Injury Prevention




The term sports injury, in the broadest sense, refers to the kinds of injuries that most commonly occur during sports or exercise. Some sports injuries result from accidents; others are due to poor training practices, use of improper equipment, lack of conditioning, or insufficient warm-up and stretching. Although virtually any part of your body can be injured during sports or exercise, the term is usually reserved for injuries that involve the musculoskeletal system, which includes the muscles, bones, and associated tissues like cartilage.

Injury Prevention

The Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee in conjunction with a working group comprising of Dr. Pat O’Neill, Prof. Niall Moyna, Dr. Pat Duggan, Dr. Kieran Moran, John C. Murphy and Dr. Catherine Blake have developed the GAA 15, a 15 minute standardised warm-up programme aimed at reducing the number of injuries sustained by GAA players.


The selected injury prevention intervention is based on programmes incorporated internationally by FIFA (the 11+) (FMARC) and by the Santa Monica Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Research Foundation (PEP) in soccer, the findings from the National Injury database since 2007 and a pilot of the programme in UCD.  The GAA 15 version 1 can be undertaken as a standardised warm-up before training and games.



GAA 15 Videos


GAA 15 Coaching Instruction Guide


Dr. Catherine Blake Presentation on the GAA 15



SportsClinicPlus has produced HD exercise warm-up videos for the GAA 15 v.1. Their exercise technology platform aims to keep more players injury-free and to reduce the cost and length of recovery so players get better faster. SportsClinicPlus use multimedia and technology to enrich and develop the connection between healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists and doctors and the sporting community (athletes, team managers, sports clubs, administration bodies) thereby preventing injury and supporting injured athletes to engage effectively in evidence-based exercise pre-habilitation and rehabilitation programs respectively.  Go to to find out more about what they do.  You can download their Injury Rehab App by clicking here.


Injury Treatment

The best immediate treatment for acute soft tissue injuries is PRICE protocol.

Most strains and sprains can be dealt with at home but the more severe ones will need to be seen by a doctor. To reduce pain and swelling, remember the acronym PRICE - Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.



Protect the injured area e.g. use crutches, protective bracing if appropriate.


You should rest the injured area for 24-48 hours. Crutches may be needed to take the weight off an injured knee or ankle. Make sure that you know how to use the crutches properly. Use them on the uninjured side to relieve pressure from the injured side. Support a strained elbow or shoulder with a sling.


Apply an ice pack (e.g. pack of frozen peas or a bag filled with crushed ice wrapped in a towel) as soon as the injury occurs. Repeat up to three times a day. Remember to place a damp cloth between the skin and ice. Do not apply the ice pack for longer than 20 minutes.


Wrap the affected area in an elastic bandage tightly - but not so tight as to cause compromise of the blood supply to the affected area.


To reduce swelling, elevate the affected area above the level of the heart.


Fact Sheet - Groin Injury


Fact Sheet - Ankle Injury


Fact Sheet - PCL Knee Injury


Fact Sheet - Patellar Tendon Rupture


Fact Sheet - Meniscal Injury


Fact Sheet - Collateral Ligament Injury




Concussion is a brain injury and should be taken seriously, players should be encouraged not to hide it, to report it, take adequate time to recover and to seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

More information

Protective Equipment




Since January 1st 2014, it has been mandatory for players in all grades to wear a mouthguard in all Gaelic football games and practice sessions.

The introduction of this rule has led to a drop of 37% in the number of dental injury claims made via the GAA Injury benefit fund, resulting from incidents in Gaelic football training sessions and matches in grades up to Minor in 2013. At adult level a similar drop of 39% occurred in 2014 proving the benefits of wearing a mouthguard in reducing the risk of dental injuries. 

Key Points

~ All Gaelic footballers must wear a mouthguard in practice sessions and matches. 

~ It is the responsibility of each individual player to use a mouthguard

~ A properly fitted mouthguard is the best available protective device for reducing the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries

~ Players can be sent-off in a game for not wearing a mouthguard

~ Players will not be covered under the GAA player injury scheme if they don’t comply with the mouthguard rule

~ No Mouthguard? No Game!

Mouthguard Exemption

A player can apply for a mouthguard exempltion application from which can be requested by e-mailing [email protected]

The player in question must provide supporting medical evidence clearly stating why a mouthguard cannot be worn

Further Information:

Information for Clubs, Players, Parents and Coaches

Hurling Helmets

The GAA would like to remind all players at all levels in all Hurling Games and Hurling Practice Sessions it is mandatory for, 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, if the helmet being worn does not meet the standard or is modified or altered from the original manufactured state, they are not covered under the terms of the GAA Player Injury Fund.

The following helmet manufacturers currently provide products which meet the standards set out in IS:355 or other replacement standard as determined by the National Safety Authority of Ireland (NSAI).

  • Mycro
  • Azzuri
  • Marc Sports
  • O’Neills
  • Atak Sports

Players and parents should note that not all products provided by some of these manufacturers meet the standards of IS:355.

Once the helmet or faceguard is modified in anyway, the player is playing at an increased risk of injury and not covered under the terms of the GAA Player Injury Benefit Fund.

Further Information: