Following the GAA’s Annual Congress in April 2012 a new rule was enacted that made it mandatory to use a mouthguard in all Football Games and Practice Football sessions from January 1st 2013 (for all age grades up to and including Minor) and at U21 and Adult level from January 1st 2014.
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. 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 mouthguards were used during athletic activity.
The GAA’s Medical, Scientific & Welfare Committee acknowledge 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.
This information has been compiled to assist GAA Clubs and individual players in complying with the provisions of the new rule passed at Congress 2012.
Mouthguard Advice Document