Gaelic football is just the best. It’s my favorite sport. It’s kinda like soccer, but you can carry the ball with your hands. Other than that, there are very few rules. It’s extremely free-flowing and is played at a much higher speed. It’s almost perfect. And the provincial tournaments that lead into the All-Ireland start soon and I’m very, very excited. Allow me to share.
Look at these crazy guys doing crazy things. The game should look somewhat familiar to sports fans. It’s largely a mix of soccer and rugby with a few other things tossed in there just to spice it up.
There’s no shortage of little nuanced rules that make the game sound a touch overwhelming. Those are explained very well here. But trust me, it doesn’t take all that long to get it sorted out and you’ll be glad you took the time.
The basics are simple. Outscore your opponent by getting goals (3 points) or points (1 point). A point is earned by kicking the ball over the goal but between the uprights. Other than that, the game is basically a free-flowing cauldron of violent, athletically gifted men running up and down the pitch. The game rarely stops for more than a handful of seconds at a time, and if it does, it’s likely because someone started a fight over a play. I’ve always felt that part of the beauty of Gaelic Football is the laissez-faire arrangement of the game which largely keeps officials from interrupting the flow too often.
The game is played at the amateur level governed by the GAA, the Gaelic Athletic Association. There is no professional league. The players have day jobs, and play only for their home club or home county. There is no lengthy recruiting or commitment process. I am extremely excited about this and I hope you can be too.
Oh, one last thing, if you’re not sure if this sport is for you, there’s a massive library of full matches available on YouTube.
(Psst, try this one)