An Poc Fada - The Competition
The Poc Fada All Ireland Championships are the only national contests for individual players of both Camogie & Hurling competing in their relevant categories. Since 2006 they must qualify via County and Provincial finals (prior to 2006 Counties could nominate players to compete in the Provincial finals).
At present there are four categories
Seniors, Camogie, Boys U16 and the Comórtas Beirte (Pairs - Senior Hurlers).
Seniors Final - An Corn Setanta (The Setanta Cup)
The 12 competitors competing in this category qualify as the 4 Provincial champions, the 4 Provincial runners-up, the current champion, a wild card and 2 invitationals (in the past competitors have come from USA and South Africa).
For 2010 there will be the 8 Provincial qualifiers, the current champion, the colleges champion, European champion (Did not compete)and 1 wildcard.
Camogie Final - (The Camogie Poc Fada Cup)
There are 7 competitors in the Ladies event and depending on whether there is an invitional place/wildcard on offer there may be 8. Presently the current champion, the 4 Provincial qualifiers, a qualifier from Co. Louth and a qualifier from Co. Armagh (The latter 2 counties being the hosts). In the past the invitional/wildcard has gone to the London Cumann.
The U16 Final - (Cup to be clarified)
There are currently only 4 paticipants in this event, 1 from each of the 4 provincial qualifiers.
Comórtas Beirte (Pairs - Senior Hurlers) - An Corn Cualigne & An Corn Craobh Rua (The Cooley Cup & The Red Branch Cup).
Shared between the pairing drawn prior to the competition as the Pair returrning the least number of combined pucks for the course. Record holders still to be clarified!
Seniors & Comórtas Beirte (Pairs) Competition Overview
Starting at "An Fhána Mór" the contestants puck to "An Céide" (Stage 1 - the first turning point), from "An Céide" to "Carn an Mhadaidh" (Stage 2 - the second turning point - here they have their break). Onwards to "An Gabhlán" (Stage 3 - the third turning point) heading back to "An Fhána Mór" to finish at "An Ceann Scríbe".
When the contestant pucks his final approach shot to the turning point the distance the sliotar travels over the turning point's starting line is the start point for that contestant's first puck for the next stage. This is the procedure for Stage 2 and 3 also.
On the final stage from "An Gabhlán" to "An Ceann Scríbe" the contestant's final puck over the finish line is measured (in the event of a tie, it is this distance from the finish line to where the sliotar has landed which will decide the contest).
The competition rules are as the same for all four events.
The Camogie and Boys U16 overview
Both the Camogie and Boys U16 competitions use a shorter course (2.5km) which has 2 stages and 1 turning point. Starting at "An Ceann Scríbe" they puck their way to "An Gabhlán" returning along the same course to "An Ceann Scríbe".
Brendan Cummins (Tipperary) is the current course record holder when in 2004 he completed the Annaverna course in only 48 pucks (hits of the sliotar). The course being 5 km in length means the average puck distance was 104 metres.
Mary Henry (Westmeath) in 2006, Lyndsey Condell (Carlow) in 2008 and Patricia Jackman (Waterford) in 2009 share the Camogie course record with 28 pucks each - (the difference in measurement of the final puck has yet to be clarified for Mary Henry, so for now there are 3 holders). The course length is 2.5 km giving an average puck of 89 metres.
Aaron Murphy (Limerick) 2007 is the current record holder of the Boys U16 course record with only 24 pucks to complete the 2.5 km course (the same course as the Camogie Finals). The average puck distance being 104 metres - Quite an achievement for an U16 Hurler! In 2011 Cillian Kiely (Offaly) completed the course in 24 pocs and 24 metres an average of 103 metres per puck - (Both share the record as Aaron's distance over the line is not yet verified).
2010 sees the introduction of new "Score Cards" -"Score Tabs and "Score Poles" are gone! This amendment allows for greater clarity for all of the Hurlers and Marshalls.
More information about the course here
More information about the Rules here