Camogie Playing Rules Undergo Review: A Step Towards a “Thinking Person’s Game”

The Camogie Association’s Proposed Playing Rules Committee, led by Chairperson Liam O’Neill, has completed an exhaustive review of the current Camogie Playing Rules. The committee, which also includes Aoife Murray, John Dermody, and Louise Keane, is excited to announce a series of potential changes aimed at promoting a more strategic game.

Proposed Changes for the 2023/2024 Season

These proposed changes will be tested during the upcoming 2023/2024 season in third-level league fixtures. The goal is to improve the flow, skill, and fairness of the game while ensuring player safety.

Uachtarán Hilda Breslin’s Statement on the Proposed Changes

Hilda Breslin, Uachtarán of the Camogie Association, expressed her enthusiasm for the proposed changes. She believes that these trials are a crucial step towards ensuring that Camogie continues to thrive in terms of skill, speed, and excitement. She also acknowledged the transformative effect of recent rule changes on the game and expressed her delight at the prospect of trialing these potential changes at third-level league fixtures in 2023/2024.

Seeking Constructive Feedback

Breslin welcomes constructive feedback from players, coaches, match officials, and volunteers. This feedback will be instrumental in evaluating the proposed changes before they are voted upon at Congress in April 2024. She expressed her gratitude to the Playing Rules Review Committee, chaired by Liam O Neill, for their work and expertise.

The Role of Feedback in Future Implementation

The Camogie Association is committed to thoroughly testing and evaluating these potential changes. Feedback from players, coaches, and officials during the trial period will be crucial in assessing the effectiveness of the modifications. This feedback will play a significant role in determining whether these changes will be permanently implemented in future seasons.

Six Key Rules Identified for Modification

The committee has pinpointed six key rules for modification or addition. The aim is to gather feedback and assess their impact before any permanent implementation. The proposed changes are as follows:

Rule 1: Quick Puck Out

Goalkeepers will now have the option to take a quick puck out after a wide or a score signalled by the referee. However, the goalkeeper must remain within the small parallelogram. Deliberate obstruction of the goalkeeper’s quick puck out will be penalised. Additionally, players from either team will not be required to be outside the 20-meter line for a quick puck out.

Rule 2: Rough Play and Dissent

To encourage fair and physical play, shoulder-to-shoulder contact will now be permitted. Players will be allowed to tackle opponents using shoulder-to-shoulder contact from a side-on position. However, aggressive or cynical contact will remain prohibited. Charging into a player, with or without the sliotar, is strictly not allowed.

Rule 3: Handpass

A clarification has been made to the handpass rule. Players must demonstrate a clear striking action when handpassing the sliotar. Any violation of this rule will result in a free awarded to the opposing team, with the free being indirect.

Rule 4: Sideline Puck

Teams will have the option to take a side line puck from either the hand or the ground when the sideline puck is within their own 45-meter line. If the sliotar crosses the sideline outside the 45m line, the sideline must be taken as a ground puck. A score from a side line puck from the ground is still rewarded with 2 points.  No player must be within 10m of the side line free taker.

Rule 5: Clean Catch

Players can call a Mark from a clean catch past the 45m line from their own team’s puck out only.  The player who catches the ball cleanly on or past the 45m line, must immediately call a mark by holding the sliotar in outstretched arm above their head and will be awarded a Mark by the referee, signalled by the referee’s whistle.  The player awarded a Mark can choose to take a free (indirect) or play on immediately.  If the player takes the free, they must strike it from the hand at the point where the Mark was awarded.  If the player chooses to play on, they may not be challenged until they carry the sliotar up to four consecutive steps or make one act of striking or handpassing the sliotar.  Players can choose not to call a mark.

Rule 6: Concussion Substitute

In the event of a concussion or suspected concussion, teams can make a permanent concussion substitution in addition to regular substitutions. A player who is concussed or has had a suspected concussive incident must leave the field of play immediately (once cleared to move from relevant medical professionals) for medical attention.  The referee has the authority to prevent a player from returning if they believe the player is unfit to play due to concussion. Teams can make multiple concussion substitutions.

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