Mouthguards in the GAA: Everything you need to Know

Player welfare and safety is a really important element in the GAA right now and mouthguards, or gumshields, are a piece of equipment not to be overlooked.

As the game increases in speed and physicality, a mouthguard can be the difference between a serious injury and a sizeable dental bill too!

Since 2013, the GAA introduced the rule that all players in all grades must wear a mouthguard or gumshield in both Gaelic football and Ireland – training and games.

They say that the introduction of the rule led to a drop of 37% in dental injury claims in 2013.

Players are susceptible to a variety of injuries without a mouthguard, from tooth fractures to more serious jaw and head trauma.

mouthguards in the gaa

They also greatly lower their risk of suffering such injuries by donning a mouthguard that is properly fitted, allowing them to concentrate on giving their best effort.

And keeping that beautiful smile intact!

In this series of blogs, we’ll delve deeper into all things mouthguards in the GAA, examining various types, offering advice on how to pick the best one, and offering ideas for appropriate care and maintenance.

Read on for more.

Mouthguards in the GAA: Promoting Safety

The GAA has introduced a number of rules and regulations down through the years to help and improve safety for players.

For instance, hurling helmets were made compulsory around the same time as mouthguards too.

Hurling was a pretty bloody sport back in the day, and you can find out more about this in this blog on the History of Hurling!

The mandated use of mouthguards fosters a culture of player safety among the GAA community in addition to serving as a deterrent to potential injuries.

mouthguards in the gaa

The GAA’s contribution to player safety goes beyond just enforcing the rules.

The group actively works with dentists, dental associations, and subject-matter specialists to spread the word and instruct players, coaches, and parents about the value of mouthguards.

Like a lot of things, the introduction got off to a slow start but now it is really encouraging to see how players and parents have really embraced the use of them.

The Benefits of using Mouthguards in the GAA

While playing Gaelic football, hurling, or camogie, wearing a mouthguard has many advantages that go beyond merely following the GAA’s regulations.

In order to protect players’ tooth health, avoid facial injuries, and improve general safety on the field, mouthguards are essential.

Let’s examine some of the main advantages of using mouthguards in GAA.

Protect your Teeth and Gums

The protective barrier that mouthguards create between the upper and lower teeth serves as a shield.

They efficiently disperse and absorb the pressures that can be generated during crashes or unintentional contact, reducing the possibility of dental injuries including broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth.

mouthguards in the gaa

Additionally, mouthguards aid in preventing cuts or lacerations to the gums from hits or collisions.

A survey from the Irish Dental Association found that Gaelic is the sport that causes the most dental injuries for children, ahead of hurling and rugby.

Reduced Risk of Jaw Injuries

Mouthguards help to avoid jaw injuries in addition to providing tooth protection.

Mouthguards lower the possibility of injuries to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or fractures of the jawbone, which can happen as a result of blows to the face by absorbing the impact pressures.

A mouthguard that is properly fitted will form a cushion zone that will absorb and distribute forces, reducing the risk of injury to the jaw region.

Less Risk of Facial Trauma

Fast-paced play, physical contact, and the use of hurleys or footballs during Gaelic activities can result in unintentional face blows.

The danger of laceration, bruising, and other soft tissue injuries is decreased thanks to the layer of protection that mouthguards offer for the lips, cheeks, and tongue.

Mouthguards serve as a cushion, absorbing and distributing impacts to lessen the severity of any facial injuries.

Potential risk of concussion

Although mouthguards primarily shield the teeth and jaws, concussion risk may also be decreased by using them.

Some studies indicate that mouthguards may help in absorbing and dissipating forces that may cause concussions, while further study is required to establish a causal link.

Even though they shouldn’t be viewed as a sure-fire technique of preventing concussions, mouthguards can help to ensure player safety when used in conjunction with other preventative measures.

More confidence leading to better performance

On the pitch, athletes’ confidence may increase if they are confident in their protection.

Players may concentrate on their performance without unnecessarily worrying or being afraid of potential injuries when they feel safer and more protected.

Their general gameplay, decision-making, and capacity to fully immerse themselves in the sport can all benefit from this improved confidence.

Importance of Properly fitted mouthguards in the GAA

A mouthguard or gumshield will only work properly if it is fitted correctly.

Admittedly, wearing one that is not fitted correctly is still better than not wearing one at all.

But for the optimum protection, comfort and effectiveness, you need it fitted snug.

Best Protection

A mouthguard that is properly fitted will effectively cover and shield the teeth, gums, and jaw.

This ensures a consistent level of protection throughout the whole game or practice session and reduces the chance that the mouthguard may come off during play.

This snug fit aids in evenly distributing and absorbing impact forces, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma, jaw fractures, and dental injuries.

Comfort and Breathability

The comfort of the player depends on the mouthguard’s fit.

Uncomfortable, bulky mouthguards that restrict speech or breathing might cause distractions and worse than expected performance on the field.

On the other hand, a mouthguard that is properly fitted feels more comfortable and enables athletes to concentrate on their game without unneeded discomfort or interruptions.

It maintains its position firmly, enabling regular mouth movements for team members to communicate normally.

Reduced risk of mouthguard related injuries

Risks can arise from a mouthguard that doesn’t fit properly.

Too loose or bulky mouthguards run the risk of rubbing or irritating the soft tissues in the mouth, which can cause pain, ulcers, or sores.

Furthermore, if they come free during play, mouthguards might provide a choking hazard.

The risk of injury can be reduced for athletes by providing a suitable fit.

The usefulness of custom-made mouthguards over store-bought alternatives in preventing dental injuries, soft tissue injuries, and concussions is highlighted by study findings, underlining the significance of good fit for improved protection in rugby players.

mouthguards in the GAA

Moulded Fitted Mouthguards

Customising mouthguards to a person’s needs is one of the benefits of having them properly fitted.

Custom-fitted mouthguards are made for each person’s mouth, taking into account things like teeth alignment, jaw structure, and bite pattern.

They are normally purchased from a dental practitioner.

Players are free to concentrate entirely on their game thanks to the greatest comfort and protection provided by this tailored fit.

Players can speak easier with these in, and the breathability is much better.

However, these are generally more expensive than a self-moulded mouthguard.


Don’t forget though, kids’ fittings may change overtime as they experience growth.

So regularly checking the fit of the mouthguard every few months is recommended.


To wrap up, mouthguards are now a huge part of the GAA.

If you don’t wear them, you face the risk of serious injury and being sent off in the match.

The benefits are huge and the evidence is all there to back it up.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and make sure to check out our selection of mouthguards below.

The Benefits of Sports for Kids

Sports, fun and summertime go hand-in-hand at Intersport Elverys and the benefits of all these for kids are humongous.

As well as sports being fun for your kids, it can also keep them active, allow them make new friends and learn important life skills.

But did you know that sports can also improve their physical and emotional health?

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the advantages of sports for children, such as how it can help them stay fit, healthy, and happy.

benefits of sports for kids

Physical Health Benefits of Sports for Kids

Regular physical activity is essential for kid’s health and development, and sports are an excellent method for them to obtain the exercise they require.

The following are some of the physical health benefits of sports for children:

Better Cardiovascular Health

Sporting activities can help children’s cardiovascular health by strengthening their heart and lungs.

This can help individuals increase their endurance, lower their risk of heart disease, and enhance their general fitness.

Improve coordination and motor skills

Sports require children to use multiple muscle groups while also developing coordination and motor skills.

This can assist children enhance their general physical ability, balance, and agility.

Reduce the risk of obesity

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), they estimated that over 38 million kids under the age of 5 were overweight or obese.

Regular exercise and sports is a brilliant method of your kids maintaining healthy weight and reducing the risk of becoming obese.

Obesity leads to a range of health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

benefits of sports for kids

Maintain stronger bones and muscles

Weight-bearing sports such as running and leaping can help children develop stronger bones and muscles.

This can lower the chance of injury while also improving overall physical performance.

Yoga can be a fantastic option, so why not check out our Best Yoga Poses for Kids Guide with the O’Neill family?

Sports provide kids with a variety of physical health benefits that can help them live happier, healthier lives.

Mental Health Benefits of Sports for Kids

Along with the physical, sports for kids can have huge benefits on their mental health too.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participation in team sports can help improve kids self-esteem and positively impact both their mental health and social skills.

Here are some of the benefits:

Reduced stress and anxiety

Physical activity, such as sports, can help youngsters cope with stress and anxiety.

Endorphins are released during exercise, which can improve mood and reduce tension and anxiety.

Improve confidence

Participating in sports can help youngsters develop a sense of accomplishment while also improving their self-esteem and confidence.

benefits of sports for kids

This might boost their confidence in their abilities both on and off the field.

Better sleep

Regular activity, especially sports involvement, can help children sleep better.

This is significant since sleep is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing.

Better Attention span

Sports can help youngsters increase their focus and attention span, which can help them perform better in school.

Sporting activities provide children with a variety of mental health benefits that can improve their general well-being and happiness.

Football is always a great option, this Guide to Football Training Equipment might come in useful to get started.

Social Benefits of Sports for kids

Sports can be a really effective and simple way of helping your kids develop all important life skills, such as social confidence, teamwork, communication and leadership.

It might also be one of the first times they get exposed to all these at once too.

Here we look into them a bit more.

Teamwork and leadership skills

Sporting activities need youngsters to operate as a team and learn how to lead and follow.

This can assist kids in developing key social skills and attributes of leadership that will serve them well in the future.

benefits of sports for kids

Studies have found that community sport participation helps improving kids shyness and significantly increasing anxiety over time.

Making friends

Sports can be an excellent method for youngsters to meet new people and develop new friends.

This can assist children in developing a sense of belonging and social skills, as well as having much more fun.

Learning to win and lose

Both are equally as important as the other.

Learning to handle triumph and failure with grace and sportsmanship: Sports can teach youngsters how to handle win and defeat with grace and sportsmanship.

This can aid in the development of crucial life skills and values, especially once they know that it is not all about winning.

Academic Benefits of Sports

As well as doing great in sports, it’s important that your kids academic side improves too.

And sports are a brilliant method of doing just that.

But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve pulled out of some great research to back up why sports and ‘the books’ go hand in hand.

  1. Research published in the Journal of School Health discovered that middle school pupils who participated in sports performed better academically than those who did not.
  2. In the USA, Student-athletes have higher grade point averages (GPAs) and lower dropout rates than non-athletes, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
  3. According to a review of data published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, physical activity, especially sports involvement, can improve cognitive function and academic achievement in children and adolescents.


We hope at this stage you are beginning to see how beneficial sports can be for your little bundles of joy.

If your thinking of sending your kids to camp this year, this Essential Guide to Summer Camps blog is a must read.

Otherwise, we hope we’ve laid out all the benefits to you and this might encourage you to get your kids involved in sports.

Intersport Elverys are experts in sport and have an incredible of kids categories and items to help you along. Check it out below.

How Long is a GAA Match? A Guide to Gaelic Games Duration

If you’re new to Gaelic football or hurling and want to know how long is a GAA match, then look no further.

To the untrained, the GAA can look like pure chaos with no rules at all!

But we assure you that there is indeed rules – quite a lot of them actually – and knowing how long a GAA match is should be one of the first things you know.

GAA matches, in short, last 60 minutes at club level and 70 minutes for inter-county games.

But that’s only scratching the surface.

This blog post will examine the normal length of several Gaelic games as well as the variables that may affect the length of a match.

Let’s go.

how long is a gaa match

How long is a GAA Match

Ok, so at this stage we presume you know what the GAA is right? Well if you don’t, check out our bog on What does the GAA stand for.

But back to this, and in short, the duration of a GAA hurling or football match is generally 60 minutes long.

That is for most adult club games, as well as minor, under-20 and underage games. It is divided into two halves of 30 minutes each.

However, senior inter-county football games last for 70 minutes long with two halves of 35 minutes each.

You then have to factor in additional time, which is time added on to the end of each half that takes into account time that may have been lost on the field due to injuries, substitutions or just some old-fashioned time-wasting!

If the two teams are level at the end of the 60 or 70 minutes, then the option of playing two 10 minute halves of extra time  can be played, followed by a penalty shootout.

Or if it’s an All-Ireland Final, then a replay will be played after full time.

Teams also get 10 minutes for a half time break.

Want to know more about GAA? Here is the  length of a GAA pitch – and it’s quite big!

How long is a GAA Match: Football v Hurling

Both Gaelic football and hurling are scheduled to last 60 minutes and 70 minutes respectively, as stated above.

However, in recent times the GAA has seen inter-county games last well over 80 minutes when added time is taken into account.

That is due to new rules like the black card, teams making tactical substitutions to run down the clock and of course injuries, due to the added physicality and pace of the game.

Back in the 1970s, the GAA trialled playing 80 minute games before settling on the current format.

Time keeping is becoming more of an issue in recent years and it has been suggested that the GAA bring in a time clock, like you see in basketball, to try and counteract it.

However, nothing has been done just yet.


So, now you know how long is a GAA match.

If you’re interested in learning more, why not check out our Ultimate Guide to Gaelic Football Positions?

Or maybe you’ll be interested in the history of hurling?

We love our GAA at Intersport Elverys, and if you’re looking for some of the top gear, check out our county by county range on our website below.

how long is a gaa match


Free Kick Coaching with Dublin’s Dean Rock 2023

DUBLIN GAA’s Dean Rock is one of the greatest free kick takers Gaelic football or the GAA has ever seen.

The Ballymun star has held his nerve in the biggest moments and on the biggest stage for Dublin GAA – who can forget his late free in the 2017 All-Ireland Final against Mayo?

Not to mention that in 2019, he kicked a total of 32 out of 36 frees to help Dublin complete the historic five-in-a-row.

In this blog, we’re delighted to have Rock himself share his free kick secrets and tips with us, covering kicking off the ground, out of his hands, mental cues and more.

The tutorial was done as part of our Leader Kicking series in association with Puma and Tadgh Leader, and also features Dublin LGFA’s Kate O’Sullivan.

If you want to improve your free taking, you don’t want to miss this.

Before you scroll, are you curious to see if Dean Rock made our Ultimate XV from the Past Two Decades?

Read on for more.

Dean Rock on… Kicking the ball out of your hands?

“It’s a feel thing for me.

“If I was playing with the wind, I’d usually always kick them out of my hands, because I feel once I get my shoulder position right, direction with which my feet need to go and commitment to the strike, the wind will do the majority of the work for me.

dean rock

“If I’m kicking into the wind, there is far more that can go wrong, so I find it more comfortable to put it on the deck.

“I find it’s hard to get the elevation when you’re kicking off the ground with the wind behind you too. So it’s that bit easier to kick under and up through the wind.”

Dean Rock on… Getting his routine right

“Once a free is awarded I am getting ready mentally and physically for the kick.

“I might not be the person fouled, so I always take my time getting across to take it, allowing me to take a few breaths and get my heart rate down because that will help me think more clearly about the process.

“Once I get over the ball I am making my mind up whether to go out of my hands or off the ground. So in this instance, we’re about 30 yards, the wind is kind of in my favour, so I would have decided by now to go out of the hands.

“I then want to find the general direction in which the wind is blowing. Here, it’s going from right to left, so that will dictate my starting position.

“A big cue for me is always having my left shoulder facing towards the target, so I want it facing the right post.

“The other shoulder I am going to try my best to hide as long as possible in the run up so I don’t open up. If I open my chest in anyway, the likelihood is that I’m going to curl it to the left and miss.

“So my number one focus is left or near shoulder to the target before moving in a direction that doesn’t allow my right shoulder to rotate inwards and drag it to the left.

“After that, it’s trying to keep the head down and having a full commitment to the strike – don’t quite on the kick.”

Dean Rock on… mental cues when kicking

“Before I kick, I always use the word ‘commit’ – just as I’m approaching the kick, it’s ‘commit’.

“So not thinking of any outcome, just the process and the commitment.

dean rock

“I much rather miss at the far post than the near post. Because when I miss at the far post I know I just need to change the angle at which I’m running so it should just go over on the inside of the post.

“In terms of the target, I always practice kicking between the far post and the black spot, narrowing the target. So in a game, you then have a bigger target and that helps when the pressure is on.”

Kicking off the Ground

“When kicking off the ground I always try and hit the valve. It’s not done with any science behind it, more just a habit in terms of what helps me point the ball towards the target.

“I try and strike the ball off the toe a bit more than usual as it helps get elevation.

“I step back directly from the target first and in terms of stepping left, it’s whatever I feel comfortable with really and depend on where I am on the pitch.

“If I’m shooting from the right side of the pitch, I’m not going to take as many steps to the left as if I was kicking from the left side for example.”

dean rock

Kicking off the ground Routine

“There’s a bit more control when you’re kicking off the ground because you know the ball isn’t moving and all you need to do is focus on your alignment.

“When I’m kicking off the ground it’s all about getting my head and chest over the ball and get that full commitment because a bad miss for me are where I’ve quit on it, come up too soon and dragged it left.

“I used to count for 1 or 2 seconds after the kick to keep my head down and avoid looking up and worrying about the outcome – process is more important.

“My planted leg is also important in terms of trying to get that as close to the side of the ball as possible.

“I would say it is very close to the ball and where I’m trying to hit it from.

“In the past when I was kicking, I’d often get the cameraman to come out with me and record videos to find bits of inconsistencies and sometimes it would be here in the positioning of my planted foot.

“So I’ve found that if I can get my foot planted in the general direction of being side by side with the ball, it will give me the best purchase or strike.”


Free kick tips and insight doesn’t come much better than from Dean Rock.

Make sure to check out the full video below to see Rock in action alongside Kate O’Sullivan and Tadgh Leader.

You can also check out our full range of GAA HERE.

What is the History of Hurling

We know hurling as one of our greatest past times and one of the greatest sports in the world, but do you know what the history of hurling is?

It might surprise you that a lot don’t know the game’s origins date back over 3000 years.

Back then, the Celts were arriving to Ireland and introduced the legal system. Hillforts were being constructed across the country such as the Hill of Tara.

It survived some testing times to become a cultural phenomenon and a modern day behemoth in terms of involvement and influence.

In this blog we’ll take a trip back through time to discover where it originated and what it has become.

what is hurling

What is Hurling: The Origins

It’s first mention in literature dates back to 1272BC – a long, long time ago.

Ironically enough, that reference took place in Mayo, near the village of what is now known as Cong, which is a devout footballing county.

It is written that at some time during The Battle of Moytura, at Moytura Conga, the Fir Bolgs challenged the Tuatha De Danann to a game of hurling and proceeded to kill many of their enemies during the game.

However, Tuatha De Danann had the last laugh, slaying the king of Fir Bolg, King Eochai, on the fourth day.

The spot where the game proposedly took place is now called The Field of the Hurlers (below).

what is hurling

Yet, if you are to believe urban myth and legend, the story of Cú Chulainn and hurling dates back even further.

Passed down by word of mouth for generations the story of the great Irish mythology was eventually written down 800 years ago in the Táin Bó Cúailnge and still told today.

In short, he was a hero warrior who possessed super human strength.

Christened as Sétanta, he is said to have been able to, allegedly, hit a sliotar with a ball, leap forward and hit it again all before it hit the ground – impressive if true!

He derived the name Cú Chulainn after he killed a large wolfhound, named Culann, that was keeping watch over the kingdom of his uncle, King Conor MacNessa.

Arriving to the gates of the kingdom under the cover of darkness, he was set upon by the hound who through he was an intruder.

Sétanta drove the ball with such accuracy and power it went straight down the hound’s throat and killed him instantly.

what is hurling
Pic: The Irish Road Trip

Upon hearing the ordeal outside, the King and his aids rushed outside to find the hound dead and Sétanta standing over him.

Relieved and impressed in equal measure as to how the young boy killed the hound, the King was also upset at losing a valued dog.

However he need not be too sad as his nephew offered his services to mind the castle while he searched for an able replacement, earning the name Cú Chulainn, which means ‘Hound of Culann’ or ‘Hound of Ulster’.

How Hurling was played Then and Now

In its earliest form, hurling was played with a stick called a camán, which was curved at the end, and a ball made of animal skin or other materials.

The goal of the game was to hit the ball, the sliotar, between two markers, often trees or stones, using the camán.

There was no pitch to play on in the early days, so often fields, hills and bogs were used.

In the 17th century, it is accounted as being played on a field nearly 300 yards long and the victorious team had to drive the ball through the goal of the opponent.

The Brehon Laws, a system of Celtic law, established provisions for instances of intentional injury or even death caused by hurling in addition to providing compensation for accidents involving the sport.

After the Normans took over, the game was outlawed in the 12th century, but it survived and even thrived until the early 19th century, largely because of landlord support.

For more on the rules of the game, check out How Long is a GAA Pitch blog.

Emergence of the Modern Game of Hurling

While the history goes back a long way, the modernising of the sport under current regulation and form is much more recent.

The founding of the GAA in 1884 was pivotal in the ancient game developing recognition, an established set of rules and structured competition.

If you want to know more about the GAA, check out our blog on What the GAA Stands For.

The GAA was founded to support and maintain traditional Irish sports, such as hurling, and it soon emerged as a dominant force in the Irish sports scene.

The organisation offered a platform for arranging contests and matches as well as assistance in standardizing the rules of hurling and other sports.

what is hurling

The GAA’s early years were characterised by controversy and hostility as it fought with British authorities and worked to forge its own unique identity.

Nevertheless, despite these difficulties, the GAA stayed dedicated to promoting hurling and other Irish sports, and they had a significant influence on how the game is played today.

The creation of a set of regulations for the sport was a significant advancement in its modernisation.

Matches could be played with a wide range of rules and equipment prior to the GAA’s involvement, which could make it challenging for teams to compete on an even playing field.

A level playing field was made possible by the adoption of standardised regulations, which also contributed to the fair and safe conduct of games.

The advent of new tools like the sliotar and hurley was a significant advancement in the modernisation of hurling too.

Due to these advancements, the game became faster and more exciting while also allowing for increased player ability and precision.

This blog will give you more detail on how long a game of hurling lasts.

The Significance of Hurling in Irish Culture

The game is so much more than a sport in Ireland.

With the emergence of the club and county codes and parish rule, hurling is a strong symbol of identity and pride.

Pride derives from the fact that people can only play for the parish in which they are born, creating a strong sense of unity and pride of place within local communities.

what is hurling

The game is celebrated in music, literature and art by some of the most well-known musicians and poets, such as WB Yeats, and matches are some of the biggest social events in the Irish calendar.

The All-Ireland Hurling Final, for example, attracted over 1 million viewers in 2022.

Recently, the game has sparked huge interest worldwide too, particularly in the USA.

Hurling folk look at the game as a second religion.

What is Hurling Today

Modern day hurling is only growing in popularity.

Right now, the game boasts some of the most talent players the sport has ever seen.

Check out our blog on the Best Team of the Past Two Decades to read more on them.

The sport has also gained a following around the world, with teams and leagues established in countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia.

There is also a lot of work taking place in Ireland and beyond to make the game more accessible and inclusive, while it is also attracting players from all backgrounds and nationalities.


We hope you enjoyed a look back through time on the history of hurling and learned a few things.

It’s an amazing sport and we are supporting it for a long time.

Check out our full range of GAA gear below.

Best Hurlers of all time: Ultimate VX 2000-2020

We’ve already compiled our list of the best football XV of the past two decades, so now it’s time to compile our list of the best hurlers of all time: 2010-2020.

It was an era dominated by Brian Cody’s relentless Kilkenny, who captured 11 Liam McCarthy Cups in that time. The Cats produced some of the game’s greatest players in that era too.

While Tipperary (4), Cork (2), Limerick (2), Clare and Galway all enjoyed their days in the sun in the 20 odd years as well.

Trying to pick a top 15 players was every bit as difficult, if not more, than the footballers and we know some will be disappointed and aggrieved with our decisions!

It’s a game of opinions after all.

So here goes.

Best Hurlers of all Time

1. Goalkeeper: Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny)

best hurlers of all time

There have been an emergence of some incredible goalkeepers over the past 20 years but Kilkenny’s Eoin Murphy comes out on top of the lot. He beats off still competition from the likes of Donal Óg Cusack, Anthony Nash and Nicky Quaid, Murphy raised the bar, particularly in the second half of the decade.

Four All-Irelands and 3 All Stars is a good showing too.

Full Back Line

best hurlers of all time

2. Right Corner Back: Paul Murphy (Kilkenny)

The army man won four All-Irelands and four All Stars in his first five incredible years with the Cats!

A former Hurler of the Year nominee, Murphy was an absolute all-rounded defender that could man-mark the best, dictate the skies and hassle and harry with the very best.

A shout out to Jackie Tyrell and Noel Connors too, but Murphy is a too strong.

3. Full Back: Daithi Burke (Galway)

Although he won only one All-Ireland title compared to his competitors for this position, Burke is undoubtedly one of the best full backs the game has seen.

A physical specimen, he was a key figure as Galway ended their wait for the Liam McCarthy in 2017 and won four consecutive All Stars between 2015 and 2018.

A dual star too with Corofin, Burke was tough, skilful and smart – a powerful trio.

4. Left Corner Back: JJ Delaney (Kilkenny)

There is fierce competitiveness in the full back line, especially from the Kilkenny boys, but Delaney was a nailed down starter and takes the last jersey.

One of the finest defenders to ever play the game, Delaney finished his illustrious career with nine All-Ireland titles and seven All Stars.

Although he played a lot of his career in the half back line too, he was versatile anywhere in the defence.

Half Back Line

best hurlers of all time

5. Right Wing Back: Tommy Walsh (Kilkenny)

The man from Tullaroan was small in stature but huge in determination, desire and skill.

He had an affable ability to fly through the skies and pluck the sliotar before driving his team on and raising the roof of Croke Park. A player that was loved by all counties, not just his own.

Nine All-Ireland titles, nine All Stars and a former Hurler of the Year is as good an innings and you will find.

6. Centre Back: Padraic Maher (Tipperary)

Will go down as one of Tipperary’s greatest ever, the indestructible Maher earned six All Stars during his time with Tipp.

His accuracy from play, where he could set up attacks from deep inside his own half made him such a dangerous weapon.

Known and feared for his physical stature, Maher also had consistency and longevity during his three All-Ireland titles.

7. Left Wing Back: Austin Gleeson (Waterford)

The versatility of the Waterford ace is what has earned him a playmaking role in the half back line.

Gleeson can play in any position you want given his exceptionally high skill level, workrate and pace.
Doesn’t have the trophy cabinet to match some of the others on this team, his ability to create something magically out of nothing is something we couldn’t ignore.


best hurlers of all time

8. David Burke (Galway)

Captain of their 2017 All-Ireland winning team, Burke was a player who product at least an 8/10 performance every single game.

The St Thomas clubman won four All Stars since breaking onto the scene in 2010 and is one of the finest long range shooters in the game.

A rock who will sit in, defend and do all the unfashionable stuff just as well as he can hit some of the best scores you will ever see.

9. Tony Kelly (Clare)

Kelly has managed to get the nod ahead of Kilkenny’s Michael Fennelly and that in itself says enough about how highly we rate him.

The Ballyea man won a Hurler of the Year and Young Hurley of the Year in the last decade and inspired the Banner win to a famous All-Ireland in 2013.

Kelly can and has won games on his own and has a long career of him yet.

Half Forward Line

10. Right Half Forward: Noel McGrath (Tipperary)

McGrath’s vision and passing accuracy was a joy to behold.

He overcame a battle with testicular cancer in 2015 and bounced back an even better player, proving pivotal around the middle of the field.

Young Hurler of the Year in 2009 as a corner-forward, McGrath was recently named captain for 2023.

11. Centre Half Forward: Joe Canning (Galway)

Galway’s greatest every hurler, Canning was so good he became universally known throughout the game as just ‘Joe’.

His talents and efforts for Galway warrant more than just the one All-Ireland, and no one will forget his winning point against Tipperary in 2017 was special, as was his ability to hit sideline cuts.

His older brother, Ollie, isn’t far off the pace for this team in the corner back role, but Joe was the real star in a talented family.

12. Left Half Forward: TJ Reid (Kilkenny)

Like Canning, Reid is so good he is only referred to by his first name such is his profile.

The Kilkenny ace and Ballyhale clubman is arguably the hurler of the 2010-2020 decade and is still showing no signs of slowing down.

TJ has hit 28-477 for Kilkenny and is one of the greatest forwards of all time with 7 Celtic Crosses and 6 All Stars and counting.

Full Forward Line

13. Right Corner Forward: Seamus Callanan (Tipperary)

Callinan was a colossal for Tipp’ since he burst onto the scene in 2009.

Almost unmarkable on his day, Callinan inspired his county to three All-Ireland titles, Callinan scored a goal in every championship game (8) in 2019 as Tipp’ won the Liam McCarthy.

Four times nominated for Hurler of the Year and once a winner, the Drom & Inch man will go down in Tipp’ hurling folklore.

14. Full Forward: Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)

King Henry is arguably the greatest of the great; widely considered to be the best every amongst his peers and former teammates and opponents.

The only player every to win Hurler of the Year on three occasions (’02, ’06 and ’12), his 11 All Stars and ten All-Ireland titles show his dominance across a long period of time.

Kilkenny’s all-time leading scorer with 27-484, Shefflin was and still is, one of the most naturally talented players to ever pick up a hurl.

15. Left Corner Forward: Patrick Horgan (Cork)

This decision was one of the most difficult on the team, particulatly given Patrick Horgan is nudging out players who have collected far more silverware.

However, that wasn’t part of the criteria to picking this team and that’s why we can’t ignore Horgan.

Deadly in front of goal and from the dead ball, Cork’s inability to win an All-Ireland wasn’t because of Horgan’s lack of efforts or talents.

The Glen man is a three time All Star and aging like a fine wine.

Honourable Mentions

Nicky Quaid (Limerick)

Richie Hogan (Kilkenny)

Brendan Maher (Tipperary)

Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny)

Noel Connors (Waterford)

Ben O’Connor (Cork)

John Mullane (Waterford)


Phew… we’re glad that’s over.

The standard was incredible and some of the decisions we made were not easy.

Have an opinion? Let us know.

Best GAA Grounds in Ireland

Ireland boasts some absolutely incredible GAA grounds.

From the Gaelic Grounds in New York to the amazing amphitheatre that is Croke Park; or from the hallowed turf of the once spectacular Casement Park down to the Kingdom of Killarney and its heartbeat, Fitzgerald stadium.

Not to mention the Home of Hurling or Ulster Final Day in St Tiernach’s Park.

Each ground has forged its own place in GAA history through unrivalled and unique atmospheres.

They are feared and loved in equal measure.

In this blog we’ll list some of our favourites.

If you stumbled on this blog and might be aware what the GAA is, check out this Blog.

Without further ado and in no particular order…

Best GAA Grounds in Ireland

Casement Park, Belfast

Capacity: 32,000

Although a ball hasn’t been kicked in Casement Park since Sunday, June 9 2013 after Monaghan beat Antrim 0-11 to 0-6 in the Ulster Championship, the ground’s memory is buried deep in GAA peoples’ hearts.

Right now, unfortunately, it is in a saddening state of disrepair after plans for an extension to transform it into the home of Ulster football was quashed in 2014 on the back of objections from local residents.

But that setback has only served to increase the legend of Casement Park and the simply unforgettable match-day atmosphere it served up.

Opened in 1953, the stadium has huge historic significance and hosted eight Ulster Finals. Known for its Sea of Saffron, it still serves as a reminder of what Belfast is missing.

However, in May of last year the legal challenge against the granting of planning permission for Casement Park was dismissed, leading the way for a huge transformation in 2023.

Semple Stadium, Tipperary

Capacity: 45000

The second largest GAA grounds in the country, Semple Stadium has established itself as the ‘Home of Hurling’ and the showpiece of provincial hurling, the Munster Final.

Situated in Thurles, down the street from where the GAA was founded in Hayes Hotel, it is steeped in history.

The atmosphere on Munster Final Day is stuff of legend and the immaculate pitch helps to serve up some absolutely ‘lovely hurling’.


Croke Park, Dublin

Capacity: 82000

Not only is Croke Park the best stadium in Ireland, it is also one of the greatest in Europe.

GAA HQ and host of the pinnacle of our national sports, the All-Ireland Final, it is a sight to behold when it is packed to the rafters.

gaa grounds

The pitch is carpet-like, while the surroundings of the stadium is vibrant and boisterous, there is nowhere like Croke Park.

That’s why it remains a dream for every young boy and girl to get the chance to play there.

St Tiernach’s Park, Monaghan

Capacity: 36000

The biggest ground in Ulster and the greatest Ulster Final atmosphere of them all.

The capacity is estimated between 29000-36000 but when the calendar reaches the Ulster Final day the sound would suggest the capacity is double that.

gaa grounds

Host of some of the best and most classic Ulster Championship matches in the past, Clones is a GAA circus on those days and we simply couldn’t leave it out of this list.

Fitzgerald Stadium, Kerry

Capacity: 38000

Killarney is one of the most beautiful towns in the country and Fitzgerald Stadium has produced some of the most beautiful football the game has ever seen.

The backdrop of the Kerry mountains is a real display of beauty while it also personifies the mountain in which opposing teams are going to have to climb to beat the home team there.

gaa grounds

Some of the greatest footballers the game has ever seen have honed their craft inside the gates of Fitzgerald Stadium.

And on the very, very few occasions when the football might disappoint, the town and after-match atmosphere rarely does!

Tuam Stadium, Galway

Capacity: 6700

A surprise inclusion on the list, but there’s something about visiting Tuam Stadium that makes it memorable.

Once with a capacity of 26000, the stadium has been reduced over time for health and safety reasons along with its general condition too.

But for people of a certain vintage, the old ground as served up some magical memories in the Connacht Championship. Right now it’s far from luxurious, but what’s rare is wonderful.

It has been boosted by news that development works is going to be carried out to revamp the ground to a modern-day facility.


For any more information on GAA grounds, why not check out this blog showing you How Long a GAA Pitch is.

Like some of the grounds you’ve just read, Intersport Elverys is steeped in GAA History too.

Make sure to let us know what you’re favourite GAA Grounds are and why.

gaa grounds

How long is a GAA pitch?

Football and hurling pitches are big, but did you ever wonder exactly how long a GAA pitch is?

Well, there’s no exact answer as most pitches vary in size but generally – and officially – the field of play has to be between 130m-145m long and 80m-90m wide.

In comparison to other field sports, the pitch in Croke Park is nearly twice the size of a conventional soccer pitch at 15,000m2 – covering 145m by 88m wide.

However, not all pitches are that size with most fluctuating between the regulations, often on a game-by-game basis too.

We’ll explain further down.

how long is a gaa pitch

How long is a GAA Pitch – the layout

The field of play, or pitch, should be rectangular and measure between 80 and 90 meters in width and 130 to 145 meters in length. For younger players, it can be lowered.

At 13 meters, 20 meters, and 45 meters from each end line, a set of lines are drawn across the pitch.

For hurling, a second marking is made at 65 meters.

On the sidelines, flags are used to denote these lines as well.

A 10 m long line that runs parallel to the end lines is also present in the centre of the pitch.

how long is a gaa pitch

Each goal has two rectangles delineated in front of it.

The larger one is 19m by 13m, while the smaller one measures 14m by 4.5m.

The 20-meter line is marked with a semicircle in the middle, and the area where substitutions must be performed is designated 5 meters on either side of the center line.

The entire ball must cross the perimeter line before it is deemed out of play because all lines are a part of the region they define.

The goal is 6.5 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, and the posts should rise at least 7 meters to form an H.

Are all GAA Pitches the same size?

No they are not and getting definitive answers can be difficult.

Often a pitch is perceived as being a ‘smaller pitch’ when in fact the official size would suggest different.

How it looks on the eye, the size of the sideline and its surroundings such as stands often influence how big or tight the pitch is perceived.

Plus, we all know instances of crafty managements and groundsmen tightening the pitch size to try and influence the opposing team or shut them down!

In terms of well-known county grounds, the ones in which claim to use the full space are Cusack Park, Ennis; MacCumhail Park, Donegal; Pearse Stadium, Galway; O’Connor Park, Offaly; Semple Stadium in Tipp; and Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.

The tightest inter-county grounds include St Conleth’s Park, Kildare with measures only 135m x 80m.

But again, the layout of the ground often makes a pitch look bigger or smaller.

If the stands and terraces are closer to the pitch and the crowds are big, the atmosphere will make the pitch seem even smaller and condensed.

While a large empty stadium make a pitch look huge on TV, which is often the case with Croke Park which looks gigantic due to the camera positioning.

Want to know how long a GAA match is? This blog will tell you.


If you’d like to know more about the GAA, why not check out our blog about what the GAA means right HERE.

Intersport Elverys are huge GAA supporters and we stock the latest and best products from all counties.

Check it out below.

how long is a gaa pitch

What does GAA stand for?

Gaelic football and hurling are a religion in Ireland, but you’d be surprised with the amount of people that still ask what does the GAA stand for?

There is a lot of global interest in the organisation at the moment so many people outside of Ireland are beginning to become interested in our native sport and its governing body.

Here it is.

The GAA stands for the Gaelic Athletic Association of Ireland and it is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation. It remains and is widely celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world.

It plays a huge and influential role in the Irish society and its impact extends way beyond the promotion of Gaelic games.

Below, we will explain more.

what does GAA stand for

When was the GAA founded?

It was established on November 1, 1884, at a gathering in Thurles, County Tipperary, by a group of intrepid Irishmen who had the wisdom to recognise the significance of creating a national organisation to make sports more accessible to the general public and to revive and nurture traditional, indigenous sports and pastimes.

Only the wealthy and aristocracy were primarily permitted to engage in real athletic participation at that period.

Up until that point, emigration, extreme poverty, and foreign influences had progressively eaten away at everything that made Ireland unique.

After that illustrious first gathering, GAA clubs sprang up all throughout Ireland within six months, and people started playing hurling and Gaelic football before competing against each other in tournaments and with pride.

You might find out Starterss Guide to Gaelic Football Positions Blog interesting?

Are GAA players paid?

Since its inception, the GAA has remained an amateur organisation.

Even at the highest level, players are not paid for their participation, and the GAA’s voluntary ethos continues to be one of its most crucial components.

The organisation is based on Ireland’s customary parishes and counties.

Since the GAA is a community-based organisation, it is frequently claimed that it is challenging to distinguish between the community and the club because they frequently overlap and are connected.

There are more than 2,200 GAA clubs spread across Ireland’s 32 counties.

Why not check out this blog on our Best GAA Players of all Time?

what does gaa stand for

What sports are in the GAA?

The Association GAA now collaborates with sister organisations, such as the LGFA and Camoige, to develop Ladies Football and Camogie in addition to Gaelic sports including Hurling, Football, Handball, and Rounders.

The Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives.

Check out the breakdown of the size of a GAA pitch in this blog. 


We absolutely love our GAA at Intersport Elverys and we know you do too.

As proud sponsors of Mayo GAA, as well as being Official Retail sponsors of Dublin GAA and Tipperary GAA, we have heritage and experience in the game.

So check out county-wide list of products and services below.

We’ve got all the new jerseys, training gear and accessories.

what does gaa stand for

Intersport Elverys Reveal the new Mayo GAA Home Jersey for the 2022/23 season

Mayo GAA Kit Launch 2022/23 – Press Release | Friday 30th September 9am.

INTERSPORT Elverys together with the Mayo GAA county boards and O’Neills officially unveiled the new home kit today at the home of Mayo GAA – Hastings Insurance MacHale Park. The new kit will be worn by Mayo GAA, Mayo LGFA, and Mayo Camogie teams from underage to senior level and for the first time each code is featured together in the launch campaign.

Intersport Elverys aims to help connect more people with sport. In GAA, our county teams represent pride and passion. It’s the dedication and commitment of players and supporters that is always inspiring others to grow our national games.

The new-look jersey returns to the bottle green that served Mayo football well between 2012 and 2018, while adding a silicone badge and three stripes to modernise the strip. It features a stripped-back, clean design that honours the traditional colours of green and red, while continuing to be one of the most recognisable jerseys for Irish people around the globe.

The jersey also includes the Portwest sponsor logo on the men’s and ladies football jerseys.

The home jersey is available to purchase from today at Intersport Elverys stores nationwide or online at The jersey is also available for purchase at The LGFA, Camogie and Goalkeeper kits will be available for pre-order from today.

Seamus Touhy, Mayo GAA Chairman, said,We are grateful for the ongoing support of our title sponsor Intersport Elverys and look forward to the release of our new jersey which also features our commercial partners Portwest. Our partnership with Intersport Elverys has developed over many years and look forward to working with Intersport Elverys in the years to come.  Their support has been a key pillar in highly competitive performances of our Mayo teams.  Mayo’s loyal supporters have been instrumental over the years and Mayo GAA are sincerely indebted for this support as we look forward to the season ahead”

Philip Staunton, Head Teamsports Buyer Intersport Elverys, commented, “Intersport Elverys is delighted to be entering our 26th season supporting Mayo GAA. The journeys and adventures we’ve had with players and supporters since 1998 has been the greatest pleasure and we look forward to the latest chapter of our partnership. We take great pride being based in the beating heart of Mayo with our expanding Head Office in Castlebar and four stores county-wide that intertwine us with the local community and understand what Gaelic Games mean in Mayo. The responsibility of being the chosen destination for young footballers, hurlers, and camogie players to try on the Mayo shirt they aspire to wear at senior level is an honour for Intersport Elverys. We wish all teams well this coming season.”

 Mayo LGFA Chairperson Declan Kennedy, has said, “Once again Mayo LGFA are delighted to come together with Mayo GAA and Mayo Camoige to launch this jersey together with our title sponsor Intersport Elverys who have supported us over the past number of years. We are also boosted by the fact that Portwest are continuing their support of Mayo LGFA and will be featured on this new jersey. It is positive to have successful Mayo businesses backing Mayo LGFA both on and off the field while also working tirelessly to unite our supporters who are the foundation of our organisation. We’re thankful to all our supporters, including our generous sponsors, who are as passionate about the sport as we are. Here’s to 2023 in the Green and Red!”

Rosemary Smith, Mayo Camogie Chairperson, said “We are excited to enter 2023 our third year playing at adult level. We are extremely grateful for all the ongoing support from Mayo GAA along with Intersport Elverys and Portwest – both proud Mayo and global businesses. Camogie is a growing sport in Mayo, we have had great success this year and look forward to continuing to grow our sport and represent the red and green of Mayo with pride.”

From Portwest Rachel Davoren, Managing Director of Portwest Ireland, commented, ‘We are delighted to see the launch of the second iteration of the Mayo jersey with Portwest across the back. The partnership has been really positively received by our customers and colleagues alike and we look forward to continuing to work with Mayo GAA and Intersport Elverys on this. It has led to some great initiatives, such as our current Play for a Day Campaign which allows primary school children to be in with a chance to win a training session with Mayo GAA senior players. Community projects such as this one are why we got involved in the first place, as the GAA brings so much to the community within Mayo and Portwest are proud to help develop this alongside them.’

Enda Doherty, Marketing Manager from O’Neills, has said, “We’re proud to produce the Mayo jersey for the 2023 season. There is always a great demand for the Mayo jersey, and everyone is aware of the huge passion for Gaelic Games in the county and the Mayo diaspora across the world. We’re proud to produce a jersey that is eye-catching, which we know will be worn with pride by players and supporters alike, in an exciting time for the county.”

Photo caption:

30 September 2022; Tommy Conroy, Kathryn Sullivan, Keith Higgins, Padraig O’Hora pictured at McHale Park at the reveal of the new Mayo GAA 22/23 home kit. The jersey is available to purchase from Friday, September 30th from the official retail partner of Mayo GAA, Intersport Elverys. Purchase online at and in selected stores nationwide. The jersey is also available for purchase at

The Mayo GAA home jersey is now available at Intersport Elverys with the Mayo LGFA, Camogie & Goalkeeper jersey now available for Pre-Order.

Mayo GAA home kit 2022