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Gaelic Football



Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football is the dominant sport in Ireland. Although not nearly as old as hurling it has long been the number one national sport with the most clubs and players.

Gaelic Football has often been described as a mixture of soccer and rugby, it is claimed to be older than both of those games. It is also thought to be the father of the modern Australian game of Aussie Rules probably introduced to Australia by the thousands of Irish people who emigrated or were deported to Australia from the middle of the 19th centuary.

Gaelic football is played with a round ball, slightly smaller and heavier than a soccer ball. The playing field is the same as hurling approximately 137m long and 82m wide, and the goals are also the same, a H shape with a crossbar a little higher than the crossbar on soccer goals, and lower than the crossbar on rugby goals.

During play the football can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or "hand-passed", a striking motion with the hand or fist. After every four steps the ball must be either bounced or "solo-ed", an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. To score, you put the ball over the crossbar by foot or hand / fist for one point or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or the hand / fist in certain circumstances for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.

The team is the same as hurling and consists of fifteen players; a goalkeeper, three full-backs, three half-backs, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.

Officials for a game comprise of a referee, two linesmen (to indicate when the ball leaves the field of play at the side and to mark '45'' free kicks and 4 umpires (to signal scores, assist the referee in controlling the games, and to assist linesmen in positioning '45' frees).

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