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No Mouthguard? NO GAME!

posted 17 Jan 2013, 04:30 by Unknown user   [ updated 17 Jan 2013, 04:30 ]
The GAA's national roll-out of the compulsory wearing of mouthguards in all underage grades up to and including minor for Gaelic football matches and practice sessions began on January 1st, 2013.


In addition, from January 1st, 2014, this rule will apply to all players at all age grades. The move to make the wearing of mouthguards obligatory reiterates the Association's long-term commitment to player welfare.

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 gumshields is the norm with nearly all Clubs adhering strictly to a 'no gumshield - no game' rule.

Significantly, if a player refuses to comply he can be sent-off and players will not be covered under the GAA Player Injury Scheme if they are not wearing a mouthguard.

Information on the use of mouthguards for clubs, parents and players can be found at; http://gaa.ie/medical-and-player-welfare/mouthguards/.

The GAA are also pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached to distribute GAA/GPA mouthguards. The product range includes both boil and bite mouthguards and custom fitted mouthguards. The boil and bite mouthguards are now available to purchase. They come in four categories of protection: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
They are available for purchasing through the following local retailers:
  • Supervalu,
  • Centra,
  • Lifestyle Sports,
  • Elverys Sports,
  • O'Neills Sportswear,
Following on from our extensive research of the market, these mouth guards, supplied by OPRO, are the best product available in terms of quality, certification and value for money. Custom mouthguards will be available from mid January.


SOME QUESTIONS & ANSWERS TO HELP BETTER UNDERSTAND THE NEW RULES!
1. When does the new rule come into effect?
A.
From January 1st 2013, all players playing in grades up to and including Minor will be required to wear a mouthguard in all football games and at practice sessions.

2. When does the ruling come into effect for adult players?
A.
From January 1st, 2014 all players at all grades will be required to wear a mouthguard in all football games and practice sessions.

3. What will happen if I am not wearing a mouthguard in a game?
A.
If a player refuses to comply with a Referee’s instruction to wear a mouthguard, he will initially be cautioned by the Referee and if the player continues to refuse, the Referee can send him off.

4. Who is responsible for ensuring mouthguards are worn at training or practice sessions?
A.
It is a matter for each Club to ensure the rule is adhered to at training or practice sessions. Clubs and players should note that Players will not be covered under the Player Injury Scheme if they are not wearing a mouthguard.

5. Do players have to wear a mouthguard in hurling games?
A.
No. The new rule only applies to football; however, wearing a mouthguard when playing hurling does reduce the risk of dental injury.

6. I am a Minor playing on an adult team in 2013. Do I have to wear a mouthguard?
A.
Not in 2013. The wearing of mouthguards in 2013 is compulsory at all age grades up to minor. However, a player playing at U-21 or adult level in 2013 is not required to wear a mouthguard under rule. From January 1st 2014 all players at all grades must wear a mouthguard.

7. Our Club has a nursery, are children in these juvenile age groups exempt from wearing a mouthguard?
A.
No. The Medical, Scientific & Welfare Committee advise that children should begin wearing a mouthguard at whatever age they start playing. Young mouths need protecting too and if players start wearing mouthguards at a young age this will add greatly to the development of a culture of wearing mouthguards in Gaelic Football.

8. Does the new rule regarding the wearing of mouthguards apply to Cumann na mBunscol games?
A.
Yes. Any child participating in a Cumann na mBunscol Football Game or Practice Football Session must wear a mouthguard.

9. Do I have to wear a mouthguard whilst playing Second Level games?
A.
Yes. From January 1st 2013, all Second Level players will be required to wear a mouthguard in all football games and at practice sessions.

10. Do I have to wear a mouthguard whilst playing Third Level games?
A.
Not in 2013. From January 1st 2014 all players at all grades must wear a mouthguard.

11. Does this apply to overseas players?
A.
Yes.

12. I’m a referee – do I have to check all players’ mouths before a game to ensure compliance?
A.
Referee’s will not be expected to individually check players before a game; however, if a Referee notices that a player is not wearing a mouthguard, he should caution the player and if the player still refuses to wear one, he should be sent off.

13. A supplier of custom fitted mouthguards has contacted my club and offered to measure players for custom fitted guards, what does the GAA advise?
A.
It is a matter for each individual club to decide whether they want to engage with industry suppliers in this context or not. The GAA nationally has no preferred suppliers in this area.

14. Which type of mouthguard should I purchase?
A.
The decision on which type of mouthguard a player should obtain is a matter of personal preference. There is no doubt that custom fitted mouthguards offer the best fit and protection but they are the most expensive option also. The Stock and Boil & Bite options will suffice for compliance with the new rules, but only if the product carries the CE mark.

15. I currently wear orthodontic braces, what are my options?
A.
It has been noted that children wearing orthodontic braces and wishing to play Gaelic football will be particularly concerned about the rule change; however, the GAA recommends that these players seek advice from a range of dental practitioners on the most appropriate solution for them.

16. Is there an official GAA/GPA mouthguard?
A.
Yes, there is a full range of OPRO GAA/GPA mouthguards available from the bronze range, silver, gold, platinum and custom fitted. Official OPRO GAA/GPA ‘stock’ and ‘boil and bite’ mouthguards are available for purchasing through your local retailers, including: Supervalu, Centra, Lifestyle Sports, Elvery Sports, O’Neills and Heatons. Custom fitted mouthguards are available through a network of dentist.