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Ireland’s Gaelic football has grown throughout the years

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In an effort to promote traditional Irish sports and reject foreign influences, the inception of the Gaelic Athletic Association was introduced in 1884 in Ireland.

At that time, there were many forms of Irish football played throughout the country. The GAA chose to support a form of Irish football known as Gaelic football. In 1887, the GAA organized the native game into an official playing code and Gaelic football was born.

A huge difference between American football and Gaelic football is that the Irish athletes are amateurs, which means they don’t get paid millions of Euros (the Irish equivalent of American dollars) for playing. Rather, they are regular citizens with full-time jobs, a love for their county, and a love for their sport.

Gaelic football is a field sport played on a pitch similar to rugby, but considerably larger.

There are 15 players per side with the same positions as soccer. The ball is made of leather and is similar to a volleyball, but harder.

The ball can be carried for four steps and can be kicked or “hand-passed.”

After four steps, the ball must either be bounced or “solo-ed.” This means the ball is dropped to the foot and kicked back up into the hand.

The main objective is to score the ball through the H-shaped goal posts at either end of the field.

A shot above the crossbar is worth one point, and a shot under the crossbar is worth three.

This fast-paced sport combines the agility and speed of soccer with the roughness of rugby, and a mix of hand-foot coordination that will blow your mind.

Along with the GAA’s other main sport, hurling, Gaelic football has now made its way to many different parts of the globe.

Clubs began forming in major cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston as early as the 1850s.

Now, there are clubs established in many cities across the U.S., as well as a Canadian county board.

To find more information on clubs and leagues near you, check out www.northamericangaa.com.

Brad Beno

2 Comments

2 Responses to “Ireland’s Gaelic football has grown throughout the years”

  1. Ken D. on March 18th, 2011 5:11 am
  2. Ken D. on March 18th, 2011 5:12 am

    URL for the San Diego Youth League is http://sdygaa.com/

    [Reply]

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Ireland’s Gaelic football has grown throughout the years