The GAA has updated match regulations ahead of next weekend's recommencement of club fixtures.

The protocol template was prepared by the Central Competitions Control Committee and was given the green light by the association's management committee last night.

It comes amid news that three west Cork clubs have stopped all activity to comply with HSE public health advice after members came in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

The guidelines issue a number of recommendations. 

The key points are:

  • 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, but 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 a 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 foirne 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 foirne 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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