“We are very concerned that some players have been using non-approved helmets, both from a safety perspective and to ensure the safety of other players, team-mates and opponents.”
Joe Canning is among a number of high-profile hurlers that wore non-approved Gola helmets during last year’s championship.
As you can see above, Canning, an All-Ireland winner with Galway in 2017, wore a Gola red helmet in the 2020 championship.
Chairman of the GAA’s hurling helmet safety working group, Jim Bolger, confirmed that Gola helmets were not certified as safe for use in GAA matches or training.
Bolger said the only brands that had been approved as meeting the required safety standards were helmets made by Mycro, Azzurri, Cooper, Marc Sports, O’Neills and Atak Sports.
Bolger was concerned that young people were being influenced by the likes of Joe Canning and going out and buying Gola helmets. The helmets themselves cost up to €225.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 29, 2020
Speaking to The Sunday Times, he said: “We are very concerned that some players have been using non-approved helmets, both from a safety perspective and to ensure the safety of other players, team-mates and opponents.
“Young players are impressionable and like to copy what they see the top players doing.
“It is a rule that players are obliged to wear approved helmets. We are trying to avoid going down the enforcement route and would prefer the educational route.
“We don’t want to crack the whip if we don’t have to.”
Galway GAA released a statement stating that all players are responsible for making sure their helmets are made by a supplier approved by the GAA
“All players, be it at club or county level, are responsible for ensuring the helmets they wear are certified in line with the advice highlighted in the player injury scheme.
“Reminders are issued to clubs on this at the commencement of each season and we recently received an update from Croke Park indicating its importance.
“Unfortunately, it will be February at the earliest before we see players back on the field of play but we will be highlighting it to our clubs and to our inter-county panels in advance, including the potential consequences of not adhering to it.”
Hurling helmets were made mandatory by the GAA in 2010.