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Title: Camogie  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hurling, All-Ireland Minor Camogie Championship, Gael Linn Cup, Gaelic football, Camogie All Stars Awards
Collection: Camogie, Gaelic Games, Sports Originating in Ireland, Team Sports
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A junior camogie match being played in Croke Park, Dublin
Highest governing body Camogie Association
First played Ireland
Registered players 1905
Clubs 536
Contact Contact
Team members 15 players per side,
substitutes are permitted
Mixed gender Hurling is the male variant

Sliotar (ball)
Hurley/camán (stick) Helmet

Shin guards

Camogie (; Camogie Association or An Cumann Camógaíochta.


  • The game 1
  • Profile of camogie 2
  • Rules 3
  • Foundation 4
  • Historic rules 5
  • Nomenclature 6
  • Literary references 7
  • Structure 8
  • Camogie clubs 9
  • Competitions 10
    • All Ireland Championship 10.1
    • National League 10.2
    • Provincial championships 10.3
    • International and inter-provincial 10.4
    • Inter-collegiate 10.5
    • Schools 10.6
    • Féile na nGael 10.7
  • Records 11
  • Awards 12
    • Team of the Century 12.1
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15

The game

Matches are contested by two teams of 15 a side, using a field 130m to 145m long and 80m to 90m wide. H-shape goals are used, a goal (scored when the ball goes between the posts and under the bar) is equal to three points and a point (scored when the ball goes over the bar) is equal to one point.[3]

Profile of camogie

The annual All Ireland Camogie Championship has a record attendance of 33,154[4] while average attendances in recent years are in the region of 15,000 to 18,000. The final is televised live, with a TV audience of over 300,000 being claimed.[5]


The rules are almost identical to hurling, with a few exceptions.[6]

  • Goalkeepers wear the same colours as outfield players. This is because no special rules apply to the goalkeeper and so there is no need for officials to differentiate between goalkeeper and outfielders.
  • A camogie player can handpass a score (forbidden in hurling since 1980)
  • Camogie games last 60 minutes, two 30-minute halves (senior inter-county hurling games last 70, which is two 35-minute halves). Ties are resolved by multiple 2×10-minute sudden death extra time periods; in these, the first team to score wins.
  • Dropping the camogie stick to handpass the ball is permitted.
  • A smaller sliotar (ball) is used in camogie – commonly known as a size 4 sliotar – whereas hurlers play with a size 5 sliotar.
  • If a defending player hits the sliotar wide, a 45-metre puck is awarded to the opposition (in hurling, it is a 65-metre puck)
  • After a score, the goalkeeper pucks out from the 13-metre line. (in hurling, he must puck from the end line)
  • The metal band on the camogie stick must be covered with tape. (not necessary in hurling)
  • Side-to-side charges are forbidden. (permitted in hurling)
  • Two points are awarded for a score direct from a sideline cut (since March 2012).[7]

Camogie players must wear skirts or skorts rather than shorts.


Experimental rules were drawn up in 1903 for a female stick-and-ball game by Máire Ní Chinnéide, Seán (Sceilg) Ó Ceallaigh, Tadhg Ó Donnchadha and Séamus Ó Braonáin. The Official Launch of Camogie took place with the first public match between Craobh an Chéitinnigh (Keatings branch of the Gaelic League) and Cúchulainns on 17 July at a Feis in Navan. The sport's governing body, the Camogie Association or An Cumann Camógaíochta was founded in 1905 and re-constituted in 1911, 1923 and 1939. Until June 2010 it was known as Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael.

Máire Ní Chinnéide and Cáit Ní Dhonnchadha, two prominent Irish-language enthusiasts and cultural nationalists, were credited with having created the sport, with the assistance of Ní Dhonnchadha's scholarly brother Tadhg Ó Donnchadha, who drew up its rules. Thus, although camogie was founded by women, and independently run (although closely linked to the GAA), there was, from the outset, a small yet powerful male presence within its administrative ranks. It was no surprise that camogie emanated from the Gaelic League, nor that it would be dependent upon the structures and networks provided by that organisation during the initial expansion of the sport. Of all the cultural nationalist organisations for adults that emerged during the fin de siècle, the Gaelic League was the only one to accept female and male members on an equal footing.[8]

A camogie team pictured in Waterford in October 1915

Historic rules

Under Séamus Ó Braonáin's original 1903 camogie rules both the match and the field were shorter than their hurling equivalents. Matches were 40 minutes, increased to 50 minutes in 1934, and playing fields 125–130 yards (114-119m) long and 65–70 yards (59-64m) wide. From 1929 until 1979 a second crossbar, a "points bar" was also used, meaning that a point would not be allowed if it travelled over this bar, a somewhat contentious rule through the 75 years it was in use. Teams were regulated at 12 a side, using an elliptical formation (1–3–3–3–1) although it was more a "squeezed lemon" formation with the three midfield players grouped more closely together than their counterpart on the half back and half-forward lines. In 1999 camogie moved to the GAA field-size and 15-a-side, adopting the standard GAA butterfly formation (3–3–2–3–3).


The name was invented by

  • Official Camogie Association Website

External links

  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ Rules of Camogie on website
  4. ^ a b 2007 All Ireland final reports in Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Times and Gorey Guardian
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rule Differences on website
  7. ^ Irish Independent: O’Flynn presidency coincided with emergence of 40 new clubs since 2010] Irish Times: O’Flynn to sign off on a raft of changes
  8. ^ Ríona Nic Congáil “'Looking on for centuries from the side-line': Gaelic Feminism and the rise of Camogie", Éire-Ireland (Spring / Summer 2013): 168–192.Gaelic Feminism and the rise of Camogie
  9. ^
  10. ^ Team of the century on


See also

  1. Eileen Duffy-O'Mahony (Dublin)
  2. Liz Neary (Kilkenny)
  3. Marie Costine-O'Donovan (Cork)
  4. Mary Sinnott-Dinan (Wexford)
  5. Bridie Martin-McGarry (Kilkenny)
  6. Sandie Fitzgibbon (Cork)
  7. Margaret O'Leary-Leacy (Wexford)
  8. Mairéad McAtamney-Magill (Antrim)
  9. Linda Mellerick (Cork)
  10. Sophie Brack (Dublin)
  11. Kathleen Mills-Hill (Dublin)
  12. Joni Traynor (Kilkenny)
  13. Úna O'Connor (Dublin)
  14. Pat Moloney-Lenihan (Cork)
  15. Deirdre Hughes (Tipperary)
  16. Angela Downey-Browne (Kilkenny)

Picked in 2004[10]

Team of the Century

Camogie All Stars Awards are awarded annually to the elite players who have performed best in each of the 15 positions on a traditional camogie team. Player of the year and other achievement awards have also been awarded to leading players for several decades.


Wexford having won three in a row from 2010 to 2012

Cork have won the most National Camogie League titles with 14. See National Camogie League

Dublin have won the most Camogie All-Ireland titles with 26, the last being in 1984. See All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship.


Camogie competitions for club teams featuring under-14 players are played in four divisions as part of the annual Féile na nGael festival. The county that is selected for a particular year, all their clubs host teams from all around the country representing their county. Host clubs get families to take in two or three children for a couple of days.

Féile na nGael

There is also a programme of provincial and All Ireland championships at secondary schools senior and junior levels, differentiated by the years of secondary school cycle, with years 4–6 competing in the senior competition, and years 1–3 competing at junior level. Cumann na mBunscoil organises competitions at primary school level.


The Ashbourne and Purcell Cups and Father Meachair seven-a-side are the principal inter-collegiate competitions.


Ireland plays a camogie-shinty international against Scotland each year. The Gael Linn Cup is an inter-provincial competition played at senior and junior level. The sport is closely associated with the Celtic Congress. Two former Camogie Association presidents Máire Ní Chinnéide and Agnes O'Farrelly were also presidents of Celtic Congress and exhibition matches have been held at the Celtic Congress since 1938. The first such exhibition match, on the Isle of Man in 1938, marked the first appearance of Kathleen Cody, who became one of the stars of the 1940s.

International and inter-provincial

Provincial championships take place at all levels, independent of the All Ireland series which has been run on an open draw basis since 1973.

Provincial championships

The National League is staged during the winter-spring months, with four divisions of team graded by ability.

National League

The county is the unit of structure in elite competition, responsible for organising club competitions within the county unit and for fielding inter-county teams in the various grades of the All Ireland championships and National Camogie League.

All Ireland Championship


There are 537 camogie clubs, of which 513 (95.5pc) are based on the island of Ireland, 47 in Connacht (8.8pc), 195 in Leinster (36.4pc), 160 in Munster (29.8pc), and 110 in Ulster (20.5pc).

Camogie clubs

An Cumann Camógaíochta has a similar structure to the Gaelic Athletic Association, with an Annual Congress every spring which decides on policy and major issues such as rule changes, and an executive council, the Árd Chómhairle which deals with short-term issues and governance. The game is administered from a headquarters in Croke Park in Dublin. Each of 28 county boards takes control of its own affairs (all of the Irish counties except Fermanagh, Leitrim and Sligo), with the number of clubs ranging from 58 in Cork to one in Leitrim. There are four provincial councils and affiliates in Asia, Australia, Britain, Europe, New York, New Zealand and North America.


A reference to camogie features in one of Lucky's speeches in Waiting for Godot by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.

Literary references


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