Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football Football Games

Gaelic football is the contact sport. Shoulder charge to the ball carrier and the ball slapping are possible. However, the body contacts allowed are less than some of the football codes such as Australian football.

The All-Ireland Senior Championship and the National Football League are competed by counties. All-Ireland Club Championship is competed by clubs. All-Ireland Senior Championship is the biggest competition.

Gaelic football


Gaelic football is originated in Ireland. The description made in year 1308 about Football of Ireland can be found. The game played between Louth and Meath at Slane in 1712 is the earliest recorded inter-county game. 6-a-side football was often played around the beginning of 18th century.

Today’s form of Gaelic football was established during the 1880’s. GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association), the sporting body that organises major Gaelic games, codified Gaelic football in 1887. GAA governs the Gaelic football till date. Gaelic football strictly maintains amateurism under the regulation of the GAA. Players of all levels are prohibited to receive any form of payment toward the commitments although high profile games attract large audiences.


1 game consists of 2 halves of 30 minutes respectively in general. The playing time may be longer in major events. Ways to move the ball are bouncing, carrying, hand-passing, kicking and soloing. Players can score 3 points by kicking or hand-passing the ball into the goal. 1 point can be scored by kicking or hand-passing the ball between the goalposts and over the crossbar.

1 team consists of 15 players. 13-a-side game (without Full back and Full forward) is also played often by the teams having insufficient number of players.

The ball used for the Gaelic football is circumference of 68cm – 70cm (27in – 28 in), and weight 480g – 500g (17oz – 18 oz).

The field size of Gaelic football is the length 130m – 145m (142yd – 159 yd) x the width 80m – 90m (87yd – 98 yd). 2 goalposts are 6.5m apart, around 7m height, and the cross bar is 2.5m height.

The fouls in Gaelic football can be categorised in 3 kinds, technical fouls, aggressive fouls and dissent. The punishments may be the handing over of the ball possession to the opposite team, caution, removing the player and termination of the game.

Positions of Gaelic football:

GK: 1 player.

Goalkeeper No.1.

BK: 6 players.

Right corner back (Right full back) No.2, Full back No.3, Left corner back (Left full back) No.4.

Right half back (Right wing back) No.5, Centre half back (Centre back) No.6, Left half back (Left wing back) No.7.

MF: 2 players.

Midfield (Centre field) No.8, Midfield (Centre field) No.9.

FW: 6 players.

Right half forward (Right wing forward) No.10, Centre half forward (Centre forward) No.11, Left half forward (Left wing forward) No.12.

Right corner forward (Right full forward) No.13, Full forward No.14, Left corner forward (Left full forward) No.15.

Ladies’ Gaelic football

Ladies’ Gaelic football is the version of Gaelic football made more suitable for female players and body contacts are minimal. The Ladies’ Gaelic Football Association is in charge of managing Ladies’ Gaelic football. Ladies’ Gaelic football is played in different places around the world.

Major differences from men’s Gaelic football:

Using the ball size 4 instead of size 5.

A player can pick up the ball on the field directly.

A player can change hands by throwing the ball between right and left hands.

A player can kickout from hand.

Intentional physical contacts are not allowed apart from minor exceptions.

International rules football

The International rules football is the hybrid sport invented in order to make the international games playable between the Australian football team and the Gaelic football team. The Australia national team is organised by the AFL (Australian Football League) while the Ireland national team is selected by the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association).

The first international rules match was held in Ireland during the Australian Football World Tour in 1967. The game has various categories such as Men, Women, Juniors, Masters and Amateurs. International rules football games are attracting global audiences.


1 game consists of 4 quarters of 18 minutes respectively. 1 team is made up of 15 players. Players are allowed to grab between the shoulders and thighs and take down to the field. This way of tackling is prohibited in Gaelic football.

The international rules use the round shaped ball and the rectangular field of the size 160yd x 98yd approximately, which are from the Gaelic football.

2 taller posts are 6.5m apart and have the crossbar at the height of 2.5m. The goal net is used. These are the same as the Gaelic football. A shorter post on further 6.5m to the side of each goal post is in place. These 2 shorter posts are the behind posts from the Australian football.

How to count the points of the International rules football:

A goal: Under the crossbar into the goal net: 6 points.

An over: Over the crossbar and between the 2 taller posts: 3 points.

A behind: Between the taller and shorter posts at either side: 1 point.

Author: Takuya Nagata. Amazon Profile

Novel writer, Creator. Travelled to Brazil and trained football at CFZ do Rio (Centro de Futebol Zico Sociedade Esportiva) in Rio de Janeiro. Played soccer for the Urawa Reds (Urawa Red Diamonds), one of the biggest football clubs in Japan, and toured Europe. Retired at a young age and voyaged alone to England and graduated from UCA, the UK’s university. Established careers as journalist, football coach, consultant, etc. across Europe such as Spain. Knowledgeable in creative and technology fields as well. Launched “MINIЯISM” (minirism), the art movement that contributes to the development of societies and the knowledge hub “The Minimalist.” The founder of “Propulsive Football” (PROBALL), the world’s first-ever competitive mixed football, facilitating diversity and spirit for equal participation in society. Also writing for “Football Game Sphere.”

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