Rules & Procedures for Loy Digging Competitions



  1. The Loy should be in keeping with traditional shapes or designs. No adjustment of any kind allowed (Penalty - 20 marks).
  2. Competitors are allowed to erect lines and pegs (3 lines & 6 pegs) on the plot before the starting signal, but must remove them before digging commences (Penalty - 10 marks).
  3. Competitors must stop digging when final whistle is blown. The supervisor will put down a red peg where the last sod has been turned. The competitor can then finish the plot. When finished, the competitor must leave the plot area altogether.(Penalty - 10 marks for unfinished plot plus 1 mark per ft from red peg)
  4. If a competitor walks across his own or any other plot before judging is finished, he/she will be liable for a penalty of 10 marks without warning.
  5. Dressing allowed only with the loy from digging position. Touching or fixing the sod by hand or foot is not permitted (Penalty - 10 marks without warning)


  1. Competitors competing in national and local competitions must be paid up members of their county ploughing association.
  2. Competitors in All-Ireland Competitions must be paid up members of Loy Association Ireland.
  3. Competitors must qualify from their own county.
  4. Submission of an entry will be regarded as an acceptance of all rules and regulations and the preparedness of a competitor to observe them or submit to penalties for breaches of same.
  5. To commence a competitor must set up 3 lines with 6 pegs 46" apart. The plot consisting of 2 ridges should be 92" wide. The plot is now ready for nicking and will be inspected by the supervisor.
  6. When the signal is sounded, nicking commences. All 3 lines should be nicked and lines lifted before digging commences.
  7. On a base of a 3ft 10", a ridge will consist of 2 sods, turned towards each other leaving a verge in the centre. Each sod should be 10.5" wide and a centre verge 4" wide. Recommended depth of furrow 3-4".
  8. Time allowed: 3 hours.
  9. Ridge Length Senior & junior 30ft Under 25 30ft Under 21 15ft Ladies 10ft The committee have the discretion to shorten plots at All-Ireland with regards to hard ground 2013 AGM.
  10. A second loy may be used in the event of a breakage and extra time maybe given to a competitor with permission being obtained from a supervisor.
  11. Age threshold for under age class. Competitors in the U25 class must be under 25 years of age on the 1st January of the competition year. Competitors in the U21 class must be under 21 years of age on the 1st January of the competition year. A competitor who falls under the u 21 category cannot compete/win in the U25 class category. i.e. if under 21 the competitor competes in that grade. If over 21 he/she competes in the under 25 grade. Proof of age must be produce either with driving licence or birth certificate when entering.
  12. In the senior class, the lowest marked competitor will be re-graded to junior class and the junior winner will go up to senior.





2 Half Furrows

25 marks

Matching Centre Verge 

40 marks

Pack & Flesh

25 marks

Main Furrow

30 marks


15 marks

Appearance & straightness

15 marks



150 marks



Loy supervisors must wear white coats provided by the NPA during the competitions and must remain on plot area until judging is completed.