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Ard Chomhairle Statement - 22nd July 2021

Following the Ard Chomhairle meeting of 20th July, GAA Handball Ard Chomhairle wishes to advise all members of the following updates: 

1) Return to Play 

As previously advised, it was hoped that the previous restrictions would end on the 19th July as advised by the government. Due to the rise in numbers associated with the new Delta variant we have not received the go ahead to resume indoor training in pods of up to 6 and therefore the current restrictions will be in place until further notice. 

GAA Handball were represented at a meeting between indoor sports representatives and the Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers and department of sport representatives on Thursday 15th July. At this meeting the concerns and frustrations of all indoor sports including GAA Handball were clearly outlined to the Minister and government representatives. The potential lasting impact of the current restrictions and the damage being done to our sports was made very clear and several proposals to return to indoor activity were put forward. 

Disappointingly there was no positive outcome to this meeting and all indoor sports including GAA Handball clearly outlined their frustrations and anger to the Minister and his colleagues at the inconsistency in restrictions and the lack of a plan for indoor sports to progress out of restrictions. Arising out of this meeting GAA Handball will be represented at a further meeting of the indoor sports group later this week to formulate a plan to present to government to allow the full resumption of indoor sports as soon as possible. 

GAA Handball Ard Chomhairle understands and shares our members frustrations in this regard. We will continue to do everything possible to seek a full reopening of indoor sports in line with the easing of restrictions for other indoor activities in a safe and controlled manner in as short a timeframe as possible. 

Members will be kept updated of developments in this regard. The current list of restrictions in place are outlined at the end of this statement. 


2) 2021 Registration Fees 

A decision was taken by Ard Chomhairle to extend the 2020 Registration year until the end of the coming year in light of the difficulties faced by clubs over the past year. While clubs will not be asked to pay any national registration fees they are encouraged to collect fees from members to enable the club to continue to operate throughout these difficult times. 

The following circumstances will require payment: 

  • Clubs who did not pay registrations in 2020 will not be covered for 2021 until the 2020 registration fees are paid. This means that player from these clubs will not be permitted to play in any officially sanctioned GAA Handball championship or tournament for the remainder of 2021. 
  • Clubs wishing to avail of the new cover for property and liability as outlined below will need to pay the €160 fee to be covered for the 2021 season. 
  • Any new members being added to clubs will be required to pay the 2020 registration fees. Once competition resumes clubs will be required to register their members (no payment required) to allow them to take part in competitions for 2021. Further information will be conveyed with regards to this to all clubs. Insurance cover for GAA Handball Clubs Following a review of GAA Handball registration payments with the GAA Insurance department the following agreement has been reached and will be in place commencing with the 2021-2022 GAA Handball season. 
  • The Player Registration fee which currently stands at €20 per Adult Player and €7.50 per Juvenile Player will include a contribution to the Player Injury Fund and ensure the club is registered with the fund and players are covered. 
  • The current fee of €160 previously paid by each club as a contribution to the Player Injury Fund will now provide Property and Liability cover for affiliated Handball clubs in respect of GAA Handball activities. 

All units should read the documentation contained in the following link carefully to ensure they are familiar with the terms and conditions of cover.

The breakdown of fees will be reflected on all registration documents going forward. These fees are subject to change depending on the costs of premiums and number of claims submitted. 


3) Covid Support Funding 

The Covid Support Funding allocations for clubs that applied will be signed off by GAA Accounts department in the coming weeks and clubs will be contacted and advised of their allocation. 


4) Summer Series 2021 

While indoor play is still restricted clubs are encouraged to partake in the ongoing Summer Series to get Handball back and in the eye of the public once more. The series aims to bring handball back in a fun and relaxed manner and encourage more people to take up the game. 

Full details of the summer series are available at the following link

For any clubs wishing to partake who may have queries in relation to insurance or the current restrictions please contact the office staff who will be glad to assist you in any way they can. 


5) Current restrictions in place 22nd July 2021 

Restrictions for clubs in the 26 counties:

Outdoor sport 

  • Outdoor training in pods of a maximum of 15 people is allowed 

Indoor sport 

  • Indoor facilities such as gyms, swimming pools, leisure centres and sports clubs can reopen for individual training. 
  • A parent/guardian can be present with a Juvenile player. Two members of the same household can train together. 
  • One-to-one training between a participant and instructor/coach can take place. 
  • In relation to one-to-one training for Juveniles, to comply with Child Safeguarding guidelines a parent/guardian must also be present if one to one training is taking place with a coach. In this case a maximum of 3 people are allowed to be present with social distancing measures in place. 

The above can take place providing the following is implemented: 

  • Any demonstration of equipment or technique should ensure that a minimum of 2m social distancing is maintained. 
  • Individual equipment should not be shared. 
  • In the case of fixed equipment, cleaning of such equipment must be completed immediately after demonstration and before the individual participant uses. 
  • There should be no hands-on adjustments or physical contact during training sessions. 
  • Coaches and trainers are asked to refer to the HSE guidance on wearing of face coverings. 
  • The training must be supervised by a coach or a trainer accredited by GAA Handball. 

Restrictions for clubs in the 6 counties

Outdoor sport:

  • All outdoor sport, whether organised formally by your local sports club or informally by a group of friends, is permitted. 
  • The maximum number of participants, including coaches and support staff is limited to 500 people and the maximum number of spectators is limited to 500 people. 
  • Risk assessments, as set out in the regulations, must be completed where there will be between 31 and 500 participants and/or spectators in attendance. 

Indoor sport:

  • Indoor sport and leisure venues are permitted to open, subject to risk assessment conditions, as set out in the Public Health Regulations, hygiene measures, social distancing and other mitigations. 
  • Group exercise/ training and indoor club training in squads is permitted. A risk assessment, as set out in the regulations, must be completed where there will be over 15 people taking part. 
  • Indoor 'competitive sport' is not permitted unless participants are elite athletes.