It will be mandatory to use a mouthguard in all football matches and training sessions from January 1st 2014 for all age grades up to and including Minor, U21 and Adult level.
There are three types of mouthguards:
- Stock mouthguards are preformed and come ready to wear. Dentists do not recommend their use. Nonetheless, once they carry the CE (European Conformity) mark they are acceptable in terms of complying with the new GAA Rules.
- Boil and bite mouthguards can also be bought over the counter at most Sport Shops and generally offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. Typically this type of mouthguard will cost in the region of €15 to €20 and again any mouthguard with the CE mark on it in this category is sufficient to ensure compliance with the new rule.
- Custom-fitted mouthguards are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. These will offer the best protection against dental and oral injury. Prices can vary significantly and it is worth seeking and comparing prices from a number of practitioners before deciding to purchase.
There will be a range of official GAA/GPA mouthguards available to purchase in December. Further information on these products will be circulated to Clubs in late November.
COMPLYING WITH THE NEW RULE
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 (See Rule 6.2, Rules of Foul Play, The Playing Rules of Football, Official Guide, Part II, 20112)