Gaelic Football Rules
Gaelic football is almost like a combination of basketball, soccer
and rugby and yet very different. The game often draws comparisons with Aussie Rules Football. It is a fast paced
game that takes skill, courage and strategy.
Gaelic football is played with fifteen players, thirteen in the US.
There is a goalkeeper, midfielders, defenders and forwards.
The object of the game is to score points. A ball propelled
over the crossbar is worth one point; under the bar in the net as in soccer is worth three points. The team with the
most ponuts at the end of the hour long match is the winner.
The ball may not be picked up directly from the ground; it may not
be thrown. The ball may be propelled by handpassing: a clear striking motion with the hand, or by kicking the ball.
To run down the pitch with the ball you must 'solo' (that is drop
the ball and flick it back up with the top of the foot) or bounce the ball every four paces. You are not allowed to
bounce on the ground twice consecutively.
Tackling is the same as soccer or basketball. Basically you
can only tackle for the ball, shoulder charges allowed.
The other Gaelic games include hurling, (iomain
in Irish) which is akin to field hockey. The rules are very similar to Gaelic football. It is the third most popular
sport in Ireland, just after soccer.
Rounders is a game that is very similar to baseball;
in fact it is the prognieter of the national American game. It is not as widely played as football or hurley.
The Red Branch Mythology
The name Red Branch is derived from the ancient warrior elite of Ulster, the
northern province of Ireland.
The Red branch served the king of Ulster to protect their territory from foreign mauraders
and rival Irish clans. For centuries Ulster dominated Ireland because of the Red Branch champions.
The greatest champion of the Red Branch was the glorious Cuchulain, who single handedly
defended his province from Queen Medb's invading army of Connaught. The rest of the Ulstermen were under a curse that
incapacitated them for a few weeks. Cuchulain, being half god, was not effected!
When Cuchulain recieved a mortal blow during his brave defense of his land, he tied himself
to a standing stone rather than fall before his enemies.
The doomed rising of 1916 was often compared to the Hound of Ulster and a statue of Cuchulain
was eventually erected where the rising took place in the General Post Office of Dublin, Ireland.