The GAA reminds all players at all levels in all Hurling Games and Hurling Practice Sessions that it is mandatory, and the responsibility of each individual player to wear a helmet with a facial guard that meets the standards set out in IS:355 or other replacement standard as determined by the National Safety Authority of Ireland (NSAI). All players are advised that in the event of a head injury occurring, they are not covered under the terms of the GAA Injury Benefit Fund. if the helmet being worn does not meet the standard or is modified or altered from the original manufactured state. Following the introduction of the rule at underage level, it was proven that mandatory helmet use reduced the number of serious facial and eye injuries by 40%. The rule was introduced across all levels in 2010.
CONSEQUENCES OF WEARING AN UNAPPROVED OR ALTERED HELMET
- Players are not covered under the terms of the GAA Injury Benefit Fund for facial/eye/head injuries suffered.
- Significantly increased risk of facial, dental, oral, nasal, orbital and eye injuries.
- Potential injuries suffered as a result of wearing an unapproved or altered helmet can be extremely serious including long term sight complications such as impaired vision, increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma and complete loss of sight.
- By removing bars players can potentially cause injury to their team-mates and opponents from sharp edges etc;.
An altered helmet is one which has been modified in any way from the original manufactured state. Once an approved faceguard has been Changed / Replaced OR Modified (bars on the faceguard removed, shortened or manipulated in any way) the player is no longer covered under the GAA Injury Benefit Fund and also at an increased risk of injury. When changing a faceguard, the new guard may not be compatible with the helmet design and can result in a serious facial or dental injury to the owner during a collision.
It is recommended that players:
- Only purchase a helmet with a facial guard that meets the standards set out in IS:355
- Do not replace the faceguard or remove or manipulate the bars on the faceguard in any way.
- Always wear their helmet when warming-up as well as during training/practice sessions and matches.
- Check their helmet in advance of every training session / match to ensure all faceguard bars are secure and there is no damage which may cause injury to the wearer, teammates or opponents.
- A list of helmet providers who supply helmets which meet IS:355 is available on learning.gaa.ie/injuryprevention
REMEMBER: It is the player’s responsibility to wear a helmet with a facial guard that meets the standard!
For more information check out https://www.kevins.ie/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/Hurling-Helmet-Advice-2022.pdf