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WHAT IS GAELIC FOOTBALL?

Gaelic Football (Peil in Gaelic) is played between two teams of 13 or 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. The objective of the sport is to score by kicking or punching the ball into the other team's goals (3 points) or between two upright posts above the goals and over a crossbar 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) above the ground (1 point).

For more information, watch the video to the right or read more below!

the pitch

The grass pitch is rectangular, stretching 130–145 metres (142–159 yards) long and 80–90 m (87–98 yd) wide.

 

There are H-shaped goalposts at each end, formed by two posts, which are 6.5 m (21 ft) apart, and connected 2.5 m (8.2 ft) above the ground by a crossbar.

 

A net extending behind the goal is attached to the crossbar and lower goal posts.

 

Lines are marked at distances of 13 metres, 20 metres, and 45 metres from each end-line.

 

Shorter pitches and smaller goals are used by youth teams.

the MATCH

Matches last for 60 minutes, divided into two halves of 30 minutes, with the exception of senior inter-county games, which last for 70 minutes (two halves of 35 minutes).

Teams consist of fifteen players (a goalkeeper, 3 fullbacks, 3 halfbacks, 2 midfielders, 3 half-forwards, and 3 full-forwards).  The USGAA (of which the Fenians are a part of) play thirteen on each side (the same positions except without 1 fullback and 1 full-forward). 

 

A point is scored by either kicking the ball over the crossbar, or fisting it over (think underhand-volleyball serve).

 

goal is scored if the ball goes under the crossbar and in the net, and is worth 3 points. A goal is scored by kicking the ball into the net, not by fist passing the ball into it. However, a player can strike the ball into the net with a closed fist if the ball was played to him by another player or came in contact with the post/crossbar/ground prior to connection. Similar to soccer, the goal is guarded by a goal keeper. 

 

Scores are recorded in the format Goal Total-Point Total. To determine the score-line goals must be converted to points and added to the other points. For example, in a match with a final score of Team A 0–21 Team B 4–8, Team A is the winner with 21 points, as Team B scored only 20 points (4 times 3, plus 8).

Gameplay

Players advance the football up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing (dropping the ball and then toe-kicking the ball upward into the hands). 

Players are not permitted to throw the ball, but rather, must advance the ball by kicking it to teammates or hand-passing (similar technique to a underhand volleyball serve).  Passes can be made forward or backward.

The ball cannot be picked up directly of the ground. It must be scooped up directly into the hands by the foot or caught in the air.

The level of tackling allowed is less robust than in rugby. Shoulder to shoulder contact and slapping the ball out of an opponent's hand are permitted.

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