No water carrier but water breaks as GAA reiterate new rules for return to play


AHEAD of the return to championship action in the GAA from next week, the association have drawn up a list of rules which must be observed to ensure the safe return to play.

The most drastic change will see the introduction of a water break which will happen for a minute between the 15th and 20th minute of each half.

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A breakdown of the new rules can be found below.

  • Only 24 players can partake in the matchday and enter the pitch enclosure but there is no limit on the size of a club matchday panel.
  • A maximum of five (football) & seven (hurling) team Officials shall be allowed within the pitch enclosure.
  • These should include a manager, maor foirne, two medics, one administrator and two maor caman (hurling only).
  • Subs and team officials will be positioned on opposite sides of the pitch to allow for government guidelines.
  • There should be no use of dugouts, unless they may be used provided social distancing procedures are followed.
  • No water carriers will be permitted in either code.
  • One water break will take place between the 15th and 20th minute in each half, at the referee’s discretion.
  • The referee has the authority during the game to send any person in breach of the regulations to the stand/outside the pitch enclosure and such person cannot be replaced.
  • Ground regulations shall apply to all venues considered suitable for club championships. They shall include procedures for entry to each ground, designated areas for substitutes and Team Officials and shall be communicated to Teams in advance.
  • GAA officials have also advised that the role of the maor fóirne is to deliver messages to players on their team and any disruption to the playing of the game, challenging the authority of the match officials, interference with opposing players, entry onto the field of play not at a time as listed above or breach of match regulations shall result in their removal from the pitch enclosure and they cannot be replaced for the remainder of the game, including extra time.
  • The maor fóirne must not be a listed member of the team panel.
  • Meanwhile, selectors must be positioned outside the pitch enclosure.
  • There will be no handshakes before or after games, no spitting or nose-clearing and team huddles should only take place where social distancing is observed
  • Use hand-sanitisers before and after every match. Players must use their own clearly marked water bottles and interaction with opponents & match officials should be kept to a minimum after the match

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