New rules and revamped season await Cork camogie players from October

New rules and revamped season await Cork camogie players from October

Ballygarvan's Michaela Buckley about to gain possession ahead of Milford's Nicole O'Connor in a recent game. Both club's key players will now look forward to the inter-county season as championship is over for both clubs. Picture: Howard Crowdy

THE revised fixtures for the 2020 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland championships were confirmed last week with the return of intercounty set to begin on the weekend of October 17-18.

This is three weeks after the senior club championship concludes, pending a replay, so the clear run in will be beneficial and a first game against Offaly isn’t a bad draw at all to get Cork moving again.

All competitions will take place from October until December with the Camogie calendar culminating with the All-Ireland final on Saturday, December 12.

There are three groups in the Senior Championship.

Group 1: Cork, Galway, Offaly, Wexford.

Group 2: Kilkenny, Limerick, Waterford, Westmeath.

Group 3: Clare, Dublin, Tipperary.

Cork begin their campaign on October 17-18 away to Offaly, date, venue and time yet to be determined. Their second outing will be at home to Wexford on October 31/November 1 with their remaining game away to Galway on November 7-8. The quarter-finals are set for mid-November 14-15 with the semi-finals down for the last weekend of the month.

The Cork Intermediates are in a tough group with Kerry and Meath. Just the three of them in it with Cork at home to Kerry on October 24-25 and away to Meath on November 7-8. So, two long journeys for Cork that weekend.

It has also been confirmed that the trial playing rules which were initially implemented in this year’s national league competitions will remain in place for the All-Ireland championships. This is welcomed. There is a slight amendment to trial playing rule 3: Quick Puck-out. These trial playing rules will not apply to the 2020 All-Ireland U16 championship or any other competitions.

These trial rules were approved following the work of the rules revision working group in 2019 who engaged with over 1,500 people to propose potential changes to the current playing rules.

The trial playing rules are only being implemented in the 2020 All-Ireland championships at present and any decisions on the wider implementation of the various trial rules will be made upon review of their impact following the conclusion of the All-Ireland championships.

The six trial playing rules being implemented in the championships are:

Approved Trial Playing Rule 1: Contact...

A player may use minimal contact on an opponent’s body from side-on once they are making a reasonable effort to gain possession of the sliotar.

Minimal contact is described as contact made while making a reasonable attempt to gain possession of the sliotar. Contact must not be made in an aggressive or cynical manner.

The penalty is a free from where the foul occurred except as provided in Rules 11.2 – 11.12.

I’m not a fan of this one as its too discretionary and will vary greatly amongst referees.

Approved Trial Playing Rule 2: Persistent Foul...

A player who is deemed to be persistently fouling another player in the first instance will be noted by the Referee. For any further infringement normal rules apply.

I’m not so sure theres any significant change here. Shouldn’t that have always been the case?

Approved Trial Playing Rule 3: Quick Puck-out...

To restart the game following a wide (Rule 9.5), the Referee will blow the whistle to signal a wide and from that point the sliotar is back in play and the goalkeeper is free to restart the game via a puck-out from the correct position. The Referee will have discretion to stop the play. I really like this one. Apart from speeding up the game it’ll make teams more alert instead of trotting back out with all the time in the world to spare. Not sure why the referee has to have discretion though. If it’s allowed it’s allowed unless another infringement takes place.

Approved Trial Playing Rule 4: Free from the hand...

A player may choose to take a quick free from their hand if they are fouled inside their own 45-metre line. Only the player that is fouled can take it from the hand and it is an indirect free. 

Another great rule. 

Approved Trial Playing Rule 5: Dropping the Hurley and Hand-pass Goal...

Should a player deliberately drop their hurley then this will result in a free to the opposing team from where the foul occurred.

Any sliotar that is hand-passed directly into the net by an attacking player will be treated as a wide and therefore result in a puck-out.

I like this one but I’ve already seen issues with it. Players have discreetly pulled hurleys out of opponent’s hands and gotten away with winning a free. Referees/umpires will need to keep up with the play in that regard.

Approved Trial Playing Rule 6: Penalty/20-metre free...

A penalty must be struck from on or outside the 20-metre line but not inside it. In addition, only one defending player may stand on the goal-line during a penalty and shall not move towards the 20-metre line before the sliotar has been struck.

Where any free is awarded on or near the 20-metre line, the free must be struck from on or outside the 20-metre line. No free or penalty may be struck from within the 20-metre line or within 20 metres of the goal.

Penalty: Free out to the opposing team where the infringement occurred.

So interesting and hopefully positive improvements as we gear ourselves up for what hopefully will be an exciting inter-county championship.

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