O'Flynn to sign off with raft of changes


CAMOGIE/ANNUAL CONGRESS:JOAN O’FLYNN’S term as president of the Camogie Association comes to an end at the annual congress in her native Cork this weekend, but there is plenty of business to be taken care of before the Kildare resident can hand over her duties to Aileen Lawlor.

Included are a number of motions proposing key changes to playing rules after consultations with players, managers and officials over the past 12 months.

These include increasing the worth of a sideline cut that goes directly over the bar to two points, increasing the number of substitutes in all league competitions to eight and establishing better defined categories of foul play.

“There has been quite a bit of debate on whether camogie is becoming over-physical, so we’ve classified the fouls in a clearer way as technical fouls, rough play and aggressive fouls” said O’Flynn. “They should give clearer guidance to players, coaches and referees.

“Two points for a sideline is a reward for one of the great skills of the game. You want to incentivise the elements in any sport that make you gasp. “I also think it would make teams think more about playing the ball out of defence rather than playing it out over the line. As regards the eight subs, teams now carry 30 players in a panel at inter-county level. People use leagues generally to try and identify new players for the championship. There’s an experimental element to it so increasing the number of subs to eight would facilitate that and facilitate player participation.”

The results of a player welfare report will be released over the weekend as well. Some 138 club, college and inter-county players over 18 and with an average age of 25 were surveyed for the report.

A worrying statistic in light of the near-fatal cardiac arrest suffered by Bolton soccer player Fabrice Muamba recently, was 20 per cent of the players had never undergone health screening. More than half reported being injured in the last six months.

The majority of respondents agreed their commitment to camogie affected family and social lives, while the fact just six per cent were recompensed for expenses, even though 95 per cent travelled more than 15km to train and play, is noteworthy. It was acknowledged, however, that the Camogie Association cannot afford to offer any allowance to players.