Rule changes aimed at making camogie a more free-flowing and faster game should be in place in time for the 2020 All-Ireland championship.

But don’t expect wholesale change - Camogie Association President Kathleen Woods says that the body’s new Playing Rules Work Group will be making a maximum of three recommended rule changes.

Camogie chiefs have reacted to criticism in the wake of last year’s All-Ireland final, but Woods is keen not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

"Yes, there is a need for rule change," she said, speaking to RTÉ Sport at the launch of the Liberty Insurance Championships.

"As our girls say, they are much fitter and we are looking at the rules. But we need to move slowly because if you get it wrong the first time you can’t go back on it. 

"At the minute we have a very strong sub committee of very strong people to work on it and I hope to announce the make-up of that committee next week. That will be the Playing Rules Working Group. 

"The hope is that they will put forward their recommendations, we’re not going to look at any more than three rule changes, and hopefully we’ll get it across Ard Comhairle to trial them."

The working group will include two recently retired inter-county players who still line out at club level, a retired referee who is now an assessor, administrators and medical experts.

The plan is for them to make their recommendations in time for October’s camogie central council meeting with a view to trialling them in the 2020 National League. If those experiments are successful they will be voted on at congress next April in Clonmel and if they pass there they’ll be introduced to the championship next year.

Camogie Association President Kathleen Woods

One rule that won't be changed is the compulsory wearing of skorts, a pair of shorts with a panel of fabric to make them look like a skirt. Some players have voiced the opinion that they'd prefer to wear shorts, but Woods says that isn't on the cards.

The move to amend playing rules follows severe criticism of a number of big games last year, particularly the stop-start All-Ireland final that was littered with fouls.

Cork beat Kilkenny 0-14 to 0-13 in the decider, with the result decided by a controversial late free and most of the scores came from the dead ball.

In camogie no unintentional physical contact is allowed - in other words, there’s no shoulder-to-shoulder tackle as there is in hurling. The players now are fitter, stronger and faster than ever and they want a more physical element to the game.

However, Woods pointed out that all of the players in last year’s All-Ireland final were aware of the rules and it wasn’t the referee’s fault that he had to stop the game every time a foul was committed.

Cork's Gemma O'Connor

"At a match there are 30 players, managers and the referee. Those three groups of people all have a responsibly for what happens on the field of play," she said.

"These girls know these rules - they’re not going on to the pitch in Croke Park being told the rules; they’ve been playing since they were children."

Cork legend Gemma O’Connor and Kilkenny star Grace Walsh are among the high-profile names who are calling for change.

"We’re all in it together to make it a better game. Ourselves and Kilkenny, we don’t want to be in a stop-start game where that’s the talking point," said O’Connor.

"We want the talking point to be that camogie is a great sport, the hurling in it is great, it’s fast, it’s physical - that’s what attracts viewership.

Kilkenny's Grace Walsh

"We’re looking to meet with the Camogie Association, the players and the referees to see can we make the game a bit more fluid and physical.

"Players are training more, they’re going to the gym and the game has to reflect what the players are doing off the pitch as well. We have a great opportunity for the game to evolve and hopefully we can keep that going forward."

Walsh added: "I’m definitely in favour of change and I think everyone who watches the game can see the need for change. 

"When the rules change a little bit and it becomes a little more free-flowing, like the lads, the skill base of the players will be shown and the pace, the way we play in training, will come out on the day of the match.

"That will make it more exciting, that will draw the crowd and at the end of the day the game is exciting when the crowd is drawn into it. You’re not going to get that until it’s free-flowing and the pace is faster.

"It’s not to be giving shoulders like the one that Joe Canning got injured. It’s just so that you can run into someone, make a good tackle and not be afraid it’s going to be a free."