20 Facts About Gaelic football


Gaelic football, commonly known as simply Gaelic, GAA or Football is an Irish team sport.

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Positions in Gaelic football are similar to those in other football codes, and comprise one goalkeeper, six backs, two midfielders, and six forwards, with a variable number of substitutes.

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Gaelic football is one of four sports controlled by the Gaelic Athletic Association, the largest sporting organisation in Ireland.

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Gaelic football is mainly played on the island of Ireland, although units of the Association exist in Great Britain, mainland Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

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Outside Ireland, Gaelic football is mainly played among members of the Irish diaspora.

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Three major Gaelic football competitions operate throughout the year: the National Football League and the All-Ireland Senior Championship operate on an inter-county basis, while the All-Ireland Club Championship is contested by individual clubs.

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Some accounts of traditional Irish Gaelic football come not from Ireland, but other colonies around the world, often to celebrate St Patrick's Day.

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Irish Gaelic football was played in the Colony of New Zealand in the 1860s and 1870s in Auckland during Thomas Croke's term as Archbishop there.

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Paddy Begley notes that in County Kerry in 1870 only soccer and rugby were played, although historian Paddy Foley notes that by 1874 a third, very different form of Gaelic football began to emerge and spread across South-West Ireland.

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Irish Gaelic football is a great game and worth going a long way to see when played on a fairly laid out ground and under proper rules.

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Irish historian Garnham, citing R M Peter's Irish Football Annual of 1880, argued that Gaelic Football did not actually exist prior to the 1880s and curious on the origin of the distinctive features was of the belief that clubs from England in 1868 most likely introduced elements of their codes including the "mark" and scoring by kicking between the upright posts.

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English Gaelic football started to take hold, especially in Ulster, in the 1880s.

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Irish Gaelic football however, continued its grip on the southern counties.

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The first Gaelic football rules, showing the influence of hurling represented the strong desire to differentiate from association football —for example in their lack of an offside rule.

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The dress for hurling and Gaelic football to be knee breeches and stockings and shoes or boots.

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Gaelic football spread throughout the world in the late 19th century.

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Ladies' Gaelic football has become increasingly popular with women since the 1970s.

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Positions in Gaelic football are similar to that in other football codes, and comprise one goalkeeper, six backs, two midfielders, and six forwards, with a variable number of substitutes.

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Gaelic football pitch is similar in some respects to a rugby pitch but larger.

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At the national level, Ireland's Gaelic football games are organised in 32 GAA counties, most of which are identical in name and extent to the 32 administrative counties on which local government throughout the island was based until the late 20th century.

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