From January 1st 2010 the wearing of helmets with faceguards will be compulsory for hurlers at all levels.

This will see senior players in 2010 follow the regulations already in place at the minor and under 21 grades of hurling.

In introducing and streamlining these regulations the GAA continues its commitment to ensuring player welfare on the field of play with the specific intention of reducing injuries.

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.

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.

The helmets and faceguards worn by the player should comply with the specific standard required by the GAA which is in compliance with the ISS 355 standard and test.

From January 1st 2010 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 player will be advised of the requirements that the new regulations place on him and his continued participation will be dependent on his complete compliance with these regulations.

In summary, the compulsory wearing of helmets including faceguards in hurling at all levels from January 2010 has been solely introduced by the GAA to improve the health, safety and welfare of all participants and reduce the incidence of injuries both in training and on the field of play.