Player drop out rate

When Mattie Kenny was manager of Cuala he regularly commented that the club scene were not been looked after, our adult playing numbers are falling off at an alarming rate.Many clubs have lost their players to other sports. Look at the clubs from division 2 down and you will see what a mess the County Board have made of things.

Seen today a drop of rate of 75 % in GAA participation in age group 18-24 , and there are those that couldn’t give a shit if Kenny is successful, they cod themselves with the if Dublin are successful numbers will grow , we don’t need numbers to grow there are more kids playing than ever , we NEED young adults to stay playing past 24 , and screwing the club team is not the way to do it


Pointless blaming the DCB. The clubs need to grow a pair and protect our games. We can’t allow the county managers to dictate when they will allow clubs acces to players. We can’t allow them dictate when we can play championship. We can’t allow them dictate.
When Alan and DubZeroNien agree there is clearly a serious issue brewing.

Would be interesting to see the drop out rates for other sports, rugby i’d Say is bigger. All me nephews played a bit and none of them play now as they approach 18. The huge drop out rate can’t be all down to county teams? Only a small percentage of players play senior or on teams effected by county players.

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No stats to back it up , I’ve an 18 and 20 year old still playing from what I’ve seen I’d place it in no particular order , socializing , college , work ,also lads come from juvenile and minor where you pretty much know when your playing one week hurling next football etc then you hit the carnage of adult football calendar, in addition many clubs are poor in prioritizing player retention

There are multiple reasons for drop out rates. County teams wouldn’t have a big impact on AHL4 - AHL9. Internal club structures, cultures and management teams of individual clubs would have a lot to do with it. College, careers also a factor regardless of sport. Also, no recreational or over 40s option like soccer. Would also be interesting to compare retention rates for big, medium and small size clubs.


I thought thats where you were going with that :joy:

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I meant clubs, but retention of players by size would be interesting too :joy:

Ah just realized you changed that yourself. Good one :joy::joy::joy:

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Away at the weekend so I missed the games. Was a real pity the DUBSTV idea didn’t really work.
Really impressive wins for Craobh, Whitehall and another ‘nearly story’ from Na Fianna. Sounded like Crokes really got out of jail with the Hayes goal. Some new names on both team sheets there. Both teams will now fancy their chances easily against O Tooles and Faughs, whoever scores the least getting Cuala in a qtr final.
Cuala I hear were very impressive against Brigids who had a fair few players sent off and booked. Great to see Danny doing so well again for club and county.

Boden and Lucan seemed a tense affair from match tracker. Interesting that a good few other county champions were beaten at the weekend and Boden were nearly too. Whitehall put up a big scoreline and could easily trouble them I. Rd.2. Really surprised at Setanta who I felt we’re improving last year. Mcgibb a big loss. They battled really well against Lucan last year.
Vins a big win too. They will be a big challenge this year.

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Where as overseas the game is growing steadily year on year due to the participation of that ‘past it’ age group.

Some European clubs can field up to 3 teams at tournaments. And that’s all down to lads in their late 20’s to mid 30’s reigniting their gaa careers. That age group would easily make up 90% of any given team.

They also tend to be way more committed and rarely fall off. It’s a shame as you say there is no recreational league. I’d say it would be massive in Ireland if organised right.


very good point. I’ve seen massive popularity in clubs in Seattle, Boston and Toronto including with Americans. Clubs across Europe are also thriving. What seems to happen here is that lads go to college (my lad a case in point) and then a load of project work, college life etc. all intervenes. If they are county players they are drafted to college teams but the others are just trying to find their way and making club training if you are travelling across the city to college (southside to DCU or Maynooth or Grangegorman or northside to UCD or IADT) is a challenge. It seems to me that the next we see of a lot of these lads is when they are bringing their 5 year olds to the nursery training. This is a big challenge for the clubs and much more of an issue than whether or not the 1% of county players are dedicating themselves to the club.

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Remember after 2017 AI football. GAA president was asked on RTE was that it for the year, he said he was heading to US the next day, said 30% of Clubs in GAA are abroad.

There was an ESRI report a couple of years ago that had the GAA as having the highest drop out rate I didn’t believe it at the time, and I think the GAA were quoted as saying at the time that they didn’t really believe it either - but I think now it could be correct.

The smaller sports are operating on a smaller scale, so probably don’t lose people as much. Soccer has junior leagues and indoor soccer and kickabouts (I suspect the survey wasn’t too particular on what type of involvement) and rugby wouldn’t have the mass participation that the GAA does, so has much less people to retain so probably does retain a decent percentage.

But you would need to know the detail of the study. What were they considering as involvement in the first place and what are they considering involvement into adulthood.

But I think the club v county thing being discussed above isn’t a factor in this. If guys want to play, there will be games (in Dublin anyway). I suspect the issue is more along the lines that club GAA is just too competitive - there is basically no level of it where it does not effect other aspects of your life, whereas you can just go out and play a bit of 5 aside soccer one day a week if you want. Also, in the case of big clubs, they have one or two minor teams coming out each year and only one senior team to put them on. So guys who are not exceptionally good are being put onto junior squads and being left there to find their own way up.

I suspect actually that the county thing is a help rather then a hindrance here. It is taking the best guys out of the mix for a while and leaving spaces for others. It is also lowering the level of competition a bit - so a young guy can actually play a senior league game on a Sunday morning without it being life or death and being run ragged by an All Star.


Very true,absolute huge drop off rate,even worse in girls GAA think it’s 14

Probably letting on a bit to my age in this post but theres a lot of problems I’ve seen over the last few years that contribute to this.Ive seen hugely talented hurlers go feck this at 17 18 19 who don’t want to commit,4 nights they said they were going to be training some weeks,Thats huge for them,(this was for minor and 20s).Especially if lads are traveling out to DCU or somewhere like that if they’re living in west or south Dublin during rush hour during the week

Young lads want to travel as well,how’d you get that? You’ve to get a job and the hours these lads put in sometimes they won’t get one and the social element in college is another one that lads prefer to do.Ive been told lads get dropped for going on family Holliday’s and going to the odd concert,they’re young let them live their lives

The competitive element as well,lads just want to enjoy themselves and the amount of training they put in is crazy at their age they’ll be crippled in a couple of years

Might be just my own club but telling lads they’re A B and C level at u9 is a huge problem,you’ve got guys at minor and just starting adult level that don’t have the confidence to play because they’ve never played at a high standard before so they give up,that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve seen as I’ve only started adult level this year

Lads not getting played either as it’s all about winning is another huge thing,some managers take the fun out of it

That’s just my view from the snowflake generation there’s definitely other factors but they’re some I’ve seen,its a big problem though

You’re point re A,B and C teams is spot on. As soon as a kid is on a C team they are automatically told (through no fault of the coach) that they are not good enough. I’ve spoken to coaches in the bigger clubs and the high volume of kids is an issue. It creates elitism by default as coaches can’t cope with numbers and at times it turns into a crèche (as described by one coach in a big club). Another coach mentioned that they don’t get to know the kids as the club is so big parents treat it like a service. Whereas in smaller clubs coaches must try harder to retain the kids. I was shocked recently to be asked for coaching advice from a coach in one of the bigger clubs as they had not recd the necessary support. He wasn’t a coach on an A team and unfortunately didn’t have the hurling background. The simple fact is kids, teenagers and adults drop out if they don’t make a connection with their coaches. When additional distractions arrive in the players life then it’s game over.


The over-training is a huge problem. The game is miles faster then it used to be at a younger age. The players are bigger too at a younger age which doesn’t help the joints.

It’s the over -training - lads must get sick and tired of training 5/6 days a week by managers.

I feel sorry for players on Development Teams. As from what I’ve read and heard neither there county not club gives them any slack and expects them to train and play with no leeway in between.

It’s no wonder they pack it up at 19.


Less training, more games. Dublin were knocked out in June last summer but SHC didn’t resume till September anyway. The calendar is not all county managers fault.

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Exactly the games to training ratio and all that,a little off topic but for example Wicklow in football train dozens of times to usually get only 2 championship games,obviously last year being an exception

And a slow developer on a B or C team at 13 years of age might walk away out of frustration, wondering why his team weren’t getting the same level of coaching and/or equipment, etc as the A team. And that U13 B or U13 C player might well have developed into a Minor A/Minor County Panel level player.
There are certainly instances of where some clubs are too big.