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Camogie

A variant of the game of hurling (which is played by men only) adapted to suit women, it is organised by the Dublin-based Camogie Association or An Cumann Camógaíochta. The annual All Ireland Camogie Championship has a record attendance of 33,154, while average attendances in recent years are in the region of 15,000 to 18,000. The final is broadcast live, with a TV audience of as many as over 300,000 being claimed.

UNESCO lists Camogie as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The game is referenced in Waiting for Godot by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.

The game consists of two thirty-minute halves. There is a half-time interval of 10 minutes. In event of extra time, halves must consist of 10 minutes each. Each team has 15 players on the field. Within the 15 players the team must consist of one goalkeeper, three full back players, three half back players, two centre-field players, three half forward players and three full forward players. There is a minimum requirement of 12 players on the pitch at all times. The rules are almost identical to hurling, with a few exceptions.

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 any score from play (handpassing a goal is 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).
Players must wear skirts or skorts rather than shorts.
Partly due to these differences, some argue that Camogie lacks the physical drama found in hurling. Under the original 1903 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 (114–119 m) long and 65–70 yards (59–64 m) 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, 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.

Field and equipment
The field is not of a fixed size, but must be between 130 m long by 80 m wide, and 145 m long by 90 m wide.

Goals and scoring
H-shaped goals are used. A team achieves a score by making the ball go between the posts. If the ball goes over the bar for a "point", the team earns one point. If the ball goes under the bar for a "goal", the team earns three points.

Foundation
The name was invented by Tadhg Ua Donnchadha (Tórna) at meetings in 1903 in advance of the first matches in 1904. It is derived from stick used in the game. Men play hurling using a curved stick called a camán in Irish. Women in the early camogie games used a shorter stick described by the diminutive form camóg. The suffix -aíocht (originally "uidheacht") was added to both words to give names for the sports: camánaíocht (which became iománaíocht) and camógaíocht. When the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded in 1884 the English-origin name "hurling" was given to the men's game. When an organisation for women was set up in 1904, it was decided to anglicise the Irish name camógaíocht to camogie.

The experimental rules were drawn up for the female 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.

Leagues
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.

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

Antrim 22
Armagh 18
Carlow 6
Cavan 9
Clare 26
Cork 58
Derry 23
Donegal 3
Down 21
Dublin 39
Europe 4
Fermanagh 0
Galway 34
Kerry 3
Kildare 19
Kilkenny 33
Laois 7
Leitrim 1
Limerick 25
London 7
Longford 1
Louth 6
Mayo 3
Meath 14
Monaghan 4
New South Wales 5
United States 7
Offaly 12
Roscommon 7
Sligo 2
Tipperary 32
Tyrone 10
Waterford 16
W. Australia 1
Westmeath 13
Wexford 33
Wicklow 13
Toronto 2
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zork0000 · 56-60, M
I have mad respect for hurlers and their skills. It's hardly ever shown over here (Canada) but incredible to see when it is.

 
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