Been thinking about the current rules around the kickout. It’s an area that clearly confuses a lot of spectators, although the rules themselves are fairly straightforward. Assuming the keeper takes the kickout, then the follow applies:
- The kickout must be taken from the 13 metre line
- All players (defending or opposing) must be outside the 20m line when the ball is kicked
- All players (defending or opposing) must be at least 13m away from the ball when it’s kicked
- The ball must travel 13m before being played by another player of the defending team
Sounds simple. The problem is that there is nothing to mark where this 13m exclusion zone actually is, so players and referees alike are left to make an educated guess as to whether they are 13 metres away or if ball has actually travelled 13 metres. Basically if the ball is played diagonally, you’re left trying to apply Pythagoras’ theorem in your head to figure out the point that’s 13m away from the 13m line.
For me, the solution is staring us in the face. There is already an arc (or ‘D’) forming a semi-circle with a radius of exactly 13 metres from the exact centre of the 20 metre line (the penalty spot in hurling). Currently this ‘D’ is only used to ensure players keep the required distance for penalties. If the rule was changed so that all kickouts were taken from the centre of the 20m line and that the ball can;'t go backwards, then the ‘D’ and the 20m line itself become the exclusion zone, so there would be clearly marked lines on the pitch which would make any encroachment obvious to players, officials and spectators.
Given that a penalty kick would be awarded perhaps once every 3 or 4 games whereas you could expect up to 50 kickouts in a typical game, it does seem extraordinary that there are lines marked out on the pitch for the former scenario but not the latter.
This seems such a no-brainer I’m asking myself if I’m overlooking something obvious. Am I?