1. ‘The Free Puck’: an evolving art or ill applied rules?

Question more than a rant.

The scoring rate, accuracy and distance from free taking is nothing short of impressive.

I could be showing my age here: but traditionally ‘the free puck’ in hurling was a lift and strike. There appears to be varying degrees of a ‘solo/balancing of the ball’ incorporated in free taking now (for majority not all inter county free takers, and very obvious at club level.)

Has the interpretation of the rule changed? Or is it just not applied?

2.5 (a) For all free pucks, including penalties, the ball may be struck with the hurley in either of two ways:
(i) Lift the ball with the hurley at the first attempt and strike it with the hurley.
(ii) Strike the ball on the ground.
‘Lifting’ the ball with the hurley shall not constitute ‘striking’ the ball.’

It’s very subjective. No rule against lifting the ball balancing on the hurl for any amount of time ye like or dj Carey/anthony nash esque kinda soloing with it before letting rip.

The agreement is not to do above but the recent change in rule doesn’t stop above happening.

Balancing the ball on hurl after lifting is like the 4 steps, it’s very rare if at all that 5 steps is blown.

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The subject was raised in the TSG highlights show of the 1989 All-Ireland Final. Given the hammering that Tipp gave Antrim, I suppose they had to try and find something controversial to look at. Nicky English was taking frees for Tipp and, using the roll-lift technique (SOOOO out of fashion these days), he kept the ball in contact with his hurl for longer than most would have as he raise the ball to strike it. Some were questioning the legality of his technique.
I don’t think they discussed why Paul Delaney was omitted from the Tipp team on the morning of the game, especially given the lengths the Tipp County Board went to to ensure the late Tony Keady was banned from the Tipp/Galway semi-final the previous month.