Football & Hurling in Ireland

Gaelic Football

Gaelic Football and the sport of Hurling are very popular in Ireland. One might consider Gaelic football as a mixture of soccer, rugby and handball and it is played on a pitch similar in size to a rugby pitch with 15 players per team. The ball used for Gaelic Football is round and the goals are very similar to those of Rugby but you can score a goal as in soccer (worth 3 points) or a point by putting the ball over the bar. To score you can hit the ball with the foot, the hand or the fist.


Hurling is another team game, of ancient Gaelic origin, played with rules similar to Gaelic football. It is considered to be one of the world's fastest field team games and it shares a number of similarities with Gaelic Football, such as the size of the field, number of players, goals and points system etc. The players use a long narrow wooden stick called a hurley (approx 1m) to strike a small leather ball, called a 'sliotar'. It is compulsory for players to wear a plastic protective helmet with faceguard, but no other protective padding is worn.

Hurling and football are played in many corners of the world, particularly anywhere that members of the Irish diaspora work, meet and congregate.