Gaelic football is played on a grassy field that is about 130 meters long and 90 meters wide with a large soccer type goal at each end of the field. The teams put 15 players on the field, 14 players in the game and also 1 goalie to make a total of 15 players, and the players can use kicking or hand passing the ball to get it from teammate to teammate. The objective of the game is to get the ball into the opposing team’s net and score more goals than your opponents do. Just like a standard soccer game the goalie in Gaelic football is required to wear a different color jersey than the rest of his teammates.
Gaelic football, like any sport, has its share of penalties and fouls. In Gaelic football you can use your foot, or more specifically your toe, to kick the ball up into your hands but you cannot reach down and pick the ball up off of the ground. Picking the ball up off of the ground is a penalty. If you take more than four steps without passing the ball or bouncing the ball back to yourself then that is a penalty. In the same vein, if you bounce the ball twice in a row then that is a penalty as well. You have to be always alert when playing Gaelic football as it is a penalty to switch the ball between your hands from left to right or right to left. If you are new to the game and not paying attention then some of these rules can really get confusing and cause you to make a lot of mistakes.
Score keeping in Gaelic football is also different than soccer. If the ball goes over the top of the crossbar, and gets by the goalkeeper, then it is one point. If the ball gets into the net by the goalkeeper then that is 3 points. When they keep Gaelic football score they list the number of goals and then the number of times the ball went over the crossbar. The format for the score keeping is number of goals – number of times over the crossbar. So if a team scores one goal and throws the ball over the crossbar 9 times then the score would be 1 – 9 which is 12 points (one goal is three points remember). It takes a little while but once you get used to it Gaelic football can be quite exciting.