Last Sunday week, Mayo were on the other side of a similar decision when Cork were two points down with a free-kick. Cork opted for a point but the game ended when the ball was put back into play after a Cork point. Cork pointed to a consultation with the referee that took place before the free-kick was taken. Following the game there were calls for the regulation of time played to be taken from the referee.
High profile incidents like these are likely to change the way the GAA regulate playing time. In a previous post David Butler explained how one such high profile incident, in a game between Aston Villa and Stoke City, resulted in the introduction of injury or added time (here). Another high profile incident that changed the rules of a sport occured in US college basketball on March 7th, 1982. The game was between North Carolina and Virginia.
"... by the end of the game, the fans were booing, the players on both sides were disappointed, and both coaches were taking flack for thinking too much and playing too little. With seven minutes and thirty-three seconds left to play and his team and his team ahead by one point, North Carolina's coach, the legendary Dean Smith, told his team to play keep away. With Virginia's coach Terry Holland keeping his squad close to the basket in a zone defense, the North Carolina players were free to dribble and pass and stall and do everything but shoot. As the game clock ticked away, and a glorious game turned foul, the chorus of boos rose in crescendo beyond the rafters of the Greensboro Coliseum. ... The ACC championship wasn't the only "slowdown" game that year where fans booed; it was just the biggest."
The above description is taken from the beginning of a 2013 book called Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers written by Wayne Leighton and Edward Lopez. Leighton & Lopez go on to explain how the profile of the North Carolina versus Virginia played a role in the NCAA introducing a shot clock. That is why it is significant that the timing incidents in the three GAA games above occurred in such high profile games. The GAA has already experimented with the used of a clock for the male game similar to the one used in the female game. In time we will discover if the recent incident will prove pivotal.
Madmen, Intellectuals, and Academic Scribblers is not a sports economics book. Rather, it is a book about how economic ideas matter for political change. The sporting incident is used as an example of how, when people are unhappy by the outcomes produced within the existing rules, they set about changing the rules of the political and economic game. Leighton & Lopez use the sporting analogy because they argue that sports are controlled experiments in human behaviour. Many would agree. It is a book worth reading for the economists among those who read this blog.