Ulster GAA encourages counties to get behind their Silent Sidelines initiative

Ulster GAA
Ulster GAA

Ulster GAA is encouraging all upcoming GO Games competitions to incorporate the Silent Sidelines initiative which means that mentors and supporters must not talk to, or shout at players, referees or other mentors, during play.

The aim of the programme is to let the children play the game free from any forthcoming pressure from the sidelines. This will encourage better decision making by the children, without having adults shouting five or six different instructions at them.

With Silent Sidelines, one mentor on each team will be designated as the Bainisteoir and may coach and instruct their players positively during breaks in the game and he or she will have to wear a bib for identification purposes.

Mentors, parents and spectators are also asked to minimise talking on the sidelines, but positive cheering and clapping is permitted from all supporters.

To demonstrate the value of silence on the sidelines in practice, Ulster GAA has arranged two days of cross-county blitzes at Under 9.5/Under 10.5 grades, one for football and one for hurling.

Games Managers within each county will coordinate the venues and clubs involved and the football blitz day will be held on Saturday 27 April with the hurling on Saturday 11 May.

Referees have been asked to pause games if the Silent Sidelines policy is not being adhered to and Ulster GAA have called for respect towards the referees at all times during the games.

Ulster GAA President, Ciaran McLaughlin said: “Ulster GAA is delighted to announce our silent sidelines initiative, encouraging all our countries to ensure that young players participating in our games have the opportunity to play without any interference from the sidelines.

“We look forward to running this initiative with both Football and Hurling Go Games blitzes taking place in the coming weeks and months across the province.”