Maher admits ‘shock’ over imposition of yellow sliotar

Maher admits ‘shock’ over imposition of yellow sliotar

Brendan Maher. Photo: Sportsfile

Brendan Maher. Photo: Sportsfile

Brendan Maher says it came as “a massive shock” to him and his Tipperary teammates when Croke Park confirmed late last week that yellow sliotars would be used in this year’s All-Ireland SHC.

As part of the match-day regulations for the forthcoming inter-county championships, the GAA stipulated that “for all games in the 2020 GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, officially approved sliotars with yellow leather shall be used for all games (sliotars with white leather cannot be used).”

The move away from the traditional model is aimed at increasing visibility, primarily for spectators, although the new design is understood to be easier to see for players and officials also, with many of the biggest hurling matches in 2020 taking place under floodlights.

Maher stressed, however, that he had “yet to hear of a player complain about lack of visibility for a white sliotar under lights”.

“I know myself I’ve never had any problems with it,” he stressed, “it’s something you just get used to. We had been playing games under lights in the league for years with normal sliotars and there has never been an issue, so timing-wise maybe it’s up for debate.”

Maher admitted it would be “a change for us” as players and “something we need to adapt to.”

“Because whether you are used to using certain types of sliotars. What it will be like under lights, I don’t know. I actually haven’t experienced it yet.”

Issues over visibility in the past, Maher argued, may have had more to do with “the quality of the floodlight, not the sliotar.

“I think in the big stadiums we are not going to have that issue with the lights. Look, I was very surprised the change was made,” Maher added.

“Considering everything that is going on to throw something else into the mix was a bit of a surprise.”

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