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Féile Playing Rules

The John West Féile na nGael and Féile na nÓg tournaments are organised under the auspices of An Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta, along with An Coiste Féile Áitiúil. The following are the specific playing rules of the John West Féile na nGael and Féile na nÓg tournaments.

1. General Rules

Games at Féile shall be played in accordance with the relevant playing rules of the particular code, save for the exceptions outlined within this document.

  1. Gaelic Football and Hurling games shall be played in accordance with the playing rules of the GAA effective as outlined in the GAA An Treorí Oifigiúil/Official Guide 2020.
  2. Ladies Gaelic Football games shall be played in accordance with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association’s Official Guide 2019.
  3. Camogie games shall be played in accordance with An Treorí Oifigiúil/Official Guide 2019/20 of the Camogie Association.
  4. Handball games shall be played in accordance with the playing Rules and Regulations of GAA Handball Ireland.
  5. Rounders game shall be played in accordance with the GAA Rounders Official Rulebook

2. Tournament Format

  1. The John West Féile na nGael and Féile na nÓg tournaments shall be comprised of host and visiting teams.
  2. Host teams shall normally be clubs that are registered to participate within the U. 14 age group in the designated host Counties.
  3. The playing divisions shall be organised on the basis of 16 teams per division, composed of 8 host clubs and their visiting teams.
  4. Where it is not possible to complete divisions of 16 teams, An Coiste Féile Áitiúil in conjunction with An Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta can request clubs from neighbouring Counties to participate as host clubs.
  5. Should this not be possible, An Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta and An Coiste Féile Áitiúil shall devise a schedule of games for teams participating in divisions of fewer than/more than 16 teams.
  6. Host clubs and their visiting partners will be matched for relative playing strength and will be accommodated together in the same division (and group).
  7. Independent or group teams are permitted to take part in Féile tournament on the basis that they compete as that independent/group team at U. 14 level in their own County. It is not possible for teams to be created for the purposes of participating in Féile.

2.1 Group Stages

For divisions comprising 16 teams:

  1. Divisions will be further sub-divided into groups of 4 teams (i.e. two host clubs and their visiting teams).
  2. The initial group stages of the National Féile will be played on a league basis with two points awarded for a win and one for a draw.
  3. At the conclusion of the three group games, teams shall be ranked from one through four in each group.
  4. Teams ranked one and two in each group shall qualify for the Cup quarter finals while teams ranked three and four shall qualify for the Shield quarter finals.

Where fewer than/more than 16 teams are taking part within a particular division, An Coiste Féile Náisiúnta in conjunction with An Coiste Stiúrtha Áitiúil shall devise a programme of games.

2.2 Teams Finishing Level on Points

Should two teams finish level on points, the ranking of the teams shall be decided as follows:

  1. The winner of the original game between those two teams shall be ranked higher
  2. If that game ended in a draw, the team with the overall aggregate lowest score conceded shall be ranked higher.
  3. If the aggregate lowest score conceded is equal, teams shall be separated by a toss of a coin, with the winner of the coin toss ranked higher

2.3 Three or More Teams Finishing Level on Points

If at the end of the group games more than two teams finish level on points, the ranking of teams within the group shall be decided as follows:

  1. The team with the overall aggregate lowest score against them shall be ranked highest.
  2. If the aggregate lowest score conceded is equal amongst all teams, the total number of goals scored by each team will be used as a further tiebreaker
  3. If the aggregate lowest score conceded is equal amongst two teams, the winner of the original game between those two teams shall be ranked higher
  4. If that game ended in a draw, teams shall be separated by a toss of a coin

2.4 Draw in the Knock Out Stages

  1. In the event of a draw at the quarter-final or semi-final stages ten minutes extra time (2 x 5 mins.) shall be played.
  2. If a draw still results then five frees will be taken by five different players as follows:
    1. Ladies Football: 20 metres
    2. Camogie: 30 metres
    3. Gaelic Football: 30 metres
    4. Hurling: 45 metres
  3. Frees shall be taken at a central point, identified by the referee at the appropriate distance
  4. In Gaelic football/Ladies Gaelic football, frees may be taken from the hand or from the ground. In Hurling/Camogie, the sliotar may be lifted and struck without taking the ball into the hand or may be struck along the ground.
  5. There shall be no goalkeeper or other defenders facing the free takers.
  6. Only points shall be counted.
  7. Should a taken free strike either upright or cross bar and go over the bar, the score shall be counted.
  8. Should a taken free bounce off the ground prior to going over the bar, the score shall not be counted
  9. Shots that result in a goal or a wide, rather than a point, shall not be counted
    1. The team with the most points scored, following five frees per team, will be deemed to have won the game.
    2. If teams remain level after five frees per team then ‘sudden death frees’ are to be taken. One player on each team shall take a free each until one team has scored a point and the other misses. Players who took a free as part of the original series of five frees shall be eligible to take a free in the ‘sudden death’ section.

2.5 Final Draw

In the event of a draw in the final, ten minutes extra time (2 x 5 mins.) shall be played. In the event of a draw after extra time, the trophy shall be shared. A toss of a coin shall determine which side will receive the trophy for the first six months. The loser of the toss shall be presented with the winners medals.

3. Playing Panels

3.1 Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie games shall be played on a 15-a-side basis, with the playing panel confined to a maximum of 24 players per team with a minimum of 19 players. Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta Féile may decide that a certain Division may deviate from the 15-a-side rule. Such divisions may be designated as 13-a–side or 11-a-side as appropriate.

In 13-a-side competitions the playing panels for shall be confined to a maximum of 20 players per team, with a minimum of 17 players.

In 11-a-side competitions the playing panels for shall be confined to a maximum of 17 players per team, with a minimum of 15 players.

4. Substitutions

4.1 As stated in the official Féile Charter, a core aim of Féile is to promote a philosophy whereby every player has the opportunity to participate and play in their respective Féile tournament at a level commensurate to their age, skills and strengths.

4.2 It is recommended that all players should play a minimum of 30 minutes in the Féile weekend.

4.3 All clubs should be encouraged to promote an equal playing time ethos where younger players are not playing above their age grade unless necessary due to a lack of numbers within a catchment area.

4.4 There are no limits on the number of substitutions which may take place during a game (in normal time, or in extra time)

4.5 Each team shall introduce a minimum of four substitutes at designated stages of the game, as follows:

  1. Regardless of whether games are taking place on a 15, 13 or 11-a-side basis, on the referee`s signal, two substitutes shall be introduced 10 minutes into the first half and 5 minutes into the second half.
  2. These players shall remain on the field for the remainder of the game (except in the case of injury).

4.6 There is no requirement to make mandatory substitutions in the case of extra time where required.

4.7 Where a team, due to unavailability, injuries or suspensions, may not have 19 players available to them they must submit their full list of available players to the local Féile Official before the game and play each of these players in that game in accordance with the interchange policy. i.e. such teams must introduce two players after 10 minutes of the first half, and five minutes of the second half

4.8 Any team participating in John West Féile na nGael or John West Féile Peil na nÓg that has been proven to have been illegally constituted, may be debarred from participation in Féile in accordance with their Association rules.

4.9 The referee shall make a T gesture to the dugout area at the designated times to indicate when the mandatory substitutions must be made.

Penalty for Breach of Rule:

  1. Where a club fails to observe the Féile rules regarding the minimum number of substitutes to be made, that club shall forfeit the match. In the case of a group game, the match points shall be awarded to their opponents. In the case of a knock out game, the game shall be awarded to their opponents.
  2. Where both clubs in the same match fail to observe the Féile rules regarding substitutes the match shall be deemed void. In the case of a group game, no match points shall be awarded for this game. In the case of a knock out game, The Féile CCC shall decide whether to replay the fixture, or to progress the tournament without either team progressing.

5. Pitch Dimensions

5.1 All Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie games played on a 15-a-side basis shall take place on a full sized pitch

5.2 Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie games played on a 13 a–side-basis shall take place on a full size pitch.

5.3 Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie games played on an 11-a-side basis shall take place on a pitch of full width, with the goalposts placed on the 20 meter lines of the pitch.

6. Playing Time

6.1 The duration of Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie Games shall be 15 minutes per half. This applies to all Féile competitions at local, regional and National level. Additional time at the end of each half for injuries and other stoppages shall be at the discretion of the referee.

6.2 Where extra time is required the duration shall be five minutes per half.

6.3 In the event of a draw in any knockout game, provisions as per Rule 2.4 shall apply.

7. Mentors

7.1 Each team shall be accompanied by a maximum of 4 team mentors, one of whom should have first aid training to enable them to administer basic first aid if so required.

8. Team list

8.1 A full team list, consisting of all players and substitutes, shall be furnished to the local Féile Official before each game.

8.2 A team outlined for any game must only be composed of members of the full panel as identified to the Féile Committee.

8.3 It is not permissible to replace injured or suspended players with other players from outside of the full panel.

8.4 Where clubs have multiple teams taking part in the same competition, i.e. two boy’s teams, or two girl’s teams, separate panels must be identified for each team. Each panel shall have the minimum number of players as outlined in Rule 3. It is not permissible for players identified as members of one team’s panel to play for another team within the tournament.

9. Team and Player identification

9.1 All teams shall wear their official club colours.

9.2 If there is a clash of colours, the host team will change.

9.3 If both teams are visiting, both teams will change. Alternative sets of jerseys may be provided by An Coiste Áitiúil Féile na nGael and/or Féile Peil na nÓg

9.4 Players shall retain the number on his/her jersey as per the official registration form, i.e. if a player is No. 10 on the registration form, he/she may only wear the No. 10 jersey in all games.

9.5 Should the team goalkeeper play as an outfield player during any game, he/she will continue to wear their numbered goalkeeper’s jersey as per the registration of the player. In such circumstances, the new goalkeeper must wear a jersey/bib which is distinctive in colour from his/her own team’s jerseys, his/her own team’s goalkeeper’s jerseys and the opposing team’s colours.

9.6 If the goalkeeper jersey clashes with the colour of the opposing team the use of a bib may be permitted.

10. Disciplinary Matters

10.1 Féile Competitions Control Committee

The Féile Competitions Control Committee (CCC) shall be composed of a minimum of five members, including a Chair – the Chair of an Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta Féile, and Rúnaí of An Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta, the Cathaoirleach of An Coiste Féile Áitiúil, and a nominee of An Coiste Féile Áitiúil (or an alternate nominated by any of above).

For matters pertaining to Ladies Gaelic Football or Camogie, a representative of that Association shall join the committee. The remaining members shall be drawn from the membership of an Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta Féile, and an Coiste Stiúrtha Féile Áitiúl. The Secretary of an Coiste Stiúrtha Náisiúnta Féile shall operate as Secretary of the Féile CCC.

The Féile Competitions Control Committee (CCC) shall:

  • Be responsible for the scheduling, arrangements, and control of games (excluding the appointment of referees) under the auspices of the Féile Committee.
  • Investigate and process matters relating to the enforcement of the Féile Charter and playing rules (including hearing objections and counter objections) and match regulations for competitions and games under the auspices of the Féile Committee.

10.2 Féile Hearings Committee

The Féile Hearings Committee of John West Féile na nGael and Féile na nÓg shall be composed of representatives of the Hearings Committee of the host County/region. For matters pertaining to Camogie or Ladies Gaelic Football, a Camogie or Ladies Gaelic Football representative shall join the committee.

The Féile Hearings Committee shall:

Act in lieu of the Central Hearings Committee in order to adjudicate on all matters where a Hearing is prescribed and requested relating to the Enforcement of Rules arising from matters under the jurisdiction of the Féile Committee during the Féile weekend.

Hearings required in advance of or after the Féile weekend shall be adjudicated upon by the Central Hearings Committee.

10.3 Féile Appeals Committee

The Féile Appeals Committee of John West Féile na nGael and Féile na nÓg shall be composed of representatives of the Hearings Committee of the host County/region. For matters pertaining to Camogie or Ladies Gaelic Football, a Camogie or Ladies Gaelic Football representative shall join the committee.

The Féile Appeals Committee shall:

Act in lieu of the Central Appeals Committee in order to adjudicate on all matters where an appeal is prescribed and requested relating to the Enforcement of Rules arising from matters under the jurisdiction of the Féile Committee during the Féile weekend.

Its decisions shall be final and binding, subject only to a case being taken to Arbitration under the Disputes Resolutions Code, provided for in these rules.

Appeals required in advance of or after the Féile weekend shall be adjudicated upon by the Central Appeals Committee.

10.4 Within Féile, the disciplinary procedures of the Camogie Association and the LGFA shall follow the procedures set out below:

  • Incidents shall be reported by the match referee to the Féile Competitions Control Committee.
  • The Féile CCC shall process all disciplinary cases in a speedy manner.
  • Individual(s) reported by the match referee shall be processed in the normal manner
  • Individuals must notify the Féile CCC verbally of any proposals to challenge a proposed penalty, and request a hearing within 15 minutes of the conclusion of the game
    • Such a request for hearing shall be received in writing within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the game
  • Where a hearing is conducted, an individual must notify the Féile Appeals Committee verbally of any proposal to Appeal the decision of the Féile Hearings Committee within 15 minutes of the penalty being imposed
    • Such a request for an appeal shall be received in writing within 30 minutes of the imposition of the penalty