From January 1, 2014 it will become mandatory for all ladies Gaelic Football 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