History of Gaelic Football

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Gaelic Football has been an important part of the Irish culture for many generations. It is a sport that combines people in such a way that soccer does in Brazil, baseball in the U.S. and hockey in Canada. The history of Gaelic Football is extremely abundant and enthusiastic and even today is still an excellent display of national pride. The origins of the modern-day sport of Gaelic Football obtain from the Irish sport of Hurling. Hurling has been a sport that has actually been bet over 4000 years ever because the first banquet of Lunagsha in the Tailteann video games (Orjan, 2006).

The first known date for a Gaelic Football video game was in 1670 in County Meath Ireland and the groups were 6-a-side (Orjan, 2006). They utilized many of the exact same guidelines of Hurling but used a bigger, softer ball and no hurls. Every 4 actions, instead of bouncing the ball off their hurley, they would either bounce the ball or drop it to their foot and kick it back up again.

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The sport can be best described as a mixture of soccer and rugby.

Games started to be played in between counties in the early 18th century (Biege, 2007). The sport, in a completely various type, was played as far back as the 14th century and it was a really violent game. The video game was had fun with many balls made of horsehide and included numerous gamers and was over a country mile (Orjan 2006). The sport included many stops for wrestling and fist combating.

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The Irish some what of the same suitables as the romans that Trd Temertzoglou and Paul Challen priced quote: “a sound minde in a sound body” (Exercise science, 2003, pg. 295, ¶ 6) as they thought about the game just as much an essential social event as it was a sporting occasion and the would hold a large event after each match (Orjan, 2006).

This sport was only well recorded in County Kerry and was called Caid (Coughlan, 2001). In the modern-day sport of Gaelic Football, up until about 150 years back, violence was a big part of the game (Couhlan, 2001). Even as the game became a growing number of structured and groups consisted of the same variety of players and the video game was used a marked field with referees, violence was still commonly accepted and fights were not disrupted. The sport has always had very strong social ties that surround the sport.

Most teams even have a regular pub where all the players and many club supporters go after every game, whether they win or loose. Most clubs are more then just a sports team, most host many social events and act as a club for people from each County or city. The sport has the pureness of an amateur sports league but is watched and supported by the nearly the entire country and it is much like Australian rules football. Today, there is more then 2,500 clubs worldwide and an estimated 182,000 players. The sport in recent years has been able to thrive with a new emphasis on promoting the sport. However, in the early 14th century until 1527, there was a ban on all Gaelic games to reinforce the political power of the British. Again in the 1840’s it was a serious threat that the sport might be lost as the potato famine came and people did not have the energy to play the sport and many people were leaving the country. In recovery after the potato famine, the sport began to flourish. People in Ireland began to play the sport even more to show independence from England and now there were many Irish immigrants in North America and the sport began to spread.

Gaelic Football as a sport has developed and changed greatly through out its history from a brutally violent game to an amazingly fast paced and skillful sport. The modern game is played on a pitch that is 130m – 145m in length and 80m – 90m wide for 70 minute at senior level football and is broken down into two 35-minute halves (History of Gaelic Football, ¶ 7). The goal posts are 6.5m apart and a minimum of 7m tall with a crossbar at 2.5m and the goal is situated in the center of the goal line at either end of the field (History of Gaelic Football, ¶ 7). Players are given numbers 1-15 and their number is in accordance with their position. There are 3 full backs, 3 half backs, 2 midfielders, 3 half forwards, 3 full forwards and a goalie on each team and the game is played man-on-man style so you start the game next to the player you are marking and stay with them throughout the game. There are two ways to score points in Gaelic Football.

The first is to kick the ball past the goalie, which gets you 3 points, and the second way is to strike the ball either with your fist or your foot, and kick the ball over the crossbar and between the posts for 1 point. The type of ball used in Gaelic football is about the size of a soccer ball and slightly heavier. The ball can be carried in your hands for 4 steps and then you have to either get rid of the ball by striking it with your hand or kicking it or, to continue running with the ball, you can hop or solo the ball. A hop is bouncing the ball, and can only be used once in a row and the alternative is to solo the ball which is where you drop the ball to your foot and kick it back up to your self and this action can be repeated unlimited amounts of times in a row.

There is a large physical presence as well in Gaelic Football. It has toned down the brutality of the sport since its original, but hard contact made shoulder to shoulder when challenging for the ball is still a legal part of the game (Orejan, 2006). The sport of Gaelic Football has changed so much in many ways, but in others, it has remained very much the same. The game has developed into a fantastic sport that requires a lot of coordination and skill. And at the same time, the culture and social aspects of the sport are so much the same. The lack of professional athletes in the sport really brings a different aspect to the sport. Everyone plays for pride and respect from the County or city they grew up in and do there best to represent their people.

Biege, B. (2007). Gaelic Football – Gaelic Games – Sporting Events in Ireland. Ireland
Travel – Traveling to and in Ireland – Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland Vacations. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from http://goireland.about.com/od/specialinterestholidays/qt/gg_football.htm

Coughlan, C. (2001). History of Gaelic Football. About Gaelic Football. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from homepage.eircom.net/~lahardanemchales/about.html

History of Gaelic Football. Boston GAA. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from http://www.bostongaa.org/gaelic-games/history-of-gaelic-football.html

Orejan, J. (2006). The History of Gaelic Football and the Gaelic Athletic Association. The Sport Management and Related Topics Journal, 2(2), 45-50. Retrieved December 6, 2012, from http://www.thesmartjournal.com/GAA.pdf

Temertzoglou, T., & Challen, P. (2003). History of Physical Education and Sport. Exercise Science An Introduction to Health and Physical Education, 1,

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History of Gaelic Football. (2017, Feb 04). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/history-of-gaelic-football-essay

History of Gaelic Football
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