Since the beginning of the year it’s been mandatory for all players in minor grades to use mouth guards but come the 1st of January 2014 it’ll become mandatory for all players of all grades to wear them.
A press event was organised yesterday with Cian O’Sullivan, Dublin and Valerie Mulcahy, Cork to reaffirm that mouthguards will now be part of the standard gear for any player.
The main concern for the GAA is injury prevention with research showing 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 sport related. While some may question how the GAA can make players wear mouthguards, in the updated rules players can be sent off for not wearing one and more importantly players will not be covered under the GAA player injury scheme.
Under the GAA player injury scheme players can get up to €4,500 in expenses for dental treatment and the organisation predicts that the new mouth guard rule will see a 60% decrease in dental injuries on the field.