Camogie to permit 'minimal' contact and frees from the hand in trial rules

Camogie to permit 'minimal' contact and frees from the hand in trial rules

'Minimal' contact and frees from the hand will be permitted in camogie as part of six potential rule changes being trialled.

The handpassed goal and deliberately dropping the hurley will also be banned under the experimental rules.

The trial will take place during next spring's National League before being considered for permanent inclusion in the rules of the game at the Camogie Association’s Annual Congress in 2021.

The outlawing of shouldering and 'moving into an opponent’s body' in the rules of camogie has received strong criticism from managers and players. This is addressed in the trial rules, which will allow players to use "minimal contact on an opponent’s body from side-on, once they are making a reasonable effort to gain possession of the ball".

There are efforts to speed up the game through the free from the hand and quick puck-out changes. A player will get the option to take an indirect free from their hand if they are fouled inside their own 45-metre line. Only the player that is fouled can take the free.

A quick puck-out will be allowed anytime following the referee blowing their whistle to signal a score or a wide ball. The referee will no longer need to blow their whistle a second time before a puck-out can be taken, once it occurs from the correct position.

While deliberately dropping the hurley and the handpassed goal will no longer be permitted under the trial rules, a handpassed point is still allowed.

In a move mirroring recent changes in hurling, a penalty must be struck on or outside the 20-metre line but not inside it, and the goalkeeper is not allowed to move ahead of the goal-line before the ball is struck.

A persistent fouling rule will also be trialled, with a player given a 'tick' by the referee after two deliberate fouls, and a yellow card following a third foul.

"These trial playing rules are an important step for the Association to ensure that our game remains fit for purpose for many years to come," said Camogie Association President Kathleen Woods.

The National Referee Panel will receive training in the coming weeks, while workshops will be held for players and managers before the League begins.

The Association's Rules Revision Working Group, chaired by former GAA President Liam O'Neill, consulted widely in developing the trial changes, including a survey that received over 1,500 responses.

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