All You Need to Know About Gaelic Football


Gaelic football is an amateur team sport played mostly in Ireland and has been a popular and exciting form of athletic entertainment for over a century. One of the most widely played sports in the area, it holds similarities to rugby and soccer. If you’re hoping to learn more about the game for playing, watching or online betting, here is some background about Gaelic Football.

The History of Gaelic Football

While the game of Gaelic Football became official in the 1880s, its roots date back as far as generic football in the 14th century. Back then, many different forms of Irish football-type games went by the collective name caid. This term is still used today to refer to Gaelic Football. Since that time, the games have become more structured and popular. In fact, Gaelic Football is not only the most popular sport in the country, but is also the national sport of Ireland, along with hurling!

Gaelic Football Gameplay

Gaelic football is played with a ball that is slightly smaller than a soccer ball, with a goal of getting the ball either over or between rugby-style posts. Players have the option of kicking or throwing the ball, but can only travel a few steps in between without doing a form of dribbling called “soloing”. It’s a fast-paced and physical game with up to 30 men on the field at the time, certainly exciting to watch!

Gaelic Football Sport Betting

As with most sports, Gaelic football has a robust and active gambling scene. If you’re hoping to break into the big leagues with this popular activity, you need to know where to begin. First, look at the type of match. A championship match, for example, will likely hold more weight than a simple league one. The All-Ireland Championship is the largest inter-county event; with 32 counties participating and over 80,000 fans packing the stadium, it is sure to have some great betting opportunities. Fans of online gambling can also find useful bookmakers at various websites, offering live betting as well as betting services to help spectators make the best wagers.

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Most famous Gaelic football tournaments

RTE 2011 GAA Championship Coverage Launch 9/5/2011 The Sam Maguire Cup Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer *** Local Caption ***
RTE 2011 GAA Championship Coverage Launch 9/5/2011
The Sam Maguire Cup
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer *** Local Caption ***

Gaelic football tournaments are arguably the most attended sporting events in Ireland. Many people in Ireland attend Gaelic football matches from the children’s football level to elite level. If you are a fan of this game or if you want to bet for an upcoming match, you would most likely want to compare games from various eras. Doing so will enable you to determine which move is the most appropriate to make in a gambling site that offers Gaelic football betting.

Here are some of the most famous Gaelic football tournaments of all time:

1982 All-Ireland Final: Offaly 1 – 15 Kerry 0 – 17

This match was characterized by difficult conditions. Football was not always flowing. However, tension and drama were compensated for. The late goal by Seamus Darby that denied Kerry five-in-a-row as well as football immortality is still the most famous score by Croke Park.

1991 Leinster 1st round replay: Meath 2 – 10 Dublin 0 – 15

Just like the All-Ireland final of 1982, the storied conclusion of this tournament redeemed the quality that was lost in the third replay. A goal by Kevin Foley, courtesy of the move that took Croke Park’s length and a lead point by David Beggy condemned Dublin to their stunning defeat.

1994 Ulster Quarter-Final: Down 1 – 14 Derry 1 – 12

In the previous 3 years, three Ulster counties had shared the All-Ireland title in an unprecedented success sweep. Therefore, when an Ulster Championship draw paired two of these counties, it received a deserved billing. The tournament was attended by a crowd of 30,000 people in a refurbished Celtic Park. Clearly, they were not disappointed while watching the great pace game unfold. They enjoyed the wondrous exhibition by Mickey Linden who kicked 6 points while helping in setting up of the crucial goal by Ciaran McCabe which sealed their victory.

1997 Leinster semi-final replay: Meath 2 – 20 Kildare 3 – 17

The reputation of Meath for stirring comebacks was well founded after meeting Kildare for another time. But their performance during this tournament ranks higher in the list of famous Gaelic football tournaments. Meath came from 5 points down to force for extra-time after the late goal by Trevor Giles. However, even this was supplanted by their act which hauled them back to contention during the second extra-time period. 6 points down, Jody Devine super-sub led to firing over 4 points with Meath leading by one. The late equalizer by Paul McCormack concluded the dramatic day while prompting a second replay. Meath won the second replay.

1998 All-Ireland Final: Galway 1 – 14 Kildare 1 – 10

This tournament has been considered as the match that marked the game’s rebirth. It was after a torrid decade and wake of the demise of Kerry team. The tournament was characterized by a superior quality game through the scores of a carefree, youthful Galway team. The postmark of this tournament was the run by Michael Donnellan from his territory which led to the first-half point by Derek.

Whether you are a fan or a player, watching and re-watching clips from these tournaments and reading their analysis will give you invaluable insights into Gaelic football matches. For a gambler, the insights will guide you in predicting matches before you place your bets in online gambling site that offer Gaelic football betting.

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How to Play Gaelic Football


Gaelic football is mainly played in Ireland. A match of this fast-paced game involves two teams of 15 players each. The teams play on a rectangular, outdoors grass pitch with H-shaped goals. The main objective of the players is to score by striking or kicking the ball with their hands. A point is earned by hand passing or kicking the ball over the bar. To score a goal, a player must kick the ball into the mouth of the goal. The winner is the team that has the highest score at the time when the match ends. To advance a ball up in the field, players combine soloing, carrying, hand-passing and kicking to their team-mates.

Why Gaelic football is a good game

Gaelic football is seen as a cross between association football and rugby. This game builds your agility, awareness and stamina just like football and rugby. It also enhances the development of hand-eye coordination. Since a player is allowed to make four steps only with the ball, the entire team is heavily involved in the game. Although junior versions of this game are non-contact, physicality is a major aspect of this football in adults.

This game is becoming increasingly popular with fans taking to live Gaelic football betting in online gambling websites. Currently, there are betting markets for All-Ireland Gaelic Football Championships and top games in the National League. Basically, you can easily find odds for your team online.

How to play

As stated, the aim of the players is to get the gall to the pitch over the bar via a goal post or inside the net. A player is not allowed to run with a ball to get it to the net. After making four steps with the ball, a player should hand-pass it to another player, kick it, make a solo run or bounce it. As a player, you are also not allowed to throw the ball. Instead, you should kick-pass or hand-pass the ball. Kicking is used in passing the ball, scoring or making a special free kick. When shooting, passing or making a solo run you must be very careful because it is possible to be tackled.

Tackling is basically being hit the way players hit each other when playing the American football. You cannot pick up the ball from the ground if you lose it after being tackled. Once the ball gets down on the field, your team can attempt to shot it over the bar or the goal post to earn one point or into the net to earn three points. Perhaps, the most difficult Gaelic football skill is dropping the ball from your hand to your foot before you kick it back up to your hand. Players are allowed to make unlimited solo runs. Bouncing the ball consecutively is not allowed while running.

Gaelic football popularity

In Ireland, there are more than 2,500 football clubs. All-Ireland Championships draw 32 teams together for competitions every year. These clubs, the championships and gambling sites that are offering live Gaelic football betting are making this game increasingly popular all over the world.

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Fun facts about Gaelic Football

22 February 2012; Kraft Foods today announced the renewal of the Cadbury sponsorship of the GAA U21 Football Championship for another 3 years. The renewal builds on a successful 7 year partnership between Cadbury and the GAA which has seen the Championship go from strength to strength with greater TV coverage now than ever before and over 20,000 fans attending the final in Croke Park last year. At the launch of of the Championship are Under 21 footballers, Patrick McBrearty, Donegal, left, Michael Quinlivan, Tipperary, centre, and Cillian O'Connor, Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Gaelic football is one of the most popular sport in Ireland. It dates back to the 16th century. Each team has 15 players that can kick, pass or punch the ball but they are not allowed to throw it. Also, the players should not pick the ball from the ground, they can carry it for four steps after which it should be punched, kicked or bounced away. One point is gained for putting the ball over the bar while three points are gained when the ball is driven under the bar. Here are 6 fun facts about Gaelic football that you probably did not know

In 1992, a final match was delayed because a player broke a crossbar 

The final match in July, 1992, Roscommon took Mayo in McHale stadium in the Western province of Connaught. This game lives on because during the second half, as mayo were attacking their opponents, Enon Gavin, a Roscommon defender pulled down the crossbar breaking it in the process amid 21000 Gaelic fans who were in attendance leading to the delay of the match for close to an hour.

There is a curse that follows the Mayo Gaelic football team

This is a tale that has apparently been handed down through the mayo Gaelic football generations and it still rings through to this day.

In 1951 as the Mayo team was travelling to their county from a match in which they had won over Meath, 2-8 to 0-9, as legends claim, the team came across a funeral on the way to castlebar bury the deceased. The team bus took over the and as the tale goes, the widow of the deceased put a curse on the team so long as the members of the then team are still alive Mayo Gaelic football team will never win any Championship and they have never to this day.

Apparently, only one member of that team is still alive and he hides from the people of Mayo.

There is a GAA team based in the Arctic Circle

The Helsinki harps and the Oulu Irish Elks are the world’s most northerly based GAA teams. They are located almost 2100km from Dublin, GAA headquarters and they are the only two teams that play outside Finland.

Interestingly, most of their players do not come from Ireland. 50% of the players hail from Scandinavian state while the other are from Helsinki. The two sides made history in 2013, when they staged their first game in Oulu setting a record for Gaelic football played outside Ulster.

Xabi Alonso played can play Gaelic football

In mid 90s during an exchange program, relocated to kells in Meath to learn English where he was introduced to Gaelic football by the local kids. A champion’s league and world cup winner playing Gaelic football is just incredible.

There is a Gaelic football team based in Oman with 16 players all from different countries.

We do not get this too often. The captain of this team is Egyptian and the players are from countries such as Syria, Philippines and Jamaica.

Peter McDermott, a Gaelic football referee has won all Ireland Championship.

GAA relies on its members for a number of roles but they are quite strange. In 1953, Peter McDermott referred the all-Ireland finals between Armagh and Kerry wearing black in which Kerry won. The following year, he referred All-Ireland finals again in colors of his home county just like the Meath in which they took the title. Strange right?

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Basic Gaelic Football Rules & Techniques for New Gaelic Football Players


Gaelic football has been described as a mixture of rugby, soccer and basketball. However, despite the fact that it predates all these games Gaelic football has rules and techniques that new players should learn. This field game has evolved over the years and it is currently one of the most popular sports not only in Ireland but also in other parts of the world like Australia. More Gaelic football fans are also engaging in gambling activities for county players and clubs. This game has become increasingly popular in online gambling sites especially after the announcement of gambling guidelines by GAA and GPA.

Here are some of the major Gaelic football rules and techniques that new players should know:

Gaelic ball and field

Gaelic football is played using a round ball. This ball is heavier but slightly smaller than the soccer ball. The playing field has a rectangular shape. It measures about 82 meters wide and 137 meters long. The goal posts have the same basic shape with rugby goalposts. However, Gaelic football goalposts have a lower crossbar than that of ruby. They also have netting that is similar to that of soccer goalposts.


Players have two ways of scoring. Ideally, a player can score a point or a goal. A point is scored when a player hand-passes or kicks the ball and it goes over a crossbar and between uprights. In that case, a player earns his team one point. On the other hand, a goal can be earned when a player puts the ball under the crossbar as well as between uprights to earn three points. To accomplish this, a player kicks the ball in the control or possession of the attackers. A player can also accomplish this when the ball in the air is not in the possession of anyone and the attacker punches it into the net directly just like a volleyball spike.

A kick-out is usually taken from a 21-yard line when the attacking team is awarded a score.

General rules 

Players are allowed to carry the ball in their hands for a maximum of four steps only. The ball can be hand-passed or kicked. After making four steps, a player must solo or bounce the ball. Soloing is dropping the ball on your foot and kicking it back to your hand. Players are not allowed to bounce a Gaelic ball for two consecutive times. In male Gaelic football, players are not allowed to pick the ball from the ground directly. However, this may be allowed in ladies Gaelic football. The possession of the ball goes to the opposing team and a free is given from the foul point when a player picks the ball illegally from the ground.



A player may hand-pass the ball over a crossbar or to a teammate. This entails holding the ball with a single hand and striking it using the other hand. The striking motion must be clear to the referee because throwing is not allowed.


This technique is accomplished by carrying the ball for a maximum of four steps then bouncing it on the ground and back to the hands or kicking it.


Tackling entails blocking a kick, knocking the ball or jostling an opponent.

Learning the basic Gaelic football rules and techniques is important not just for new players. It is also crucial for the fans who want to engage in online gambling on websites that offer Gaelic football betting.

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