The collective response was mixed at best
Following a two-day session of deliberation, a handful of motions were picked from a total of 65.
Among the marquee ones which were passed by congress include, the introduction of the mark and the regrading of codes in inter-county hurling and football. U17 will be the new age bracket to denote minor hurling and football while U20 will replace U21 football. This one comes into effect from January 1, 2018.
While the latter motion generated a lot of debate in the lead-up to Congress 2016, the new mark rule was implemented without much notice. It was trialed a few seasons back but was not officially added to the game. Another meeting will be held at central council to decide when this will come into effect.
Essentially, the mark will be applied when a player catches a ball from a kick-out beyond the 45' mark. This entitles them to a free-kick which they must complete within five seconds. Alternatively, the player in possession may proceed unopposed with the ball for four steps at which point, normal rules come back into play.
GAA players and pundits have been discussing the outcome online, and while Dublin's Jim Gavin gave it the thumbs-up, the collective reaction is not exactly one of approval.
Overall a disappointing #GAA Congress for clubs. Fixture scheduling for AIFs defeated & Replays at IC games retained. Reflection required!— Stephen McGeehan (@mcgeehanstephen) February 28, 2016
Thoughts on GAA congress: (feels like emojis are sufficient)— Tomás Quinn (@mossyquinn) February 27, 2016
The Mark 😕🤔 👎🏻
Sky decision 👍🏻
Not to shorten IC season: 😪😡😤👎🏻#GAA
GAA Congress. Where new ideas go to die. https://t.co/Ih6lj5OlaI— Cormac O'Malley (@cormacpro) February 27, 2016
Yet more proof the B Championship was worth trying as Liverpool draw Manchester United #GaaCongress— Oisin Langan (@oisinlangan) February 26, 2016
For the players complaining about the mark being introduced to Gaelic football, here's the solution: when u catch the ball, just play on.— Michael Foley (@MickFoley76) February 27, 2016
Club players still shafted and the mark is introduced without a trial run. I'm away to scream with rage into a pillow.— Eamon Mc Gee (@EamonMcGee) February 27, 2016
The big man gets his chance in the middle of the field!! The introduction of 'the mark' is passed at #gaacongress2016— Dermot Earley (@dermotearley) February 27, 2016
The mark would not slow the game down any more than criss crossing the pitch with 10987 hand passes does #GAA— Derrick Lynch (@DLynchSport) February 27, 2016
Cork's Diarmuid O'Donovan says the mark will undoubtedly slow the flow of the game. #GAA— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) February 27, 2016
Bit of negativity surrounding the mark proposal today. I think it would work very well, and thought it was good in the last trial. #GAA— Niall McCoy (@McCoyNiall) February 26, 2016
Don't agree with the change of Minor & U21. Don't believe it tackles issue of burnout just moves the goalposts. #GAAcongress16— Aidan O'Shea (@AIDOXI) February 27, 2016
Dear GAA,— Michael D Macauley (@MDMA_9) February 27, 2016
Stop messing with the rules,