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Gaelic football and its popularity in Asia

Though Gaelic Football has its origins in Ireland, over the years it has become quite popular in various others countries of the world. It is now being played by hundreds of fans in countries as far as Australia. In fact it would not be out of place to mention here that Australian Football could be having some ideas which are borrowed from Gaelic Football. What is even more significant is that this sport is becoming hugely popular in many countries of Asia which are traditionally hooked to the conventional soccer or football as we all know it. It is a sport which is played with 15 members each side and the game is played in a rectangular field. It resembles Rugby or American Football and the objective is to either kick or punch the ball into the opponents’ goal.

The Reasons For Its Growth In Asia


There are quite a few reasons as to why this sport is becoming quite popular in Asia where traditionally football or soccer is more popular. The main reason is that this sport has travelled across oceans and seas as more and more people started watching it. It was played by small groups of Asians who migrated to Europe in general and Ireland in particular for various reasons, whether it is business, tourism, higher studies or for better jobs. This process continued and this is perhaps the one and only reason why it has gained popularity. In fact in 2014 there were around 800 local peoples mostly from Malaysia and various other neighboring countries. In fact way back in 1996 a group of around 72 GAA fans got together in Manila and perhaps sowed the first seeds of various Gaelic games including Gaelic footballs. This over the years has grown in size and stature and has led to increasing popularity of the sport in various countries of Asia, especially those in the south eastern and far eastern parts. This kind of football is highly popular in Australia and since many far-east Asian countries are situated closer to this country, there also could be a rub-off effect so to say.


A Local Flavor Has Been Added


It also would be pertinent to mention here Gaelic football has also been modified to meet specific needs and requirements of the local populace. Quite a bit of local flavor is being added, and the rules and regulations are also being tweaked to some extent. The encouraging news is that apart from male, the popularity of this form of football amongst hundreds of women in Asia is also increasing. This could be one of the main reasons as to why it is becoming popular amongst a large section of fans in Asia.


Finally, the ancient martial arts form which originated in many Asian countries could also have some relation with Gaelic football. However, at the end of the day there is no denying the fact that there are many reasons for the growth of this form of football in Far East Asia. This growth story still continues and will certain pick up in the years to come.

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How to start your own Gaelic Football Team (if you don’t have one near you)

There is no doubt that sports are one of the most interesting and thrilling parts of the human experience in any part of the world. In the past, because of the vast distances that divided different parts of the planet, sports were mostly localized and began to really spread across borders only in the 20th century. Today, it seems that most of the globally-popular sports are already established and defined, without any space for new additions. However, many do not know that there are still many fantastic sports that could take their place among the great ones. Gaelic Football is definitely one of them and as one of the most popular sports in the Republic of Ireland, it has a lot to offer.

In many ways similar to regular football or soccer, Gaelic football provides an interesting variation where the 30 players engage in a match on a field that is bigger than a regular football pitch. Here, like in football, the objective is to place the ball in the opponent’s goal or posts above it, while the ball can be carried in hand, kicked and hand-passed, which is similar to the Australian Rules football. Because of this, it provides a dynamic experience that many people simply adore and which quickly gets others interested. These often wonder how can they engage in it and how to start a Gaelic football team. Here are the key points for anyone who wants to do this.

Passion for the Sport

First and foremost, a passion for the Gaelic football is needed, as well as a thorough understanding of the rules. Fortunately, thanks to the global IT society, finding information about the sport should not be difficult. Using the internet, all the essential facts about the sport, rules, and regulation can be attained.

Using the Associations

Gaelic is predominantly a sport that is played in Ireland. That is why there is the Gaelic Athletic Association, which is the main governing body for the sport. It provides beginners’ camps for kids that are aged 7 to 13 and the most up-to-date base of clubs that are spread across the Ireland. When it comes to the sport in the Scotland, England and Wales, the main organization is the Provincial Council of Britain GAA and can be of great use for this region. All the ladies that desire to get involved in the sport can contact the Ladies Gaelic Football Association. It provides several programs that are designed to offer new players a chance to try out the same sport. Every one of these organizations can be a great ally for anyone who wonders how to start a Gaelic football team.

Using Social Networks

Any newly established Gaelic football club should use the social networking to get in touch with other clubs and associations. This way, it can be connected with those who are more experienced and can offer help in different aspects of the same process. Additionally, through the same process, a club can attain things like equipment, guest coaches and many more essentials for any new sports club.

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With these ideas, anyone will be able to set up their Gaelic football club and do all that is needed for it to grow and prosper, while it at the same time promotes this fantastic sport.

Gaelic Football Leagues Around The World

Gaelic football is one of the most commonly found games of football. This form is actually derived from the traditional Irish ball games. It is played mainly in Ireland but nowadays it is gaining a lot of popularity outside Ireland as well and many clubs and teams are participating in it. The Gaelic football leagues can be found around the world nowadays. It is an interesting game which is quite similar to that of football and rugby but has some major changes that make this game unique.

What Is This Game All About?

The Gaelic football is mainly played between two teams and each team has 15 players on their side. It is played on a rectangular grass pitch. The main objective of this game is to score points by punching or kicking the ball to the goal of other team. For this, the team score 3 points and also this point depends on certain factors. It is played with a spherical leather ball and advance to each other’s goal. One team attack and another team defend. Attacking and defending of both the team goes on simultaneously. This game is controlled by GAA or Gaelic Athletic Association.

Gaelic Football Leagues

The Gaelic football league Ireland is played every year and all the 32 teams participate in this game. These are 31 teams from Ireland and 1 is London. They are the first one to start this league games and now it is played all over the world. There are many countries who are joining this game and making up a team or division to play the league games and tournaments. It is gaining a lot of popularity these days and also many countries are joining it. In a league tournament, there are 4 divisions in total and each division has 8 teams in it.

For winning the matches 2 points are awarded and 1 point for the draw. Two teams from each division get qualified for quarter finals and other two teams get relegated. Like this the game goes on and finally after the quarter finals and semi finals two teams qualify for the final. The team that wins the final won the title of Gaelic football league champions for that year. There is a tie breaker system for the two teams who are with same points. Thus, it is an overall interesting and exciting tournament which has some nail biting face offs and finishes.


This is a game of entertainment, excitement as well as some really great show of skills and games. The best part of this game is that it is so lively and every time you will watch it is full of excitement. It is almost like normal football game which is interesting in every second. Each and every move the players make is really vital and the game can also change at point of time. It is a great game and there are many people who wait eagerly for the Gaelic football leagues around the world. These league tournaments are the best part of this game.

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Rules of Gaelic Football

Gaelic football is an Irish team sport that has its origins in traditional Irish ball games. It is often regarded as a cross between rugby and association football, though it is older than both of them.

The basics

Each team is made up of 15 players, just like rugby. However, a round ball is used, so in this case it is similar to football. This sport is the most popular in Ireland. Every team – from the local junior team to the big games played at the magnificent Croke Park Stadium- is passionately supported.

The origins of Gaelic football pre-date recorded history, but the sport’s administrative body (the Gaelic Athletic Association or GAA) was formed in 1884. There are more than 2500 clubs in Ireland alone, and out of these 32 get to compete each year to be crowned as the All-Ireland Champions. It is now played around the world, especially in places where there is a significant community of Irish people.


The team which scores the most points in the game becomes the winner. Three points are awarded when the ball passes between the posts while staying beneath the crossbar. A point is awarded even if the ball flies above the crossbar as long as it is within the posts.

If the teams have the same number of total points, then the game is drawn.


The referee tosses a coin, and the captain who guesses correctly chooses the end that his team will play from in the first half.

Two players from each team stand behind each other while on their own side of the halfway line facing the ref. All players are in their own half of the pitch at this point. The referee will then throw the ball into the air and play begins. This is called a throw-in. If a goal or point is registered, play is started by the goalie of the team that has just conceded.


A normal game lasts for 60 minutes, divided into two halves of 30 minutes. League games at other levels may have longer or shorter playing times depending on the age and seniority of the players. There may be added time at the end of each half if there was a deliberate or incidental delay i.e. injuries or substitutions. Knockout games may have an extra-time of 30 minutes divided into two halves if the teams draw.

Pitch dimensions

The game is played in a rectangular pitch with a length of between 130m-145m and a width ranging from 80m-90m. Younger players may have smaller pitches. There are H-shaped goalposts fixed at either end, with the posts measuring 6m-7m in height and set 6.5m apart. The crossbar connects the two posts at a height of 2.5m.


Each team has 15 players. However, both teams can start with 13 players as long as they have a full compliment at the commencement of the second half. Fives subs are allowed during the game, and if it goes to extra-time, a further three replacements are allowed.

The referee

A total of 7 people are involved in managing a game: one referee, two linesmen and four umpires.

Foul play

The following are all considered as fouls:

-Shoving an opponent

-Sliding tackles

-Tackling with both hands

-Striking an opponent


-Tagging at a opponent’s jersey

-Wrestling the ball from an opponent’s hands

-Blocking a shot with the foot

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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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