Gaelic Football: 2014 Rule Changes Explained

The Gaelic Athletic Association has issued guidance  as to what to expect from the new rule changes to be implemented from 01 January.Here we bring you those explanations courtesy


There are a number of changes to the rules of Gaelic Football Rule Changes which become operative on1 January 2014, further details of which can be found here.

In addition to that explanation of the new rules, here are a number of common questions and detailed answers players, supporters and officials may find beneficial in gaining an understanding of the impending changes.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. The new rules sees the introduction of “Black Card Infractions”, in addition to the existing Yellow and Red Cards. Do we have an actual black card?

No, we will be using the Referee’s Black Notebook as the “Black Card”.

2. If a player who is black carded is being replaced by a substitute, when may that substitution occur?

At a break in play, subject to there being no delay to the game.

3. Does the limit of three Black Card subs extend into extra-time?

Yes, the maximum number of subs allowed for black cards is three over the course of a full game, including extra time. To recap; in the course of the game the max number is six, with three more permitted in extra time, the total number of Black Card replacements allowed is three.

4. Can a team make six substitutions, even though none of their players has received a Black Card?

Yes, the maximum number of subs which a team may use is increased to six; this is not subject to any of them being for Black Cards.

5. Six substitutes have been used by a team, two of them for a Black Card, when a third player receives a Black Card. May he be replaced?

No, the overall limit of six has been reached.

6. A player who has been Yellow carded, and later in the game receives a Black Card and is, therefore, dismissed on a Red; does such a scenario count towards the number of players who may be replaced?

No. three players who receive “straight” black cards may be replaced, subject to the total of six subs.

7. County and Provincial Club Championships will be played prior to Christmas with the All-Ireland series being played in early 2014. Can you confirm if the “new” rules will be used in those competitions in 2014.

Yes, all games which are played on or after the 1 January 2014 will be played under the “new rules”.

8. In an Allianz League and Senior Championship a player is suspended for one game where he has already received three black cards. Is his slate wiped clean at this stage?

Yes, once he has served his suspension he starts again from scratch.

9. What is the penalty, at club level, for a player who receives a number of black cards?

Currently a player is dismissed for receiving a Black Card. He does not suffer any suspension for cumulative Black Cards. However if he receives a second Double Yellow or Yellow + Black within 48 weeks he is liable to a two week suspension.

10. Can a player who is sent off on a Black Card have a Hearing?

Yes, there is no change to a Player’s right to a Hearing following the introduction of the Black Card rule.

11. Where can Players, Officials, Administrators and Supporters get more information?

All of this information, and more, will be available on the GAA website at


So now that you have read and understood the changes, what re your views? Will this improve the quality of football? Make it more enjoyable for spectators? Easier or more difficult for Referees?  Your views are as always welcomed here on SportsNewsIreland.


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