What Exactly Is Gaelic Football, Anyway?

What Is the Purpose?

Gaelic football is a game that is heavily inspired by both rugby and traditional association football. The game entails teams competing to try and score as many goals as possible within a match.

Where Is It Played?

Gaelic football is a team sport that is played throughout Ireland. This sport is the most popular team sport in the country and is played mostly in Ireland although it has grown in popularity in the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

Who Plays?

Gaelic football is played on a field with fifteen members on each team. It is a single-gender sport that is mostly played by men although women have been playing the game more frequently in recent years.

Each of the two teams on the field features a goalkeeper, players closer to the defensive side like cornerbacks, players in the middle like the centre back and midfielders and those on the offensive side like the full forward and the corner forwards. A typically field is organized to where players have their own spots to target during a match.

Up to fifteen substitutes can be on a team. Only five can play in a single match though.

How Is the Ball Handled?

The ball, which is about 70cm in circumference, is typically kicked. However, it can also be passed by hand. Specifically, a player will pass the ball by standing still and punching the ball with the side of a closed fist.

How Are Goals or Points Scored?

The scoring in Gaelic football is determined by a series of goals and points. A goal occurs when a player kicks the ball into the net. This is worth three points.

A point will be scored when the player moves the ball over the crossbar at the goal net. This can be done by kicking it over the crossbar or by punching the ball over it. This is worth one point.

The scoring is typically read in a goal-point ratio. For instance, if a team has four goals and seven points then the team will have a score of 4-7. Meanwhile, if that team’s opponent had five goals and just one point, it would have a 5-1 score. The first team would be the winner as it had 19 points compared to the 16 of the other that have five goals but not enough points.

How Long Does This Go For?

A Gaelic football match will run for about 60 minutes in most cases. There will be two 30-minute halves in a match. Some games will last for 70 minutes while others, particularly juniors and some womens matches, will go for 40 to 45 minutes.

What’s the Field Like?

A Gaelic football field is about 130 to 145m long and 80 to 90m wide. The goal posts are 6m high and 6.5m apart. The crossbar is about 2.5m over the ground.

What Fouls Can Occur?

Gaelic football does allow defensive maneuvers like tackling. The movements are not as strong as what occurs in rugby but are stronger than they are in regular football. Fouls can occur if players are too rough.

Technical fouls can occur if a player mishandles a ball. A player who is too physically rough or does not follow the officials’ rules can be warned with a yellow card, sent off without a substitution with a red card or sent off with a substitution with a black card.

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