Children participate in Gaelic games for a number of reasons – to have fun, to play with friends, parental encouragement, etc. Lack of fun, lack of perceived competence and an over-emphasis on competitive outcomes (which usually come from coaches and parents) are major reasons for dropout.
Players can generally learn the basic skills of Camogie, Hurling and Gaelic Football with relative ease. The better players who practise more often, come on faster than those who only participate in collective coaching sessions. However, players find it more difficult to develop the ability to make the right decisions – when to pass, whom to pass to, where to run, etc. – in full-sided games. Through small-sided games the aim is to optimise their decision-making and at the same time enhance their technical development.
For too long the practice in sport has been to identify and cultivate talented players and elite teams at younger and younger ages. There is a tendency to nurture the perceived best and neglect the rest.
This has contributed to adult training and playing conditions being imposed on young players. Training and competition are geared for outcome and not for the process of development. For children’s games, coaches must reassess the balance between the need to win games and cups versus the need to develop players and recognise the importance of fair play; i.e., provide full participation within an environment where participants are encouraged to achieve their full potential.
Go Games are National Policy.
GAA Rule 6.27 of the Official Guide - This Rule states that ‘Games in the Under 11 and younger age groups shall be organised on the Go Games model, as approved by Central Council
LGFA Official Guide Rule 284.
Camogie Rule 33.8
All participants play in the full game.
Participant needs are catered for at U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12.
Activities are structured in a manner which optimises the level of fun, friendship, fair play and achievement derived by participants.
Participants train and play in a safe, supportive and stimulating environment where they are encouraged to risk error, to learn and to derive maximum enjoyment from their involvement.
Players master the basic skills of Camogie, Hurling and Gaelic Football and experience the sense of accomplishment, which derives from acquiring playing proficiency on the left and right hand side of the body.
Everybody involved in Go Games, whether as players, parents/guardians, spectators, mentors, teachers, officials etc., should adhere to the key underpinning principles and give expression to the GAA ‘Give Respect, Get Respect’ and the LGFA’s ‘Take a second’ initiative.
Go Games Go Games may be organised on a blitz basis. Go Games may be organised by a Club or Primary School on an internal (i.e. single unit) or external (i.e. multiple unit) basis.
Go Games Playing Rules
The Playing Rules for Go Games Camogie, Hurling and Gaelic Football are provided on Go Games Resource . These are provided by way of best practice and can be adapted to meet localised needs. Where units from different counties play a game, these Playing Rules will be used.
To maximise playing opportunities teams shall endeavour to play the minimum numbers recommended; U7 - 4 v 4, U8 – 5 v 5, U9 - 5 v 5, U10 - 6 v 6, U11 – 6 v 6.
Participants may play up one age grade; i.e., Under-7 may play at Under-9 level; Under-9 may play at Under-11 level; Under-11 may play at Under-12 & Under-13 age levels.
No provision is made to publish scores, to play on a knock-out basis nor to include semi-finals, finals, etc.
No provision is made to present trophies, cups etc. in any code and competition/league from U12 and below. Where certificates/medals are presented in lieu of participation, the same certificate/medal must be presented to every participant.
To apply to organise a Go Games Blitz between more than one Club or School can apply thorough the online link Go Games Application Form .
For more information on Go Games and how to get involved, please contact your GAA County Games Development Mangers.
The Gaelic Games Go Games refers to a games development pathway that is aligned to the
Gaelic Games Player Pathway Foundation 2 (F21
). Emphasis during this phase is on further
developing functional movement skills and the early acquisition of the specific skills of Gaelic
Games. The child should have several years before participating in formal Gaelic Games
Go Games is national policy of the GAA, Camogie Association, Ladies Gaelic Football
Association, and their constituent units at provincial, county, club and educational level,
responsible for the organisation and delivery of Go Games. Each unit must be aware of and
comply with the provisions of this policy.
All units and members participating in Go Games are bound by the official rules of their
The purpose of this policy is to deliver a structured, standardised, and unified approach to
the development of our young players across all three Associations. We want Go Games to
provide children with an appropriate introduction to competition on a phased basis. The
game itself provides a sufficient skill development challenge for children.
Above all this policy is in line with the Gaelic Games Player Pathway and its six key
1. Club is Core
2. Player Centred
3. Quality Coaching Experiences
6. As Many as possible for as long as possible
Defining Go Games
Go Games are modified small-sided versions of Hurling, Camogie, Gaelic Football and Ladies
Gaelic Football which have been devised to cater for the development needs of children
aged 7 and up to and including 12 years of age. Go Games can be played in a club, school
and/or community setting to introduce children to Gaelic Games. They allow children to
have fun, grow, and learn, physically, socially, and psychologically and develop the key
attributes for life. Go Games are inclusive, structured to cater for the needs, abilities and backgrounds of all participants.