CAMOGIE PRESIDENT AILEEN Lawlor believes the introduction of new playing rules and the creation of a quarter-final stage in this year’s championship will enhance the stature of the sport.
Lawlor, who recently became the 29th president of the association when succeeding Joan O’Flynn, has highlighted the awarding of two points for a converted sideline cut as a significant change.
“There are a number of playing rules that come into force including the reward of two points when a player puts the sliothar over the bar direct from a sideline cut. This is one of the more difficult skills of the game and the new rule rewards the players who can achieve it.
“It also ensures that coaches and players place an emphasis on perfecting this particular skill, rewarding teams with a bonus point, and adding enormously to the game for players and fans alike. We are also focusing on ensuring that discipline remains a key priority for players and management during this year’s championship.”
The 2012 All-Ireland senior camogie championship commences next Saturday with the opening games of this year’s round-robin competition. Defending champions Wexford, who are bidding for a three-in-a-row of national crowns, travel to The Ragg to take on Tipperary at 3.15pm.
Galway, who have lost the last two deciders, begin their campaign with a trip to Banagher to face Offaly at 2.30pm. 2008 and 2009 champions Cork are also on the road as they face off against Clare in Newmarket-on-Fergus at 1.30pm while Dublin host Kilkenny in O’Toole Park in Crumlin at 1pm.
The introduction of a quarter-final stage in this year’s championship has also been welcomed by Lawlor.
“The round-robin format is still in play but we have introduced seeding in the two senior groups, with the top two teams through to the semi-finals and the remaining runners up playing in a series of qualifiers and quarter-finals before drawing to play in the semi-final stages on August 18th.”
The Camogie President was speaking today at the official launch of the 2012 championships in Croke Park where she was joined by players including Karen Atkinson (Wexford), Julia White (Cork), Susan Vaughan (Clare), Joanne Ryan (Tipperary), Lorraine Ryan (Galway), Elaine Dermody (Offaly), Elaine O’Meara (Dublin) and Catherine Doherty (Kilkenny), at the Etihad Skyline.