‘They are not going to take the heads off each other’

Cork manager Paudie Murray. Credit ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

All-Ireland winning manager Paudie Murray hopes that camogie bosses will act on the feedback they received at the weekend’s specially convened ‘Feedback Forum’ in Dublin.

Association chiefs organised the event to hear the views of players and officials in an effort to continue to promote and grow the game of camogie. The chief topic of debate last weekend centred around the rules and how they are enforced, particularly at intercounty level.

Many present at the forum, including Murray, believe that the rulebook must move with the times in an effort to increase the attractiveness of the sport for players and spectators alike. Murray insists that three rule changes must be prioritised.

He explained: “One is the advantage rule. That is a five-second rule at the moment. Our feeling would be the advantage rule suits the person that commits the foul rather than the player on the ball.

“Certainly, we would like to see the five seconds go and that the advantage would continue until play breaks down or there is an actual advantage.

“Two, there is a need to look at the contact area, particularly the frontal challenge. I think that is impossible to referee.

“I can’t see what is wrong with a shoulder, they are not going to take the heads off each other.

“There is probably a fear within certain people in the camogie that is going to happen.

“The third thing, which I think is very, very important, is to get some sort of consistency within the referees who are refereeing inter-county games, which isn’t there at the moment.

“You go from week to week and you don’t know what way the game is going to be refereed.

“They are the key areas, and I think they are areas that can be acted on very quickly and implement them for the championship if they can at all, which I then think will speed up our game.

“The rest of the issues are really irrelevant at the moment compared to those three key areas.

You would hope after our meeting that the Camogie Association would take our views on board and would act on them. It is only then you can say it was successful.

What a lot of people do not realise is the number of rule differences that exist between hurling and camogie. With the game constantly evolving, these rules are coming more and more under scrutiny.

For instance, in camogie, players are not allowed to put a hand on an opposing player’s back. They are also penalised for deliberately shouldering an opponent, while in hurling these are not fouls.

The hand-passed goal in camogie is another much debated point. Noticeable too is the lack of scores from open play, and the low-scoring nature of the last two All-Ireland senior finals.

Aoife Murray captained Cork to a 0-14 to 0-13 victory in 2018, while Rena Buckley brought the O’Duffy Cup to Leeside in 2017 following a 0-10 to 0-9 result.

One more item that generated discussion at the weekend was the wearing of skorts, which many were in favour of retaining.

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