Since January 1st 2013, it has been mandatory for players in age grades up to and including
minor to wear a mouthguard in all Gaelic football practice sessions and games.
From January 1st 2014, this rule will apply to Gaelic footballers in all age grades.
Gaelic footballers in all age grades must wear a mouthguard from
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
1. When does the new rule come into effect?
A. Since January 1st 2013, players playing in grades up to and including minor have been
required to wear a mouthguard in Gaelic football games and practice sessions. From
January 1st, 2014 players in all grades will be required to wear a mouthguard in Gaelic
football 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, he will
initially be cautioned by the Referee and if the player continues to refuse, the Referee can
send him off.
3. Who is responsible for ensuring mouthguards are worn at training or
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 GAA Player Injury Scheme if
they are not wearing a mouthguard.
4. Do players have to wear a mouthguard in Hurling games?
A. No. The rule only applies to Gaelic football; however, wearing a mouthguard whilst
playing Hurling does reduce the risk of dental injury.
5. Our Club has a nursery, are children in these juvenile age groups exempt
fromwearing a mouthguard?
A. No. The Medical, Scientific and 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.
6. Does this rule apply to Ladies Football?
The Ladies Gaelic Football Association has announced that from January 1
underage players must wear a mouthguard whilst playing Ladies Gaelic Football.
7. Does the new rule regarding the wearing of mouthguards apply to games in
A. If an official GAA coach is coaching Gaelic Football in primary schools then children must
wear a mouthguard to participate in a practice session or game.
8. Do children have to wear mouthguards for PE sessions?
In terms of PE lessons, the GAA has no control over what activities or games teachers
choose to deliver during PE time. However, we would advise that wearing mouthguards for
Gaelic games will significantly reduce the risk of sustaining dental injuries.
9. Does the new rule regarding the wearing of mouthguards apply to Cumann
na mBuncsol Football practice sessions and games?
A. Cumann na mBunscol Náisiúnta are subject to the General Rules of the Association, it is a
matter for each School to ensure that the rule is adhered to by their pupils in practice
sessions and football games.
10. Do I have to wear a mouthguard whilst playing Second Level games?
11. Do I have to wear a mouthguard whilst playing Third Level games?
12. Does this apply to overseas players?
A. Yes. International Units are subject to the General Rules of the Association.
13. I’m a referee; do I have to check all players’ mouths before a game to ensure
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 caution the player and
if the player still refuses to wear one, he should be sent off.
14. 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.
15. Is there an official GAA/GPA mouthguard?
A. Yes, there is a full range of official OPRO GAA/GPA mouthguards available in bronze,
silver, gold, platinum, junior and custom-fitted ranges. Official OPRO GAA/GPA ‘boil and
bite’ mouthguards are available for purchasing through the following retailers: SuperValu,
Centra, Lifestyle Sports, Elvery Sports, O’Neills and Heatons. Custom-fitted mouthguards
are available through a network of dentists nationwide - http://www.gaa.ie/tickets-andmerchandise/merchandise/mouthguards/