Statistics indicate success for black card
THE GAA has credited the black card for a record high in the number of scores recorded in a single season and a very noteworthy decrease in cards awarded during this summer's Championship according to a statement released by Croke Park.
In an analytical breakdown of the 2014 season - the first since the implementation of the black card - there was an average of 34.92 scores per game, up from 32.05 last year and 30.5 in 2012.
However, the most startling evidence included amongst the figures released are those relating to discipline and by extension, the huge reduction in the number of cards doled out.
An average of 3.39 yellow cards were awarded per game in the summer just concluded, less than half (6.89) compared against the 2013 season. Indeed, just 4.32 cards (yellow, black and red combined) were shown per game in 2014, as opposed to 7.35 per match last season.
To highlight the point, just four players were red-carded across the Championship.
Last year, there were 11 sendings off. In 2012, there were nine. With 11 and 10 respectively in the summers of 2011 and 2010.
According to the press release, "the total number of cards shown for disciplinary reasons has decreased dramatically with in the region of 40% less cards being shown for disciplinary reasons in 2014".
And despite fears during the League that the Championship would herald a huge increase in the instances of black cards, the summer average of 0.8 per game held in line with the spring mean.
"The number of scores per championship game has increased by roughly 9.5% since the introduction of the new Black Card rule for cynical behaviour fouls," read the press release.
"In the 2014 Championships, the total aggregate scores (goals and points combined) per game played was 34.92
"This represented an increase of three points per game from both this year's Allianz Leagues and from the 2013 Football Championships."
The statistics released by Croke Park's number-crunchers also show a slight rise in the number of goals scored in this year's competition.
"The instance of goals scored rose from 1.98 per game in the 2013 Championships to 2.34 per game in 2014 with the number of white flags being raised increasing by almost two per game."