GAA:In a bid to prevent further head injuries, the GAA today announced that hurlers at all levels must wear helmets, including faceguards, from January 1st, 2010.
It means senior inter-county players will follow the regulations already in place at minor and under-21 level where helmets are compulsory.
“The injuries which the compulsory wearing of helmets will prevent and reduce in numbers are specifically those related to the head, face, eye and dental regions,” today’s GAA statement read.
“There are significant injuries which can be sustained in these areas including scalp lacerations, concussions, skull fractures, jaw fractures, cheekbone fractures, nasal fractures, penetrating eye injury and orbital fractures, facial lacerations and damage to and avulsion of teeth in both the upper and lower jaws.
“The compulsory wearing of helmets with full faceguards, both in training and matches, will significantly reduce the occurrence of these injuries.
“Hurlers of all ages, including those at nursery clubs when holding a hurley in their hand must wear a helmet and faceguard at all times.”
From next year match officials will be obliged to stop play if “any player at any level appears on the field of play without the necessary standard of equipment outlined above”.
“The introduction of this rule at senior level is a natural progression following as it does the rule change at minor and under-21 level in recent seasons,” said Christy Cooney, GAA President.
“We have seen a reduction in the number of serious facial injuries at these grades thanks to the compulsory use of helmets in games and training and we would hope to see the same trend at senior level too.”