GAA rules on where to play
Sir, I read with interest the article by Kevin Hughes titled 'GAA clubs no longer able to field a full team'. The findings reported that "23 of the 76 Clubs have less than an average of eight boys per class in their primary school".
The current Kerry County Board Rules on eligibility to play is not based on the enrolment of a child in a school, the current rule states that a child must play for the club in the parish within which he lives, furthermore a child may not become a member of any club which he is not eligible to play for.
This would appear straightforward but there are exceptions by the Kerry County Board in relation to the enforcement of these rules which the Football Review Group may not have been aware of when they conducted their study, the exceptions are areas between two parishes where children can play for either club, these areas are known as open areas or open zones, it is therefore very difficult to establish exactly the specific entitlement in such a survey as no two children will have the same criteria applied to them.
An adult has different criteria applied to his eligibility to play, broadly he may play for the club in the parish where he resides, or where he works, allowing him enhanced freedom of association with no such privilege available to children, he may also become a member of any club he wishes. Yours sincerely Pádraig Blake Flintfield Faha Killarney