against any sport in the planet and be proud of it. It's something we should be sticking our chests out about, in terms of the competitive side of it, the skill side of it. I think the skills have never been better.


"People say the game has gone almost systematic. I would contest that totally. You look at Limerick, look at the amount of individual brilliance inside that team. Yeah they're structured, but isn't that something to be proud of?"