THE GAELIC GAMES  

Originating in Ireland, the two main Gaelic games governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland are Hurling and Gaelic football. Camogie is the women's version of Hurling and there is Ladies' Gaelic Football as well.

Select a game to learn more about it

THE GOAL

In Hurling and Gaelic Football, the scoring system is the same. The target is a set of 'H' posts, like in rugby, but with a net on the bottom section like in soccer. To score, you put the ball over the crossbar for one point or under the crossbar and into the net for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.

THE PITCH

GAA pitches are larger than a regulation soccer field. see the diagram on the right for details

FUN FACT

The free kick or shot line changes depending on if it's a men's or women's match. The free is taken from the 45 meter line for women's matches and from the 65 meter line for men's

When the umpire waves a white flag that means a point was scored

When the umpire waves a green flag that means a goal was scored

When the umpire makes this jester, the backs knocked the ball out of bounds and the forwards get a free shot from midfield

When the umpire makes this gesture, the forward missed their shot (i.e, was wide) or knocked the ball out off bounds.

 

  GAELIC FOOTBALL  

Gaelic football resembles a combination of basketball and soccer and is similar in appearance to Australian rules football with the exception that the ball is the shape of a soccer ball but is slightly smaller and harder. It is played on a rectangular field (larger than a soccer field) by two teams of Thirteen.


Unlike certain other sports, the rules are intentionally designed to keep the game moving quickly and to keep any stoppages short without sacrificing any skill element. Therefore there is no offside rule except for the fact that an attacking player must not be in the goalkeeper's area before the ball.

HOW TO PLAY

The ball can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or "hand-passed", a striking motion with the hand or fist. After every four steps, the ball must be either bounced or "solo-ed", an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. Players may contest for the ball by playing it with the hand or by shoulder charging an opponent side-to-side.

 

To score, you put the ball over the crossbar by foot or fist for one point or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or the hand / fist in certain circumstances for three points.

EQUIPMENT

The ball used in Gaelic Football is a round leather ball. The ball islightly smaller than a soccer ball and looks very similar to a volleyball

 

  LADIES GAELIC FOOTBALL  

Ladies Gaelic Football is almost identical to its male counterpart being played on the same field with equivalent equipment and under the same basic set of playing rules. There are minor rule variations in comparison with Gaelic Football, in particular players are allowed to pick the ball directly from the ground but the shoulder charge is not allowed when contesting for the ball.

HOW TO PLAY

The ball can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or "hand-passed", a striking motion with the hand or fist. After every four steps, the ball must be either bounced or "solo-ed", an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. Players may contest for the ball by playing it with the hand or by hip checking an opponent side-to-side.

 

To score, you put the ball over the crossbar by foot or fist for one point or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or the hand / fist in certain circumstances for three points.

EQUIPMENT

The ball used in Gaelic Football is a round leather ball. The ball islightly smaller than a soccer ball and looks very similar to a volleyball

 

WHAT IS HURLING?

  HURLING  

Hurling is a distinctly Irish field invasion game played with a stick, called a hurley, and a ball called a sliotar. 

 

You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. You may catch the ball or pick up the ball with your hurley into your hand and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. You can run balancing or bouncing the ball (the solo) on the hurley indefinitely. Players may contest for the ball by playing it with the hurley or by shoulder charging an opponent side-to-side.

HOW TO PLAY

You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. You may catch the ball or pick up the ball with your hurley into your hand and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps, you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. You can run balancing or bouncing the ball (the solo) on the hurley indefinitely. Players may contest for the ball by playing it with the hurley or by shoulder charging an opponent side-to-side.

 

To score, you strike the ball over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net for a goal for three points.

The stick or "hurley" (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or "sliotar" is similar in size to a baseball but has raised ridges.

EQUIPMENT

 

  CAMOGIE  

Camogie is almost identical to its male counterpart Hurling, being played on the same field with equivalent equipment and under the same basic set of playing rules. There are minor rule variations in comparison with Hurling, in particular players are allowed to drop the hurley when playing the ball away, and are allowed to play the opponents hurley to contest for the ball but are not allowed to shoulder charge. A player may hand pass the ball to score a goal or a point.

HOW TO PLAY

You may strike the ball on the ground, or in the air. You may catch the ball or pick up the ball with your hurley into your hand and carry it for not more than four steps in the hand. After those steps, you may bounce the ball on the hurley and back to the hand, but you are forbidden to catch the ball more than twice. You can run balancing or bouncing the ball (the solo) on the hurley indefinitely. Players may contest for the ball by playing it with the hurley or by ship checking an opponent side-to-side.

 

To score, you strike the ball over the crossbar with the hurley or under the crossbar and into the net for a goal for three points.

The stick or "hurley" (called camán in Irish) is curved outwards at the end, to provide the striking surface. The ball or "sliotar" is similar in size to a baseball but has raised ridges.

EQUIPMENT