Camogie

Camogie is very similar to the Irish game of Hurling, but it is played only by women and girls and there are some minor variations in the rules.

As with Hurling the game is played with a curved wooden stick, cut from a single piece of Ash, with a flat end and known as a hurl or hurley, or in Irish a camán [say:come-awn], and a leather covered ball, or sliothar [say: shlit-her] about the size of a tennis ball.

The Camogie sliothar is slightly lighter and smaller than the hurling one. Players in Camogie matches wear skirts or divided skirts, shorts are not allowed, though changes are currently proposed to this regulation, which certainly seems a bit outdated.

Main image: by Vincent Hoban

How Camogie is Played

Games are played by two opposing teams of 15 players with the object being to get the ball through the opponent’s goalpost. The goalpost is H shaped, with a net below the cross post.

If the ball goes between the uprights and over the cross post, a point is scored, if it goes under the post and into the net a goal, worth three points, is scored.

Players are allowed to strike the ball in the air, even above head height, as well as on the ground. When the ball is on the ground it cannot be handled but it can be lifted from the ground using the hurley, to be either caught in the hand or struck.

Once caught in the hand a player can carry the ball for no more than three paces, but is allowed to balance it on the blade of the hurley while running.

As well as striking the ball with the hurley, players can kick the ball or strike it with their hand. Goals can be scored either by hitting the ball with the hurley or by kicking it or striking it with the hand.

See Camogie Played

Camogie is not played that widely in all counties. The counties where it is strongest are Galway, Cork, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Limerick, Wexford, Down and Armagh.

While it is not as easy to find Camogie games as Hurling or Football ones, asking locals in any of these counties will put you on the right track. You will also find a list of fixtures at the Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael [Camogie Association] website.

This video of highlights from a Dublin-Kilkenny game will give you a good idea of how the game is played.

Article updated: March 31, 2017

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