The new rule has been introduced to protect players from damage to their mouths and teeth which can have serious effects in their development. It is hoped, that with the introduction of the new rules, that the incidents of injuries to the mouth and teeth will be significantly reduced. If players do suffer an injury and are not wearing a mouthguard they will not be covered for that injury as part of the Player Injury Fund.
Every player, regardless of the age grade that they play in, must wear the mouthguard when taking part in Gaelic football matches or training, this will include schools, colleges
Speaking about the introduction of the new rules ‘It is essential that we protect our players as much as is possible. The introduction of mouthguards for young players is a sensible step that ensures that our youngest players can play and train in our sport in the safest possible way. It is up to each player to ensure that they comply with the new rule and if a referee notices that a player has failed to comply with the rule they have the authority to take the appropriate action.’
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◾It is the responsibility of each individual player to use a mouthguard
◾Players will be ordered off in a game for not wearing a mouthguard and will remain off the pitch until the situation is ratified
◾Players will not be covered under the Injury Fund if they don’t comply with the mouthguard rule
◾No Mouthguard? No Game!
ROLE OF THE REFEREE If a player refuses to comply with a Referee’s instruction to wear a mouthguard, she shall be asked to rectify the situation. Should she refuse to do so the referee shall order her off the field until the situation is rectified.
ROLE OF THE PLAYER In all 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.
Player INJURY FUND Players will not be covered under the injury fund if they are not wearing a mouthguard. It is the responsibility of each individual player to use a mouthguard.
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).
SOME QUESTIONS 1. When does the new rule come into effect? A. From January 1st 2014, players playing in grades will be required to wear a mouthguard in games and practice sessions.
2. 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, they will initially be asked to rectify the situation by the Referee and if the player continues to refuse, the Referee can order player off until the situation is rectified.
3. Who is responsible for ensuring mouthguards are worn at training or practice sessions? A. It is the responsibility of each individual player to use a mouthguard. Clubs and players should note that players will not be covered under the Injury Fund if they are not wearing a mouthguard.
4. Do I have to wear a mouthguard whilst playing Second Level games? A. Yes, if minor level or below
5. Do I have to wear a mouthguard whilst playing Third Level games? A. Yes, if minor level or below
6. Do I have to wear a mouthguard if I am an underage player playing on a senior team? A. Yes, all players must wear a mouthguard at all times.
7. Does this apply to International Units? A. Yes. International Units are subject to the General Rules of the Association.
8. I’m a referee; do I have to check all players’ mouths before a game to ensure compliance? A. Referees 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 ask the player to rectify the situation and if the player continues to refuse, the Referee can order player off until the situation is rectified.
9. 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, recommends that these players seek advice from a range of dental practitioners on the most appropriate solution for them.