Camogie is the women’s version of hurling. It has been played in Ireland under the governance of the Cumann Camógaíochta na Gael (Camogie Athletic Association) since it was founded in 1905.
Like hurling, camogie is a field sport played with a stick, called a camán, and a ball called a sliotar. Women use a slightly smaller “size 4” sliotar than the size 5 played by the men in hurling. The goal of the two opposing teams is to place the ball into the opponent’s goal for 3 points, or over their goal and between the crossbars for 1 point.
In Ireland, the sport is played universally in the 32 counties. Competition exists for young girls and within the school systems at both the secondary and collegiate levels. Of the three major leagues, the All Ireland Championship is the most prestigious level of play.
The rules of camogie differ slightly from the rules of hurling:
- 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 (senior inter-county hurling games last 70)
- 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)
- Camogie players generally wear skirts or skorts rather than shorts.