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Ireland's Sporting Passion - Gaelic Football

Mar 22, 2008
Gaelic football is a 15 a side ball and goal game and it does appear to be a cross between rugby and soccer. Although claimed to be as old as Hurling the first historical references to the game appear around 1527. The pitch is usually 137m long and 82m wide goal post at each end similiar in style to rugby post each side consist of three full forwards, three half forwards, two midfields and three half backs, three full backs and a goalkeeper.

Should a defender put the ball over its own end line the attackers are awarded a free kick from the 50 yard line. at a point opposite to where the ball crossed the line. Should a player put the ball across a side line the opposite side gets a free kick at the place where the ball crossed the line.

The goal area is based on the end line 13.72m by 4.57m and extends in front of the goal poast, should a defender foul in this area a penalty kick is awarded, like soccer only the penalty taker and the goalkeeper can be in the area until the kick is taken.

Gaelic football has no offside rule and players can play the ball on or off the ground with either the foot or the hand. A player cannot pick the ball up from the floor with his hand but he can chip it or lift with his foot. The ball may be passed by or punched with the closed fist, throwing is not allowed, a player in possession may carry the ball for four paces but must then bounce or hop it only one hop being allowed if the ball has been caught.

Players may carry the ball on a solo run if he either hops the ball every three steps, run in possession for as long as he wishes provided the ball has not been caught, he may also run providing he bounces the ball from toe to hand every four steps.

Pulling, pushing, tripping or elbowing an opponent is a foul, punishment is a free kick to the opposition. Rugby style tackles are also punished in the same way as frontal or a charge into the back, however shoulder charging is allowed and actively encourged by the crowd.

The referee controls the game with the assistance of four goal umpires two at each end, and a touch judge on each side line. The referee starts the game by throwing the ball between the midfield players at the beginning of each half. He is also the sole judge of the playing time. the game can last between 30 and 60 minutes each half there are two halves.

Scoring the ball must be kicked or punched between the posts and over the cross bar a goal is equal to 3 point
About the Author
Paul Edison invites you to check out his guides to other sports and betting at Play To Win.
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