Gaelic Football is played on a pitch approximately 137m long and 82m wide. The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one.
The ball used in Gaelic Football is round, slightly smaller than a soccer ball. It can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or "hand-passed", a striking motion with the hand or fist. After every four steps the ball must be either bounced or "solo-ed", an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. To score, you put the ball over the crossbar by foot or hand / fist for one point or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or the hand / fist in certain circumstances for a goal, the latter being the equivalent of three points.
Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows: One goalkeeper, three full-backs, three half-backs, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards. The actual line out on the playing field is as follows:
Goalkeepers may not be physically challenged whilst inside their own small parallelogram, but players may harass them into playing a bad pass, or block an attempted pass.
Teams are allowed a maximum of three substitutes in a game. Players may switch positions on the field of play as much as they wish but this is usually on the instructions of team officials.
Officials for a game comprise of a referee, two linesmen (to indicate when the ball leaves the field of play at the side and to mark '45'' free kicks and 4 umpires (to signal scores, assist the referee in controlling the games, and to assist linesmen in positioning '45' frees).
A goal is signalled by raising a green flag, placed to the left of the goal. A point is signalled by raising a white flag, placed to the right of goal. A '45'/'65' is signalled by the umpire raising his/her outside arm. A 'square ball', when a player scores having arrived in the 'square' prior to receiving the ball, is signalled by pointing at the small parallelogram.
|What is that gentleman by the goalpost doing? He appears to be blocking photographers viewing
thus preventing them from capturing a precious moment in time.
He belongs, as does his counterpart who covers the opposite upright of the same net. These two gentlemen are acting as officials but have taken some liberties on this day's play. Such officials typically wear white coats and each is required to cover a goalpost. Their positioning is to ensure that an "over or under the bar" score is fairly and faithfully earned. Flags are waved to to signify such scoring, a white flag signals a point, and a green flag to signify a goal having been scored. The geometry involved in a high dropping ball that is deemed to be "over the bar " or one that "has gone wide" of its mark, necessitates those with a keen sense, spatial acumen. Maybe in time a beam positioned, aimed towards the heavens can more precisely detect close call situations..
|More Gaelic Game Material|