Monday 16 September 2019

Camogie players call for rule changes surrounding physical contact

Claire Phelan of Kilkenny tries to hook Galway’s Aoife Donohue at Croke Park. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Claire Phelan of Kilkenny tries to hook Galway’s Aoife Donohue at Croke Park. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

A survey conducted by the Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) shows that more than eight out of 10 inter-county camogie players want to trial to rule changes.

The results show that 82pc of players don't feel that the rules were keeping up with developments in player conditioning and technical ability.

Support for rule changes, particularly around physical contact was apparent.

Players also raised concerns around refereeing.

Consistency was the main cause for concern with 60% of respondents agreeing that it was “poor”, but communication was one of the more positive aspects.

Maria Kinsella, WGPA Chairperson said: “There has been a lot of discussion around rule changes and refereeing standards in Camogie over the past number of years. A proper objective analysis of the trends in the game and refereeing needs to be carried out because players currently don’t feel engaged through the current mechanism for changing rules. We welcome the motion passed at congress to allow the trialling of new rules but it now needs a proper plan in place in order to be effective.”

Speaking from a player perspective Gemma O’Connor of Cork Camogie said: “Players have been expressing frustration around rules and referees publicly for a long time and this now represents a collective call for change and an opportunity to improve the game. We as players, or the review group, don’t have all the answers but we are willing to support the process of finding them. We respect referees and the important work they do, we want to work with them to ensure the game is as enjoyable for players and spectators as it can be.”

A working group with representatives from 12 counties have agreed three main actions points from this recent survey:

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  • Set up a player engagement group with current and past players to discuss how these findings can be integrated into the new Camogie Development Plan.
  • Commence a referee engagement process to include all stakeholders in a discussion around the policing of the game.
  • Conduct a rules review to expand on initial statistical analysis in the report and develop an action plan on trialling news rules and making informed decisions around long term changes.

Other findings from the survey included:

  • 97% felt attendance growth is very important to camogie
  • 99% were willing to help move the game forward
  • 87% have a strong pride in the game

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