You are here
Home > Gaelic Football for Beginners

What is Gaelic Football?

Gaelic Football is a team sport rooted in Irish tradition and one of the major sports governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) along with hurling, camogie, Gaelic handball, and rounders.

The modern version of the sport was codified in 1884 with the early foundation of the GAA.

Gaelic Football Gear and Equipment List

Learn more about where to buy the best Gaelic football equipment.

Gaelic Football

A special sphere-shaped leather ball known as a Gaelic football is used in this sport. While there are different sizes of Gaelic footballs used for different men’s, women’s, and youth competitions, the official rules state that a Gaelic football must weigh between 480 and 500 grams. This is typically slightly smaller than a soccer ball.

Gaelic Goalposts

There are two goalposts on either end of a Gaelic football pitch that each team is simultaneously trying to score against and defend. The Gaelic goalpost is H-shaped and features a net on the lower half beneath the crossbar. The sport of hurling also shares the same goalpost and pitch as Gaelic football.


Players wear cleats to get better traction while running across a Gaelic football pitch.


The only protective equipment required to play in most Gaelic football leagues is a mouthguard.

Where to Play Gaelic Football

Gaelic football is most commonly found in Ireland due to its Gaelic tradition. However, clubs also participate in other regions of the world, especially in areas with strong Irish heritage such as the United States and Canada.

USGAA maintains a list of active clubs on their website.

Rules of Gaelic Football

Visit the GAA website for more information on the official rules of how to play Gaelic football.


United States Gaelic Football