GAA to adopt U13, 15 & 17 as main underage grades

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GAA to adopt U13, 15 & 17 as main underage grades

Action from the 2019 Leitrim U17 Division 2 Final involving Melvin Gaels and Rinn Gaels Picture: Willie Donnellan

The GAA have announced that the primary age groups for underage football and hurling in all counties will be the U13, 15 & 17 age groups after a report from the organisation’s Talent Academy.

In an email to all counties, GAA Director General Tom Ryan revealed that following the adoption by Central Council of the Talent Academy Report, it was determined that all counties should operate U13, U15 and U17 competitions.

Counties could, in consultation with the Games Development Committee, opt to play additional grades at U12, 14 & 16 level while counties are expected to operate at least one age grade above U17 and below adult.

The news would bring other counties into line with the age groups currently operated by the Leitrim County Board and with underage inter-county competitions. And as U17 are prohibited from playing adult football, it should stop clashes in counties between underage and adult games.

The full text of the email is as follows:

“The following is the current policy regarding Age Grades following the adoption by Central Council of the Talent Academy Report.

Developmental Age Grades

  • All age grades up to and including U17 are considered developmental
  • Within this range Association policy is that counties should operate U13, U15 and U17 age grades as a minimum requirement
  • Counties may, in addition, opt to play at U12, U14, and U16; counties who wish to play these additional age grades may do so in consultation with GDC

Age Grades above U17

  • Counties are expected to operate at least one age grade above U17 and below adult; that age grade(s) can be determined by the county in consultation with GDC

The Age Grades work group is currently considering two issues:

  • Whether, and how, to reflect this policy in rule in 2020
  • A definitive determination of the preferred standard age grade between u17 and adult

The work group will issue its recommendations in this regard in the coming months.

Is mise le meas, Tomás Ó Riain (Ard Stiúrthóir)