Camanachd Association

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The Camanachd Association / Comann na Camanachd
MottoMore Than A Game
TypeSports federation
HeadquartersInverness, Scotland
Shinty clubs and associations
Official language
English, Scots Gaelic
Jim Barr
The New Logo of the Camanachd Association, with the Stag's Head (Cabar Feidh)

The Camanachd Association (in Scottish Gaelic, Comann na Camanachd) is the world governing body of the Scottish sport of shinty. The body is based in Inverness, Highland, and is in charge of the rules of the game. Its main competitions are the Camanachd Association Challenge Cup and the Scottish Hydro Premier Division.


The Camanachd Association was founded in 1893 after a meeting in Kingussie in order to formalize a set of rules for the many shinty clubs across the British Isles.

The Camanachd Association maintained its initial structure for much of its first century but the ‘Future of Shinty' Report published in 1981 led to a compete restructuring of the way in which shinty was organised and managed. That, in turn, led to the move away from a dependence on volunteers to govern the sport, to the Association's first salaried employees being employed.[1] This also resulted in the other myriad associations which organised shinty coming under the Association. Other associations which still have a strong role in organising shinty are the Glasgow Celtic Society, the Macaulay Association and the Schools Camanachd Association.

In 2005, the Camanachd Association took the decision to change its structure again and moved to being a company limited by guarantee with no share capital. The company is overseen by a board of directors, most of whom are volunteers who are chosen by the members at the AGM.

The membership of the association consists of shinty clubs and related associations, such as the Glasgow Celtic Society. The membership appoints non-salaried office-bearers through the Annual General Meeting, which is also the only medium through which the playing rules of shinty can be altered.

Recent history[edit]

In 2006 the association appointed its first Chief Executive, Richard Tulloch. He resigned within three months. The Board of Directors appointed Gill McDonald, the first woman CEO in the sport - in April 2009 she resigned from the position mere weeks before the association's AGM, having been criticised for much of the poor running of the association in that timeframe.[2]

The association was dogged by severe criticism of its ability[3] to administer the game in 2007, with a fixture list which ran into December, partly due to a lack of rescheduling of fixtures which were delayed earlier in the year amongst the complaints. The association's lack of communication with the grassroots of the sport also came under fire.[4]

Duncan Cameron was appointed President of the association for the second time in 2007. His presidency has been marked by controversy due to resignations and an ongoing debate about reducing the game to 9 a-side with plastic pitches.[5][6][7]

In February 2008, the association was investigated by the Northern Constabulary for alleged financial irregularities.[8] In May 2008, a man was charged in connection with these financial irregularities.[9] A former employee of the association was convicted of fraud linked to the association's funds in August 2008.[10]

In March 2009, the association aimed to change its structure by having sub-committees for different sectors of the game,[11] this development was one of the factors in the spate of resignations in early 2009.[12]

In November 2009, the association approved the use of astroturf for senior fixtures, however, there is no astroturf park in Scotland large enough to accommodate a full size shinty park.[13] Plans are afoot to develop such a facility in Fort William.[14]

In January 2010, they announced that Torquil MacLeod would become the third permanent Chief Executive as of April 2010.[15]

The presidential election of 2010 was a hotly competed affair between Donald Stewart and the popular Archie Robertson.[16] Robertson won the election resoundingly and became President at the 2011 A.G.M.[17][18][19]

The association permitted the use of rolling substitutions as of the 2011 season.[20] The Association also decided to admit Lewis Camanachd to the league setup on a trial basis for 2011. The Association came under pressure to admit the club due to their claim to be a national sport of Scotland.[21] The Board of Directors voted to make Lewis a permanent member of the league in December 2011.

In 2012, Strathspey applied to join the leagues, Ardnamurchan asked to switch from the North District to the South, and an EGM was needed in early February to ratify changes to substitutions and free-hits.

Camanachd Association HQ in Inverness

Jim Barr was named President in 2014.


The association co-ordinates the Scotland national shinty team, which plays annually against Ireland in the Shinty/Hurling International Series, a series played under the hybrid rules of Composite rules shinty–hurling.


External links[edit]