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Community Games Participation

posted 24 Feb 2012, 01:24 by Edenderry GAA
Clarification for parents and players as to why Edenderry GAA will be declining the offer from Offaly Community Games to enter teams in its U10/11 competitions.
Firstly we wish to thank Offaly Community Games for the offer and wish them luck with all their activities in 2012.  However, Edenderry Ladies Committee and Edenderry Bord na nÓg in conjunction with the Coaching and Games Committee in the Club have decided not to enter teams in the Community Games Competitions in 2012.  Alternatively Edenderry GAA along with Offaly Coaching and Games will be providing a huge programme of games and skills competitions for its players at these age groups in 2012.
As per GAA rule (6.27 T.O 2012) games in Under 12 and Younger Age Groups shall be organised on the 'Go Games' model.  Edenderry GAA must fully support this rule and in 2012 in conjunction with Offaly Coaching and Games will be implementing the 'Go Games' model as per the goals of our Strategic Plan.
 The Go Games Model is defined by the following criteria:
  • There is full participation for all players
  • Games are small-sided
  • Playing rules are modified to suit the developmental stages of the children
  • Playing area is modified
  • Playing equipment is modified

The underlying philosophy where Go Games are concerned is one of full participation and fair play where each player gets to play the entire game (no subs where practical) and plays in a number of different playing positions during the course of each game. The games are small sided and the emphasis is on participation rather than the result. Go Games are not only about Fair Play in the sense that all participants should get the opportunity to participate fully in the games. They also revolve around the core values enshrined in the GAA Respect Initiative.

In our opinion the Community Games Competitions as currently stand are in conflict with this approach as the Community Games Competition games are based on;
  • Closed panel of 20 players - (Due to numbers playing at these age groups this leads to exclusion of some players)
  • Games are not small sided  - (Does not allow for player development as some players have minimal involvement in games)
  • Games based on a must win knock-out competition - (Leads to a culture where 'keep the best and neglect the rest' develops) 
While the origins of the competition may be well intentioned, there is no justification for placing adult-type demands on young children e.g. where winning is the over-riding concern, where they play 13 or 15-a-side games, on over sized pitches, and have minimal involvement in the game.
Edenderry GAA are pursuing a child centred approach to our games where its children first, winning second.
There will be a meeting for all coaches in the club next Wednesday where the programme for games in 2012 will be discussed.  Following that meeting we will launch the season at an Open Evening for all parents and players (date to be announced).  At the Open Evening the Go Games approach will be explained in more detail.  In the meantime please check out the Go Games section of our website Go Games