Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football

Gaelic football a 15 a side ball and goal game which at first glance seems to be a cross between Rugby and Soccer.  The exponents of Gaelic football claim it is as old as hurling but historically the first references don't come until 1527.

Played on a pitch which is usually 137m long and 82m wide goal post at each end similiar in style to rugby post each side consist of three full forwards, three half forwards, two midfields and three half backs, three full backs and a goalkeeper, some games are played with 13 a side in these games one forward and one full back are omitted.

Should a defender put the ball over its own end line the attackers are awarded a free kick from the 50 yard line. at a point opposite to where the ball crossed the line.

Should a player put the ball across a side line the opposite side gets a free kick at the place where the ball crossed the line.


The Pitch

The goal area is based on the end line 13.72m by 4.57m and extends in front of the goal poast, should a defender foul in this area a penalty kick is awarded, like soccer only the penalty taker and the goalkeeper can be in the area until the kick is taken.

There is no offside in Gaelic football players can play the ball on or off the ground with foot or hand, however a player can't pick the ball directly from the ground with his hand but can chip it or lift it with his foot, the ball may be passed by or punched with the closed fist, throwing is not allowed, a player in possession may carry the ball for four paces but must then bounce or hop it only one hop being allowed if the ball has been caught.

Players may carry the ball on a solo run if he either hops the ball every three steps, run in possession for as long as he wishes provided the ball has not been caught, he may also run providing he bounces the ball from toe to hand every four steps.

Pulling, pushing, tripping or elbowing an opponent is a foul, punishment is a free kick to the opposition.  Rugby style tackles are also punished in the same way as frontal or a charge into the back, however shoulder charging is allowed and actively encourged by the crowd.


The Referee

The referee controls the game with the assistance of four goal umpires two at each end, and a touch judge on each side line. 

The referee starts the game by throwing the ball between the midfield players at the beginning of each half. 

He is also the sole judge of the playing time. the game can last between 30 and 60 minutes each half there are two halves.

Scoring the ball must be kicked or punched between the posts and over the cross bar a goal is equal to 3 points.


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