Ladies Gaelic Football Association Introduce Mouthguard Rule

From January 1st, 2014 it will become mandatory for all players in all age grades up to and including minor to wear mouthguards in all practice sessions and games. It will become the responsibility of each player to ensure that they are wearing mouthguards as failure to comply will result in the player being sent from the field until they satisfy the rules.

 

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 to the mouth or teeth they will not be covered for that injury as part of the LGFA Injury Fund.

 

Every player, regardless of the age grade that they play in, that is a minor or younger must wear the mouthguard when taking part in Ladies Gaelic football matches or training, this will include schools, colleges and when a player of minor grade or lower is playing for adult teams.

 

Speaking about the introduction of the new rules LGFA president, Pat Quill, said ‘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.’

 

Mouthguards are freely available at sports and retail outlets nationwide. Should you need more advice or help in choosing the most suitable option for you or your daughter please consult with a dental professional. For a full list of dental professionals go to www.dentists.ie

 

See below for a list of regulations and FAQ’s:

 

KEY POINTS

  • Ladies gaelic footballers in all age grades up to and including minor level must wear a mouthguard from January 1st 2014
  • 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.

 

LGFA 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 up to and including minor will be required to wear a mouthguard in LGFA 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, she will initially be asked to rectify the situation by the Referee and if the player continues to refuse, the Referee can order her 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 minor or below 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, s/he should ask the player to rectify the situation and if the player continues to refuse, the Referee can order her 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, the LGFA recommends that these players seek advice from a range of dental practitioners on the most appropriate solution for them. The player must request a letter of support from their dental practitioner and keep this with them.