U9 League Rules/Regulations

news logo rebel ogU9 Rebel óg Coaching – League Format


1.) Streaming of teams in clubs with 2/3 teams: We have set guidelines that teams should be evenly streamed at U9 level. If however, both clubs would rather enter 2/3 teams streamed according to ability, this is optional, but if clubs don’t agree, you should revert to the guidelines set out of evenly balanced teams. This can be arranged in advance. I would advise each mentor to contact the opposition mentor in the week before the match to discuss this and match times/venues etc

2.) Referees: Every club is obliged to supply trained young referees for their home matches, so it is crucial that these referees are coached and mentored like the players in their development. Abuse of referees will not be tolerated and each club will be held accountable as per the guidelines of Rebel óg (Coiste na Nog Regulations 2016). We will hold training workshops for all referees before the league starts. It is imperative that each club has a young referee on hand for their home matches e.g. Douglas 3 teams are hosting Midleton 3 teams, Douglas need to provide 3 referees for the matches. So, Douglas will need to have at least 3 referees at the training Workshop. We would recommend that these referees get €10 from the home team for refereeing the match on the day.

3.) Schedule: The schedule will be updated online from here on. As regards the matches, we set the time as 11am on Saturdays. Clubs are free to move the match to different time on the day or forward to earlier in the week, but under no circumstances are they to be put back

4.) Information: Each mentor will receive information, contact details for each club etc, to arrange matches and confirm matches etc.

5.) Groupings: Clubs will be broken into Groups of 6/8 for the first half of the league based on Geographical region. For the Post Summer program, clubs will be placed into groups based on ability and results from the early part of the year

6.) Umpires: Where possible clubs should provide 1 umpire for each goal

7.) Results: Results are to be entered by the Home mentor, no later than 1pm Monday following the match.

8.) Playing Numbers: At U9, the recommended player numbers is 9 a side. You may, if needed, play down to 7 a side if needed, but only in a case where a team only has 7 players. It is not permitted to play more than 9 a side. If both teams have excess subs, then please set up another match for these. The focus should be on each child getting meaningful game time. If an opponent does not agree to an additional match for the subs (if both teams have them) then please let Colm Crowley know

9.) Finals: There is a finals day, every club will be at a final. There are no medals or cups for these. Participation is our goal.

Rules: Standard Juvenile U9 Hurling & Football Rules apply  

Age Line Ups Dimensions(m) Goal Posts Football Size Sliotar Size Game Length Match Time
U9 9 a side 75 x 45 15’x7’ Smart/Quick Touch  Smart/Quick Touch 2 x 25 mins Sat 12.15pm

As in any competition or league run by Cork GAA the rules and guidelines of Rebel óg (Coiste na Nog Regulations 2016) will apply to the running of this league unless otherwise stated. Click here to download Rebel Og Regulations 2015

Clubs should also try to field as many teams as possible in order to keep as many players on the pitch at the same time.

Refereeing Go Games

• Refereeing Go Games involves propagating the Principles of Fair Play. This is achieved through application of the rules and, in particular, those that relate to sportsmanship and respect for the opposition, the match officials and the game. These are exemplified by the rule that the player returns the ball to the opposition ‘on the full’ after committing an offence.
• Officiating Go Games also involves guiding and coaching the players through each game by highlighting good example and promoting respect for all involved.
• As a Participation and Play initiative, Go Games provide an ideal opportunity to introduce young volunteers to Refereeing in a gradual and progressive manner.
• Where necessary, the Under-12 Go Games Referee should be guided and advised through each game with supportive and positive mentoring.

Go Games Level 1 understanding of fair play and the role of the referee:

A Good Referee
 Good communicator
 Knowledgeable of the rules
 Can keep up with play.
 Protects the players
 Understands the Game

To identify what “Tools of the Trade” do I need to Ref.
 Whistle
 Notepad and pen/pencil

Go Games Rules for Go Games Referees

 U9 Football
o Quick Touch Football only
o 9 a side
o One hop, one solo.
o Keeper takes Kick Out
o Player fouled takes free
o Player closest to sideline to take sideline
o 45 /65 to be taken from the middle of the pitch

 U9 Hurling
o Quick Touch Sliotar only
o 9 a side
o Normal rules
o No solo allowed. Player may hop the ball off the Hurley once though
o Frees taken as normal
o Player fouled to take free
o Keeper to take puck outs
o Player closest to sideline to take sideline
o 45 /65 to be taken from the middle of the pitch

  • To introduce the idea of Respect in Go Games teams should line up and shake hands after the game.
  • Effective communication from the referee can increase the Quality of the Game.
  • Use Coaching cues e.g. (Keep your hand off his back, Play the Ball only, Keep the ball moving)
  • Advise a player why a free was given against him and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again (You took too many steps, next time try to move the ball after 4 steps or You shouldered him in the back, next time try to make shoulder to shoulder contact from the side only)
  • Club mentors are to help young referees deal with dissent and lack of discipline, if a player is constantly fouling or is deemed to be a danger to himself or other players the referee may ask the mentors to replace that player. Please respect this request.
  • The clubs will be held responsible for mentors, parents, supporters actions at the games.

To cover the “What If’s”

  • If mentors are abusive to you or the players, take note of it. If it is a mentor from your own club, contact your GDA who will take note of it. If it is a mentor from another club let your clubs mentor know and they will contact the GDA.
  • The GDA is here to support you in your role, so utilise him in the case of any incidents.
  • In the case of an injury, take note of the players name and type of injury, but the club should administer the First Aid.
  • In the case of a very one sided game, ask the mentors from the side winning, if they can do anything to make the game more balanced. It is in everyone’s interests for the games to be as equal as possible.
  • If you have any queries on the day, ask the club mentor first. He/She should be able to provide you with answers.

Referees: Home club supplies referees and pays them. Recommend €10 per game.

Treat them with respect this  is crucial to the development of the referee.


  • Online now and have been emailed out.
  • Contact opposing club in advance of each match to confirm venue, time etc.
  • If you both have extra number of players and can field another team, please do so, rather than having lots of subs.
  • Fixtures can be brought forward from the time allocated, but please get in touch well in advance in this case.
  • There will be  an online document for recording results later this week. Looking for basic match results/information.
  • In the groups laid out, top teams will play each other in the second half of the year and bottom teams will play each other also, this to ensure kids playing against teams of similar levels.

Pitch set ups:

  • Use portable goals if possible, otherwise poles. Pitch to be 75mx40m.


  • One strike and you get a warning, 2 strikes and your club is banned for remainder of year

Development vs Winning

  • Developing each player should be the priority at this age. Set different challenges for different players. Make players play in all positions to develop a greater understanding of the game.

Match Days

If a club cannot play on a given date, we ask that you arrange to move the game forward to a weeknight in advance of the schedule. For this program to work, each club needs to commit to fulfilling every fixture that they are assigned. No matches to be cancelled.

Please note that the U9 match schedule may be subject to change

Lastly, thanks again for committing to take part, it may look like a big commitment, but we do believe that you will see the benefits of a regular schedule of meaningful games on your teams development and on the willingness to take part and commit from players, parents and mentors. Most clubs train on a Saturday morning so we feel that this advancement will make the Hurling and Football more enjoyable for the kids and mentors. Should you have any queries, contact

Colm Crowley
GDA Mid Cork and Child Games Coordinator