The Camogie Association has their Playing Rules out for consultation at the minute. This should be good.
Whilst the game has many good points, there are a number of areas that need active consideration, not just in the way the game is played but the way in which it is administered.
Among the items among consideration in the draft are the awarding of two points for a sideline cut sent directly over the bar. Like the introduction of the hooter in the women’s big ball game, this is something that the men’s game could take heed from. It was introduced a while back of course but dispensed with. Particularly for the camogie player, scoring from the sideline is rare enough skill and even for the budding hurler it still draws gasps of admiration.
Next the mysteries of bas size on hurleys. Rule 11.13 states amongst other things: “Where a penalty has been awarded the goalkeeper is the only player who can use a hurley with a bas that does not exceed 18cms to defend the penalty.”
In my reading that means that any other player defending the penalty can use a hurley with a bas up to 17.99cms to defend a penalty. It does not limit outfield players to using their regualtion hurl, which is what they are trying to do.
It gets better. Rule 7.1, further relating to the size of the hurley bas states: “Where a penalty has been awarded, the goalkeeper is the only player who may use a hurley with bas that does not exceed 18cms to defend that penalty.”
Given the stipulation defining what goalkeepers can use: ‘a hurley with bas that does not exceed 18cms’, what size of bas are the two outfield players also defending the penalty allowed to have? This wording literally prohibits them from using any size of bas up to and including 18cm. Ergo they must use a larger bas. Literally according to rule therefore, outfield players for the purposes of a penalty are allowed and indeed required to use a hurley with a bas larger than 18 cms! What size is permitted? As the joke goes about the girl handling something for the first time, how big does this thing get!
Worringly, how many referees are aware of this Rule? How many are in a position with tape measure are in a position to implement it. And, in the case say of a penalty awarded in the dying moments of a championship match, would any referee actually take the time to do it at the risk of the mayhem that may ensure. Also, in the current era of the big bas hurley, how many outfield players are actually using a bas smaller than 13 cm? Answers to Ben O’Connor.
Next one final rant, the 200 mile Rule. Where counties and clubs are more than 200 miles apart the Camogie Association’s requirement is that such fixtures be played at a half way venue. The net result of this is that county teams in Ulster rarely get to play home national league or championship matches against anyone other than each other.
That means de facto that youngsters in Antrim and Derry don’t get to see the likes of Jane Adams and Gráinne McGoldrick in action in the county shirt on home turf.
Is there something wrong with girls that they turn into one of the three ugly sisters if they travel further than 200 miles from the front door.
if you have any comments on the Rules, send them to your county board official or straight to Croke Park. All help is welcome I’m told.