Gaelic Football

Gaelic football is a traditional Irish ball game. 

Gaelic football is one of the few remaining strictly amateur sports in the world, with players, coaches, and managers prohibited from receiving any form of payment.   

The All Ireland football final (yet to be won by Mayo)  is usually attended by over 80,000 people each September.  It is one of four sports (Football, Hurling, Camogie and Handball) controlled by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) which is the largest sporting organisation in Ireland.  Under the GAA, football is a male-only sport. 

A  related sport of ladies Gaelic football is governed by the Ladies  Gaelic Football Association.

The first reference to football in Ireland was in 1308 and the later Statute of Galway in 1527 allowed football and archery but banned Hurling.  In 1670 the first references to catching and kicking in football was recorded but in 1695 the game was banned under the Sunday Observance Act .  In 1712 the first inter county match was recorded as being between Meath and Louth.  

In 1887 the first codified set of rules were established for Gaelic football.  The GAA sought to promote traditional Irish sports, such as hurling and to reject foreign (particularly English) games such as soccer and rugby. The restrictions on playing other sports by GAA members have now been eased  or eliminated.  

Two teams of 15 players play for 60 minutes using a round leather ball on a rectangular pitch which is 130 to145 metres long and 80 to 90 m wide. At each long end there are two goal posts that are 6 to 7 meters apart  and a cross bar at a height of 2.5 meters. When a team gets the ball over the bar (but between the goal posts) they score a point which equals 1 point. If the ball passes under the bar (but between the goal posts) the team gets a goal that counts as 3 points.