Mouthguards are mandatory for players in all age grades, in all Gaelic football practice sessions and games.
This rule has been mandatory for players in grades up to Minor since 2013 and applies to all age grades since January 1st 2014.
• Gaelic footballers in all age grades must wear a mouthguard from January 1st 2014
• It is the responsibility of each individual player to use a mouthguard
• A properly fitted mouthguard is the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries
• Players can be sent-off in a game for not wearing a mouthguard
• Players will not be covered under the GAA player injury scheme if they don’t comply with the mouthguard rule
• No Mouthguard? No Game!
This document has been compiled to assist GAA Clubs, players, parents, coaches and referees in complying with the provisions of the rule.
• Mouthguards can be rinsed with cold water or with a mouth rinse before and after each use and /or cleaned with toothpaste and a toothbrush
• Occasionally clean the mouthguard in cool, soapy water and rinse it thoroughly • Place the mouthguard in a firm, perforated container to store or transport it, this permits air circulation and helps to prevent damage
• Protect the mouthguard from high temperatures – such as hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight to minimise distorting its shape
• Occasionally check the mouthguard for general wear, if you find holes or tears in it or if it becomes loose or causes discomfort, replace it
• Bring the mouthguard to each regularly scheduled dental visit to have your dentist exam it
ROLE OF THE REFEREE
If a player refuses to comply with a Referee’s instruction to wear a mouthguard, he will incur the penalty as outlined in (Rule 6.2, Rules of Foul Play, The Playing Rules of Football, Official Guide, Part 2, 2012) ‘Caution the offender; order off if he persists’.
ROLE OF THE PLAYER
In all Football Games and Practice Football Sessions, it shall be mandatory for, and the responsibility of, each individual player to use a mouthguard.
ROLE OF THE CLUB
Clubs should ensure that their players, player’s parents/guardians, coaches and team mentors are made aware of the mouthguard rules.
GAA PLAYER INJURY SCHEME
Players will not be covered under the player injury scheme if they are not wearing a mouthguard. In all Football Games and Practice Football Sessions, it shall be mandatory for, and the responsibility of, each individual player to use a mouthguard. The claim form has been updated to reflect this new requirement. Please ensure that only the most recent edition of the claim is used from January 1st 2013. Use of the old claim form will result in delays in claims processing times. The most recent version of the claim form is available on GAA.ie under Club Zone – GAA Insurance and Injury Scheme and also at Willis.ie under Group Scheme – GAA Injury Scheme
Research figures indicate that Ireland has one of the highest rates of sport-related oral injuries in the EU, with one third of all adult dental injuries being sports-related. In many sports such as rugby and hockey the wearing of mouthguards, also known as ‘mouth guards’ or ‘gum shields’ is the norm with nearly all Clubs adhering strictly to a ‘no gumshield – no game’ rule. A recent survey of Irish parents found the average cost of emergency dental treatment for sport related dental injuries in children to be €214.23. Studies have also shown that the overall injury risk is close to twice as high when a mouthguard is not worn, relative to when a mouthguard is used during athletic activity. Mr. Cliff Beirne, an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at the Sports Surgery Clinic Dublin, has predicted that the introduction of this rule will reduce the number of facial injuries suffered by 80 per cent and dental injuries by 60 per cent in Gaelic games. The GAA’s Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee has acknowledged that the use of a properly fitted mouthguard is the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries and was centrally involved in ensuring the introduction of compulsory mouthguards in Gaelic football.
LIMITATION OF LEGAL LIABILITY These Rules shall not impose on any Referee, Linesman, Umpire, Sideline Official, Team Official or Unit any legal duty of care or legal responsibility (which duty shall remain with individual Players, and if relevant, Parents, Guardians or other persons legally responsible for them).
As per Gaa.ie