Laura Treacy: GAA should follow camogie's lead to survey stakeholders on rules

Hurling players, managers, and referees should be able to give feedback on the rules, says the Cork centre-back
Laura Treacy: GAA should follow camogie's lead to survey stakeholders on rules

Tipperary's Cait Devane congratulates Laura Treacy of Cork after their Camogie League opener last Saturday. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Cork camogie centre-back Laura Treacy has suggested Croke Park survey hurling players, managers, and referees as a means of ironing out concerns surrounding the rules of the game and how they are being interpreted on match-day.

Treacy said camogie players were surveyed after each league game last year to give feedback on the six playing rules being trialled for the first time.

This stakeholder engagement, and the positive response it drew from the playing body, contributed to the rules being carried forward into the 2020 All-Ireland camogie championship. Each of the proposed rule changes were subsequently voted into rule at Congress.

Such is the current disquiet surrounding the hurling rulebook, Treacy said it would be “no harm” if players and managers were surveyed for their views on the trial rules voted through at GAA Congress and any other reservations they might have regarding rule interpretation.

Limerick manager John Kiely said on Sunday that “somebody” decided to remove the tackle from the game in recent months but never communicated this to players or management personnel.

“There was widespread consultation last year with regard to camogie’s trial rules and how players, managers, and referees felt they were going,” Treacy explained.

“The surveying ended up benefiting us because the rules are in now and here to stay, and that is what players wanted. It would probably be no harm if [hurling] players and managers were asked about how it was going. And then they could rejig and see what they would proceed with for championship.

“It comes down to the players and how they feel at the end of the day. If the players are liking the rules, that is kinda how ours developed.”

The Littlewoods Ireland National Camogie League threw-in last Saturday, providing a first opportunity to showcase camogie’s updated rulebook. Treacy, who was at centre-back for Cork’s 3-14 to 0-16 win over Tipperary, said the new rules went off fine, but signposted issues with the frontal charge and inconsistency of refereeing.

Camogie’s Official Guide defines a charge as pushing or moving into an opponent’s body or failing to avoid full frontal contact with an opponent. Greater clarity is needed here, said Cork’s four-time All-Ireland winner.

“If a player is running at you, and you stand your ground and hold out your hurley, and then the person running at you connects with you, sometimes you are looking up at the referee wondering which way is this going to go, will it be a frontal charge or is the ref going to say I connected with her.

“On Saturday, we had a player in possession penalised for tipping off an opponent as they went to sidestep her, the free went to Tipp, but then a Tipp player barged through one of our players at another point in the game and there was no free. The frontal charge in particular stood out to me over the weekend, just inconsistent refereeing.”

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