Dublin star sews it into camogie higher-ups over skorts, shoulders and lack of double-headers 3 days ago

Dublin star sews it into camogie higher-ups over skorts, shoulders and lack of double-headers

Eve O'Brien sat down and she had a few things to get off her chest.

A few things that the majority of camogie players in Ireland will agree with.

The All-Ireland camogie final was a disappointment this year.

The Cork and Kilkenny rivalry in camogie is akin to Tipperary's and Kilkenny's between 2009 and 2014 in the hurling. No love lost. Hurling at its breathtaking best.

The third O'Duffy decider in a row between these teams was supposed to be an advertisement of their great skills.

Instead, it turned into a free-laden fiasco sprinkled with some moments of individual brilliance in between the stop-start scrappiness. The ref was blowing for everything and these girls weren't allowed to hurl naturally.

The rules were partly to blame for that, so was the fussy referee who was way too by this pernickety book.

The game needs to be let flow like like it should be. That hasn't happened in a long time according to Dublin full back Eve O'Brien, who argues that the same archaic rules are being enforced by the camogie association on the game, despite the fact that the players have become more physical in time.

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"The talk of the final this year, the one day that people actually watch camogie, everybody's just talking about the ref...'They can't touch each other," said the Dublin full back.

"It's horrible, it's so tough to watch because it's so stop-start, it's rubbish. The game is a good game when its let flow," she said.

"The same thing happened two years ago in the final...Jesus I'll get killed for this but the camogie association is just a very conservative association that doesn't like change...

So what rules are causing the problem?

No shouldering allowed - but also referees pulling anything related to a hard tackle

"Just mainly the physicality...We had a convention last year, we were like please, can we get shouldering in..."

"We're just not let hurl...Women are much stronger now, we do the same S and C as men - the game has evolved but the rules haven't changed."

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The hand-pass goal is another

"The Hand-pass goal, I think it destroys the game, there's no skill involved...I'm full back so I hate it," she jokes.

Consistency of refereeing

"I can't blame the refs, because their hands are tied by the rule-book..."

But at the same time, the different referees are very different in how they apply these rules.

"The consistency of refereeing too...There's only a handful of refs - so every week we've a game, we look at the sheet and we're like, who have we got this week? We have to completely change our game based on the ref. It's ridiculous."

"People want it to be just like hurling...the players are crying out for this, but they don't listen. 

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Skorts

All camogie players have to wear skorts. If they don't there's a possibility that their team could be thrown out of the championship.

"We wear skorts, just because we're women and we should be ladies and wear skorts. It's a small thing but it's very symbolic of the organisation that is quite traditional...

"Skorts, from a symbolic point of view, it's a simple thing to change and I feel a lot of girls would agree with me..."

 

Organisation as a whole

"We (the players) seem to be forgotten about a lot of the time," she said.

"That's all there is, talk. It's hard for players, because we're not at the tables, nor can we be. We have to train. 

"The people often representing the players, like the county board - there's a massive disconnect. If you go to the camogie association - all the delegates, they're not in touch with the players.

Calls for double headers

It isn't even about the support. It's about a need for money.

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"I'll give you an example - last year, we were playing Offaly and the Dublin hurlers were playing them the next week - there was no reason why those games couldn't have been put together.

"The camogie association actually changed our whole year, our league was brought forward so that we were in parallel with the hurlers so there was an opportunity for double-headers...

"Galway made it work...In Dublin, we weren't able to link up with joined-up thinking. I heard things like, 'how could we split the gate...Money. That's what you're dealing with, because it's a separate kitty there."

"Again, I think it's about the county boards working together. There's a lot of work to be done there, we still haven't had a double-header (in Dublin.)"

Fixtures (Same day, same time)

On a number of occasions last year, camogie fixtures involving counties like Limerick and Kilkenny were on in different grounds across the country at similar teams, meaning there's no chance for supporters to support both.

"Families are split...People think it's when you look into the stands, that you want to see a load of people there...That's great but at the end of the day, it's money. That money that comes through the gate goes to the county board to fund your team. The reason why the womens' team don't have all the facilities - in fairness, in Dublin, we've quite a good set-up and I'm grateful for that, but a lot of that is through our own fundraising...It's to pay for a professional element of the game."

It's a lot of food for thought for the camogie association.

Dublin star Eve O'Brien was on hand today to help Dublin GAA and sponsors AIG Insurance to officially launch the new Dublin jersey at AIG's head office in Dublin.