Paudie Murray backs new rules but says ending league semi-finals a ‘joke’

Cork camogie manager Paudie Murray has welcomed the new set of experimental rules, but believes they will be trialled at the wrong time of year.

Paudie Murray backs new rules but says ending league semi-finals a ‘joke’

Cork camogie manager Paudie Murray has welcomed the new set of experimental rules, but believes they will be trialled at the wrong time of year.

Six experimental rules, one of which permits a player to shoulder an opponent, will be trialled during next year’s national league.

This new suite of rules, drawn up by a working group chaired by former GAA president Liam O’Neill, will then be voted on for permanent adoption at Congress 2021.

Murray, who has slammed the Camogie Association for discontinuing the league semi-finals, is concerned at the trialling of the rules in early spring. He’s adamant that February games, on rain-sodden pitches, is not conducive to gauging the true effectiveness of the new playing rules.

“Firstly, the rule changes are very welcome. That said, February is probably the worst month weather-wise, so how do you effectively trial them during this month? My response to when someone says they have to be tried during the league, the same as the GAA do with theirs, is that we don’t get to play in Croke Park, Thurles, or Páirc Uí Chaoimh during the league round-robin, said the four-time All-Ireland winning manager.

We normally get thrown onto pitches during the league that are less favourable to good hurling.

“Addressing persistent fouling has to be seen as a positive, the same as with allowing a quick puck-out and penalties becoming one-on-one. Allowing a free out of defence be taken with the hand is very interesting. Getting rid of the handpassed goal is irrelevant as there were so few goals coming from the handpass anyway.

“Regarding the rule permitting minimal contact on an opponent’s body side-on, the word minimal worries me a small bit.

If you have a strong player running up against a weaker player, who is using minimal contact and who’s not?

These experimental rules will not be in use for the 2020 championship and Murray sees it as imperative that the inconsistency of refereeing in the latter stages of recent championships is the next issue tackled by Camogie top-brass.

“In the early stages of the championship, when there are no cameras on, there will be a set of rules applied and then when you come to a All-Ireland quarter-final, semi-final, and final, everything is all over the place. If I go back to this year’s All-Ireland semi-final (Cork were defeated by eventual champions Galway), it was the best example ever of inconsistent refereeing.

"This problem needs to be tidied up. Managers can’t be showing up for All-Ireland quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals, games that are being broadcast live on television, and not know what rules will be enforced.”

Next year’s league will consist of two groups, scheduled on a round-robin format, with the top team in either advancing directly to the final. Murray has described the move to scrap the semis as “an absolute joke”.

“Getting rid of the Division 1 league semis is an absolute own goal in the promotion of the game. It is mind boggling from a developmental point of view.

The association are supposed to be about developing and promoting the game.

“How are they going to develop the game when they are stopping one of the so-called weaker teams getting to a league semi-final.

“If we lose to Waterford in the first round of the league, the league then becomes a non-event for us. It’ll be the same for every other county.”

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