Official Connacht GAA Website

Official Website of Connacht GAA

Outside County Games

Challenge games or friendlies are perfect to ‘warm up’ players ahead of a new playing season/ competitive match. There is nothing competitive stake so this gives coaches an opportunity to play younger, less experienced players as well as try players out in different positions.

  • Find an adequate challenge game: Look up your County Club Webpage, search for coaches in your age grade and contact details.
  • Liaise with your players and your opponents’ team to find a suitable date and time that suits everyone.
  • Ensure pitch and referee is booked (If a home game make sure you book the referee), also agree with opponent’s manager and referee upon fee. Contact Club GDO, Club field coordinator, Club Referee Administrator to allocate referee/ pitch. (Keep note of all referee fees paid as these can be reclaimed from the club).
  • Book a bus or organize shared lifts between player’s parents. Try to be at your venue for at least an hour before throw in, this means if there is traffic, or players are late it still gives you a good opportunity to get a good warm up in before the game.
  • Game Day Logistics: Contact parents, let them know game time, location, meeting point & meeting time, plus have parents REPLY TO CONFIRM child’s attendance.
  • Make sure every player gets adequate playing time, this is a challenge game.


*In the event that a referee fails to show, try to agree a compromise with the opposing team, i.e each team referee one half each.

*Remember is some part of the challenge game didn’t go to play, in terms of logistics – learn from it. If you some players forgot their mouth guards, bring extra the next time. If you thought your players warm up could have been longer, make it longer the next time. Learn from the mistakes made. Have a match day checklist that you can add to if need, keep a routine and get your players used to it too.


Organisation of challenge matches and club tournaments

There is a process to go through with the club secretary when a coach is trying to organize events outside of the County Games program.  In the next page below you can see the process template.




Coiste Chontae


Challenge Match Application


On behalf of                                                       


We seek permission in accordance with Rule 6.39 T.O. 2012 to play a Challenge Match, details as outlined here-under:




Rule 6.39 T.O. 2012

(a)  All Challenge Games shall be sanctioned by the appropriate Controlling Authority, which will deal with any disciplinary matters arising.

(c)  An Inter-Club Challenge Game shall be sanctioned by County Committee(s), Provincial Council(s) or Central Council. Sanction must be obtained from the County Committee where the teams are from the one County, from the County Committees and from the Provincial Council where the teams are from two or more Counties, and Sanction must be obtained from the County Committees, from the appropriate Provincial Councils and from Central Council where the teams are from more than one Province.

(d)  Units organising Challenge Games shall make applications, in writing, to the appropriate authority/authorities in such time as to have permission granted or otherwise, two days prior to the date of the proposed game. The Council or Committee-in-Charge may give authority to its Secretary to grant permission. Where sanction is required from more than one Unit of the Association for a particular Challenge Game, notice shall be given by the Applicant Units, at or about the same time, directly to all relevant Units.

(e)  The following details shall be included in the application:  The Names of the Competing Teams; the Venue; the Name of the Referee, who shall be on the current and recognised List of Referees at County/Provincial/National Levels, as appropriate.


For a Unit participating in an unauthorised Challenge Game:                 Fine – County €250; Club €100

In order to apply for Go Games activities the following process is available through this link:


Outside County Games Section