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Garda vs Defence Forces match in 2012
Highest governing bodyCamogie Association
First played1904; 120 years ago (1904)
  • Ireland
Registered playersOver 100,000
Team members15 player per side,
substitutes are permitted

Camogie (/kəˈmɡi/ kə-MOH-ghee; Irish: camógaíocht [kəˈmˠoːɡiːxt̪ˠ]) is an Irish stick-and-ball team sport played by women. Camogie is played by 100,000 women in Ireland and worldwide, largely among Irish communities.[1][2]

A variant of the game "hurling" (which is played by men only), it is organised by the Dublin-based Camogie Association or An Cumann Camógaíochta.[3][4] The annual All Ireland Camogie Championship has a record attendance of 33,154,[5] while average attendances in recent years are in the range of 15,000 to 18,000. The final is broadcast live, with a TV audience[when?] of as many a⁵s over 300,000.[6]

UNESCO lists Camogie as an element of Intangible Cultural Heritage.[7] The game is referenced in Waiting for Godot by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett.

Game and rules[edit]

The game consists of two thirty-minute halves. There is a half-time interval of 15 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.[8] The rules are almost identical to hurling, with a few exceptions.[9]

  • 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 hand pass a point over the bar from play (hand passing a goal is forbidden in Camogie since 2021 and 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.
  • 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).[10]
  • Players must wear skirts or skorts rather than shorts.
A camogie match in action
Players may catch the ball with their hand

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 Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) field-size and 15-a-side, adopting the standard GAA butterfly formation.

Field and equipment[edit]

A camogie helmet lies beside a hurley


The field is not of a fixed size, but must be 130 to 145 metres (142 to 159 yd) long by 80 to 90 metres (87 to 98 yd) wide.


The length of the stick, called a "hurley", varies depending on the player's height.

Goals and scoring[edit]

Goalposts and scoring system used in camogie

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.[11]



A camogie team pictured in Waterford in October 1915
A camogie game in 1934

The name was invented by Tadhg Ua Donnchadha (Tórna) at meetings in 1903 in advance of the first matches in 1904.[12] The term camogie is derived from the name of the 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.[1]

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.[13]



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.



There are[when?] 538 camogie clubs, of which 513 are based on the island of Ireland, 47 in Connacht, 195 in Leinster, 160 in Munster, and 110 in Ulster.


There are 47 camogie teams in Connacht.

Club Teams Website
Galway 34
Leitrim 1
Mayo 4
Roscommon 7
Sligo 2


There are 195 camogie teams in Leinster.

Club Teams Website
Carlow 6
Dublin 39
Kildare 19
Kilkenny 33
Laois 7
Longford 0
Louth 6
Meath 14
Offaly 12
Westmeath 13
Wexford 33
Wicklow 13


There are 160 camogie teams in Munster.

Club Teams Website
Clare 26
Cork 58
Kerry 3
Limerick 25
Tipperary 32
Waterford 16


There are 110 camogie teams in Ulster.

Club Teams Website
Antrim 22
Armagh 18
Cavan 9
Derry 23
Donegal 3
Down 21
Fermanagh 0
Monaghan 4
Tyrone 5


Competitions in Ireland[edit]

All-Ireland Championship[edit]

The O'Duffy Cup, named after Seán O'Duffy, is the prize presented to the winners of the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship

The county is the unit of structure in elite competition, responsible for organising club competitions within the county unit and for fielding inter-county teams in the various grades of the All-Ireland championships and National Camogie League. The All Ireland Club Championship is staged at Senior, Intermediate and Junior level, usually reaching the final stages in November–December or the following March. London competed in the National Camogie League in the 2010 season, but not in 2011.

Counties compete for the elite All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship in which the O'Duffy Cup is awarded. The All-Ireland Final is held every year in Croke Park during September, usually on the week between the hurling final and Gaelic football final, and attracts attendances of up to 33,000.[5]

There are age-graded All Ireland championships at Minor A, Minor B, and Minor C, and Under-16 A, B and C level.

Six teams contest the fourth-tier Nancy Murray Cup (or Junior A championship), Carlow, Cavan, Monaghan, Tyrone, Westmeath, and the second team of Offaly.

Three teams contest the fifth-tier Máire Ní Chinnéide Cup, (or Junior B championship), Wicklow, and the second teams of Kildare and Meath.

Although six counties do not compete at adult level: Donegal, Fermanagh, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo and Sligo do not compete at adult level, clubs from Fermanagh, Kerry and Mayo have won honours and Donegal have contested divisional finals at under-14 Feile na nGael level. Both Louth (in 1934 and 1936) and Mayo (in 1959) have contested the All Ireland senior final in the past.

National League[edit]

The National League is staged during the winter-spring months, with four divisions of team graded by ability.

Provincial championships[edit]

Provincial championships take place at all levels, independent of the All Ireland series which has been run on an open draw basis since 1973.

International and inter-provincial[edit]

Ireland plays a camogie-shinty international against Scotland each year. The Gael Linn Cup is an inter-provincial competition played at senior and junior level. The sport is closely associated with the Celtic Congress. Two former Camogie Association presidents Máire Ní Chinnéide and Agnes O'Farrelly were also presidents of Celtic Congress and exhibition matches have been held at the Celtic Congress since 1938. The first such exhibition match, on the Isle of Man in 1938, marked the first appearance of Kathleen Cody, who became one of the stars of the 1940s.


The Ashbourne and Purcell Cups and Father Meachair seven-a-side are the principal inter-collegiate competitions.


There is also a programme of provincial and All Ireland championships at secondary schools senior and junior levels, differentiated by the years of secondary school cycle, with years 4–6 competing in the senior competition, and years 1–3 competing at junior level. Cumann na mBunscoil organises competitions at primary school level.

Féile na nGael[edit]

Camogie competitions for club teams featuring under-14 players are played in four divisions as part of the annual Féile na nGael festival. The county that is selected for a particular year, all their clubs host teams from all around the country representing their county. Host clubs get families to take in two or three children for a couple of days.

International presence[edit]

Though camogie is played predominantly in its native homeland of Ireland, it has spread to other countries, largely among the Irish diaspora due to immigrants and the immigrant population. The sport is known to have arrived in places in such as Great Britain, North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.[14] Southeast Asia has teams in Vietnam, Thailand, and Kuala Lumpur. In North America camogie is played in the United States, Canada, and in parts of the Caribbean. Camogie has also been included as a part of the GAA World Games.

GAA World Games[edit]

2019 Renault GAA World Games[edit]

Renault GAA World Games - Camogie (Native Born)[15]

2019 Camogie (Native Born) final standings [16]
Pos Country / Team P W D L F A Pts
1 United States Twin Cities (USGAA) 10 9 1 0 119 26 19
2 United States The Warriors (USGAA) 10 5 3 2 56 36 13
3 United States Heartland (USGAA) 10 5 2 3 58 35 12
4 United States MidAtlantic (USGAA) 10 4 2 4 67 42 10
5 Europe Europe Rovers 10 2 0 8 15 95 4
6 Canada Canada Native (CAGAA)[17] 10 1 0 9 13 94 2

North American presence[edit]

Camogie teams in North America[18] have existed for at least a century.[citation needed]

United States[edit]

The national organizing body for Gaelic Games in the United States, with the exception of New York City, is the USGAA[19] where camogie can be found. It is the governing body which promotes camogie in the United States along with other Gaelic sports. The USGAA also maintains a close relationship with other GAA groups in North America including Canada (Gaelic Games Canada), the New York GAA, and the Caribbean.

GAA World Games[edit]

The United States has sent a number of camogie teams from the US to compete in the GAA World Games in 2016 and 2019.


The national organizing body for Gaelic Games in Canada is Gaelic Games Canada (GGC) a.k.a. Canadian GAA (CGAA)[20] where camogie can be found.[21] Canada and the CGAA are home to a number of camogie clubs.


Canadian Camogie Clubs
Club City/Province Est. Website
Montreal Shamrocks[17][22] Montreal, Québec 1948 Montreal Shamrocks GAC
Calgary Chieftains / Chieftainettes Calgary, Alberta 1977
Edmonton Wolfe Tones Edmonton, Alberta
Le Chéile Camogie Club Toronto Toronto, Ontario Toronto Camogie
ISSC Camogie Vancouver, British Columbia ISSC Camogie
ISSC Shamrocks Vancouver, British Columbia 2021 ISSC Camogie
ISSC Pearse Vancouver, British Columbia 2021 ISSC Camogie

GAA World Games[edit]

Canada has sent a number of camogie teams from Canada to compete in the GAA World Games in 2016 and 2019.[17]



All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship[edit]

Cork have won the most Camogie All-Ireland, winning their 29th championship in 2023.

National Camogie League titles[edit]

Cork have won the most National Camogie League titles with 16.


2018 All Ireland Championship[edit]

Eleven counties competed for the elite All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship in 2018: Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, Meath, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford.

Eleven teams contested the second-tier Jack McGrath Cup in 2018 (All Ireland intermediate championship): Antrim, Carlow, Derry, Down, Kildare, Laois, and Westmeath, and the second teams of Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, and Tipperary.

Seven teams contested the third-tier Kay Mills Cup (All Ireland junior or 'Premier Junior" championship) in 2018: Armagh, Kerry, Roscommon, and the second teams of Clare, Dublin, Limerick, and Offaly.

Only fourteen points were scored by the winning team in the 2018 senior final, and most points in the game followed the awarding of frees.[23] Ten points was sufficient to determine the winner of the 2017 senior final.[23]


Camogie All Stars Awards are awarded annually to the elite players who have performed best in each of the 15 positions on a traditional camogie team. Player of the year and other achievement awards have also been awarded to leading players for several decades.

Team of the Century[edit]

Picked in 2004[24]


Partly due to biological and physiological differences between men and women, some argue that Camogie lacks the physical drama found in the male equivalent sport, hurling.[25]

You can't ... deny what you've seen, you can't pretend you don't notice the gulf in physical prowess. This applies across the board, internationally and domestically, where camogie and women's Gaelic football also suffer by comparison to the physical drama contained in the male versions.[26]

— Conlon, Tommy (March 8, 2020), Tide is rising but we are only at the beginning of a whole new ball game,

There are lower score tallies in the senior camogie championship finals than in comparison to men's hurling championships.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Moran, Mary (2011). A Game of Our Own: The History of Camogie. Dublin, Ireland: Cumann Camógaíochta. p. 460.
  2. ^ Arlott, John (1977). Oxford Companion to Sports and Games. London, England: Flamingo. p. 1024.
  3. ^ "The Camogie Association : About Camogie". Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  4. ^ "". Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b 2007 All Ireland final reports in Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Times and Gorey Guardian Archived 19 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). Illustrated History of the GAA. Dublin, Ireland: Gill & MacMillan. p. 250.
  7. ^ "Hurling - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Rule Differences on website". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Ladies sticking with skirts as O'Flynn backs rules makeover -". Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Rules of Camogie on website". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  12. ^ Puirséil, Pádraig (1984). Scéal na Camógaíochta. Dublin, Ireland: Cumann Camógaíochta na nGael. p. 64.
  13. ^ Ríona Nic Congáil “'Looking on for centuries from the side-line': Gaelic Feminism and the rise of Camogie", Éire-Ireland (Spring / Summer 2013): 168–192.Gaelic Feminism and the rise of Camogie
  14. ^ "MONTREAL SHAMROCKS | GAELIC ATHLETIC CLUB". Montreal Shamrocks GAA. Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  15. ^ "World Games | 2019 Renault GAA World Games Teams". GAA. 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  16. ^ "World Games Camogie (Native) | Renault GAA World Games Camogie Native". GAA. 2019. Archived from the original on 10 December 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  17. ^ a b c GAA (12 August 2019). "Renault GAA World Games - Canada GAA". OfficialGAA. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Play Hurling | Find A Club Near You". Play Hurling. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  19. ^ "Welcome to the USGAA". Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  20. ^ "Gaelic Games Canada". Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Hurling and Camogie". Retrieved 21 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Gaelic football provides opportunity of a lifetime for three West Prince women". 26 July 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  23. ^ a b c Crowe, Dermot (8 September 2019). "Breaking new ground on final day as Kilkenny look to bury pain of defeat". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2019. Recent finals have been without goals and scorelines have stayed relatively low compared to hurling. Ten points won the final two years ago. The winning total last year was 14 points. The majority of the scores in last year's final came from frees.
  24. ^ "Team of the century". Archived from the original on 23 July 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Tide is rising but we are only at the beginning of a whole new ball game". Sunday Independent. 8 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  26. ^ Tommy Conlon (8 March 2020). "Tide is rising but we are only at the beginning of a whole new ball game". Retrieved 5 May 2022.

External links[edit]