Sanctions - Important Information 2016-05-19 16:32:00

Dear Secretary,

I wish to advise you that all players that will be seeking a GAA Sanction from Central Council to play in North America, New York or Canada for the summer must arrange insurance in Ireland before they commence their journeys. Players should note the following:-

Like the vast majority of travel insurance policies, the option offered by the GAA can only be purchased by individuals before they leave Ireland. Important points for players to note include:

  • The GAA is willing to accept alternative insurance if it is appropriate; however a Sanction will not be granted to any player that does not have a valid Travel Insurance policy in force for the duration of his trip.
  • Players must ensure that their Travel Insurance policies extend to cover the playing of Gaelic football and/or hurling as part of a team including the playing of matches. This is not automatically covered under the majority of standard Travel Insurance policies unless agreed in advance with Insurers. Proof of this must be explicitly stated in the copy of the insurance policy provided.
  • The cost of insurance will depend on the duration of a player’s stay in a particular country.
  • Players wishing to play in North America must purchase cover for a minimum of 90 days. It is the player's own responsibility to ensure they are covered for all dates of potential fixtures.
  • Travel insurance is not a private health insurance. It only covers players if there is a sudden and unexpected accident or if a player becomes during his trip.  
  • Generally where doctors appointed by Insurers deem treatment in Ireland//Britain more appropriate, players will be repatriated home for treatment.
  • Players playing overseas are not covered under the GAA Injury Benefit Fund.

The following are the steps which player's need to take to purchase the required insurance:

  1. Go to the following link -
    ACE Traveller Insurance - why pay more? cheap Easy to buy, instant, online cover for backpacking travellers, student travel, and gap years. European and International travel abroad, winter sports insurance, annual travel insurance available from ACE Travel Insurance

  2. Choose 'Worldwide' cover 'Up to 6 months'
  3. Members of Clubs in the 32 Counties of Ireland can purchase the insurance; please ignore the reference to the Six Counties, which states ‘excluding Northern Ireland’
  4. Choose the most accurate number of days that you will be staying in North America / New York / Canada
    - Minimum for North America is 90 days
  5. Please purchase the 'Standard' cover available. Budget cover is not acceptable
  6. Please read and accept the terms and conditions of the policy and apply for the cover
  7. Fill in all the required fields in order to obtain your documentation
  8. Once purchased, the confirmation letter should be submitted along with the Official Sanction Form to your County Secretary who will submit it to the relevant Department in Croke Park
  9. Once approved, all Sanctions will appear on the relevant lists on the Official GAA website

Important Notes
Only the 'Standard' cover will suffice. A Sanction will not be granted if a player purchases 'Budget' cover
Holders of the J1 Work and Travel Programme Visa who have purchased insurance from their travel agency may not be required to purchase GAA Travel Sanction cover. To verify that your cover is sufficient, please send a copy to

If you have further queries on the insurance, please contact ACE Travel Insurance on 1800 200 035 and use the GAA Travel Sanction cover as your reference


Each year, approximately 3,000 players leave Ireland on a temporary basis and play Gaelic games whilst overseas. The rules pertaining to process for obtaining permission to play are listed below: 

A Weekend Authorisation is required by any player intending to assist a Club in a game under the jurisdiction of the New York Board or the European Board.

The Official Authorisation must be submitted by the relevant County Secretary to Croke Park on the Wednesday before the game.

An Authorisation is valid for one weekend only other than where there is a replay of the game for which the Authorisation was granted

Official Sanctions
A player intending to play on a longer term basis in the area governed by one of the following Boards - the New York Board or the Canadian Board - must obtain an Official Sanction from Central Council.
A player intending to play on a longer term basis in the area governed by the North American County Board must obtain an Official Sanction or an Official J1 Sanction from Central Council.

Note - A player who has been included on an Inter-County Senior Championship list submitted to the Referee, in accordance with Rules of Specification 2.5 (ii)(a) for a game in the current year’s Championship shall not be eligible to be accepted for Registration as a member of any Club in the North American County Board Jurisdiction.

Exception - A player who has been included on an Inter-County Senior Championship list submitted to the Referee, in accordance with Rules of Specification 2.5 (ii)(a), for a game in the current year’s Championship, who holds a valid current J1 Visa or meets the eligibility requirements to obtain a J1 Visa, and who obtains an Official J1 Sanction may be accepted for registration.

The J1 Visa concerned with this Exception is the J1 Work and Travel Programme Visa only – i.e. the four month Visa for 3rd Level Students.

General Rules

  • A Sanction entitles a player to play with a Club from March 1 until the end of October
  • Sanctions to Canada will not be granted after July 1
  • Sanctions to North America or New York will not be granted after July 20
  • A player who has received a Sanction will not be able to play again with his Club in Ireland for 30 days after the date of approval of his Sanction in Croke Park
  • Sanctions are only available to current members of Clubs in Ireland
  • For more information, go to Rule 6.11 of the Official Guide.

Please advise your members to ensure that they have the appropriate insurance in place and submit it along with the Sanction application to the County Board for authorisation.

St Brigids GAA Club,
Russell Park, Navan Road, Dublin 15