Men’s Football

How do you maintain your national identity when your sport is illegal? If you’re the Irish, you simply make a few tweaks and keep running down the field. Developed in Ireland at a time when hurling was banned, gaelic football uses all of the same rules with regard to positions, possession, scoring and fouls. The only real difference is the ball; a gaelic football looks like a volleyball but weighs about the same as a soccer ball.

With new management and some familiar faces, men’s gaelic football is experiencing a resurgence of activity within the Seattle Gaels. Come be a part of it!

For more information about Seattle Gaels Men’s Football, contact the manager.

What is Gaelic Football?

Gaelic football is one of four Gaelic Games run by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the largest and most popular organization in Ireland. It is very popular throughout the world (over 7000 clubs worldwide).The players are all amateurs, and so are playing for “the glory of the parish pump”.The pinnacle of the sport is the inter county All-Ireland Football Final. The game is believed to have descended from ancient Irish football known as caid which dates back to 1537, although the modern game took shape in 1887.

Is Gaelic Football similar to other sports?

Gaelic Football is a field game and is played with a round ball, slightly smaller than a soccer ball. The sport is often described as a mixture of soccer and rugby, although this can be a misleading comparison as it really is a distinct sport and thus hard to compare! It predates both both soccer and rugby.

For anyone familiar with Australian Rules Football, it is thought that Australian Rules evolved from Gaelic Football through the many thousands who were either deported or immigrated to Australia from the middle of the nineteenth century.

Do I need experience to play with the Seattle Gaels Men’s Football Club?

Absolutely not! Just a good attitude and willingness to learn new things. Every year we have new players join our team, who are completely unfamiliar with the sport.

What type of field is Gaelic Football played on?

Gaelic Football is played on a grass pitch (field) approximately 137m long and 82m wide (slightly larger than a soccer field). The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one.

How is the sport played?

The ball 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.

How many players on a Gaelic football team?

Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows

1 goalkeeper

3 full-backs

3 half-backs

2 midfielders

3 half-forwards

3 full-forwards


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