Rule of the week: The ball on the ground

A RECENT addition to Gaelic Life is the Rule of the Week and here is this week’s example.

By Michael McMullan

MAYO fans were on their feet. Jordan Flynn rifled a close-range shot to the net in the first half of Sunday’s defeat to Dublin.

But it didn’t count. At the time, it appeared a harsh call, but David Gough made the right call and Stephen Cluxton’s 420-minute clean sheet remained intact.

After losing control of the ball, Flynn used his knees to get the ball into his hands before applying the finish. This is illegal.

And it came almost a year since Westmeath’s goal – into the same Hill 16 goals – was allowed to stand against Cavan in the Tailteann Cup final.

Luke Loughlin fielded a diagonal ball before spilling it. Lying on the ground, Loughlin palmed the ball across the grass for Lorcan Dolan to slot to the net.

Ironically Mayo manager Kevin McStay was on co-commentary that day and felt Barry Cassidy made the incorrect decision.

Gough was right. The ruling allows a player in possession, who then loses possession, to play the ball away on the ground.

Here is the breakdown of the ruling:

GAA Official Guide Part 2 – 2023

Football rule 1.2
When the ball is on the ground, it may be played by any part of the body except the hand(s). It may be lifted off the ground with the feet.

(i) The goalkeeper may play the ball on the ground with his hand(s) inside his own small rectangle.
(ii) Any player who falls or is knocked to the ground while in possession of the ball may fist or palm the ball away on the ground, and may score by so doing.
(iii) The ball may not be lifted off the ground with the knees.

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