Camogie players threaten National League boycott over season plans as 2021 format reconsidered

Intercounty Camogie players have voted in favour of boycotting the upcoming National Leagues, if the Camogie Association do not redraw their 2021 season plans.

On Friday, it was originally announced that the season would open with the National Leagues. A club window would then be held before the intercounty championships at the end of the year.

This proved highly unpopular with intercounty players.

On Sunday afternoon, the association announced they would poll members as they review the issue.

“The Camogie Association’s priority is to maximise meaningful games opportunity for all of our members, and to do this in a fair and equitable manner. One that ensures games for the county player, and games for the club player,” read a statement.

“Our proposed fixture list is designed to achieve this. However, over the last 48 hours there has been disquiet from the GPA and our inter-county players in relation to our fixture calendar.

“To gain clarity on the path the entire association wants to take during this COVID-19 time, we have decided to poll our members over the next seven days. This poll will be carried out through all camogie clubs, and the result will guide our fixture calendar. Details of this process will follow.”

The Gaelic Players Association welcomed the response, but said the majority of players would boycott the National Leagues if there is not a change.

“The GPA welcome the Camogie Association’s decision to take seven days to reflect on their proposed season structure. We are willing to work with them towards finding a satisfactory resolution to allow all players, both club and county, get back on to pitches across the country without any further controversy,” they said.

“Players have overwhelmingly voted (84 per cent of 752 players who responded in last 24 hours) that they will not participate in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues should the current season structure be retained. The GPA will represent this view from our members to the Camogie Association.

“We had recently informed (April 2) the Camogie Association that our members wanted to see a split-season introduced. The key factors that influenced the split-season choice were:

“Club AND County: Inter-county players are also club players. They want to be able to give 100 per cent commitment to either their club team or their county team during the respective windows.

“Club Leagues: Players believe that club leagues should go ahead while the inter-county season is being played to ensure their club team-mates are able to participate in meaningful games across the summer.

“Dual Players: Players should not be put in a position of having to choose inter-county football over club camogie or vice versa, or inter-county camogie over club football or vice versa.

“Player Welfare: There is an increased risk of injury when players are being exposed to additional demands where there is an overlap between club and county activity. A split-season facilitates a period of no activity that allows for rest and recuperation and benefits substantially the welfare of our members.

“We want to see a solution that is in the best interest of all players which we believe the split season provides.”

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