Thursday, August 29, 2019

History of Gaelic Football Essay

Gaelic Football has been a vital part of the Irish culture for many generations. It is a sport that brings together people in such a way that soccer does in Brazil, baseball in the U.S. and hockey in Canada. The history of Gaelic Football is very rich and passionate and even today is still an excellent display of national pride. The origins of the modern sport of Gaelic Football derive from the Irish sport of Hurling. Hurling has been a sport that has been played for over 4000 years ever since the first feast of Lunagsha in the Tailteann games (Orjan, 2006). The first known date for a Gaelic Football game was in 1670 in County Meath Ireland and the teams were 6-a-side (Orjan, 2006). They used many of the same rules of Hurling but used a larger, softer ball and no hurls. Every four steps, instead of bouncing the ball off their hurley, they would either bounce the ball or drop it to their foot and kick it back up again. The sport can be best described as a mixture of soccer and rugby. Games started to be played between counties in the early 18th century (Biege, 2007). The sport, in a completely different form, was played as far back as the 14th century and it was a very violent game. The game was played with many balls made of horsehide and involved hundreds of players and was over a great distance (Orjan 2006). The sport involved many stops for wrestling and fist fighting. The Irish some what of the same ideals as the romans that Trd Temertzoglou and Paul Challen quoted: â€Å"a sound minde in a sound body† (Exercise science, 2003, pg. 295,  ¶ 6) as they considered the game just as much an important social event as it was a sporting event and the would hold a large celebration after each match (Orjan, 2006). This sport was only well documented in County Kerry and was called Caid (Coughlan, 2001). In the modern sport of Gaelic Football, up until about 150 years ago, violence was a large part of the game (Couhlan, 2001). Even as the game became more and more structured and teams consisted of the same number of players and the game was played on a marked field with referees, violence was still widely accepted and fights were not interrupted. The sport has always had very strong social ties that surround the sport. Most teams even have a regular pub where all the players and many club supporters go after every game, whether they win or loose. Most clubs are more then just a sports team, most host many social events and act as a club for people from each County or city. The sport has the pureness of an amateur sports league but is watched and supported by the nearly the entire country and it is much like Australian rules football. Today, there is more then 2,500 clubs worldwide and an estimated 182,000 players. The sport in recent years has been able to thrive with a new emphasis on promoting the sport. However, in the early 14th century until 1527, there was a ban on all Gaelic games to reinforce the political power of the British. Again in the 1840’s it was a serious threat that the sport might be lost as the potato famine came and people did not have the energy to play the sport and many people were leaving the country. In recovery after the potato famine, the sport began to flourish. People in Ireland began to play the sport even more to show independence from England and now there were many Irish immigrants in North America and the sport began to spread. Gaelic Football as a sport has developed and changed greatly through out its history from a brutally violent game to an amazingly fast paced and skillful sport. The modern game is played on a pitch that is 130m – 145m in length and 80m – 90m wide for 70 minute at senior level football and is broken down into two 35-minute halves (History of Gaelic Football,  ¶ 7). The goal posts are 6.5m apart and a minimum of 7m tall with a crossbar at 2.5m and the goal is situated in the center of the goal line at either end of the field (History of Gaelic Football,  ¶ 7). Players are given numbers 1-15 and their number is in accordance with their position. There are 3 full backs, 3 half backs, 2 midfielders, 3 half forwards, 3 full forwards and a goalie on each team and the game is played man-on-man style so you start the game next to the player you are marking and stay with them throughout the game. There are two ways to score points in Gaelic Football. The first is to kick the ball past the goalie, which gets you 3 points, and the second way is to strike the ball either with your fist or your foot, and kick the ball over the crossbar and between the posts for 1 point. The type of ball used in Gaelic football is about the size of a soccer ball and slightly heavier. The ball can be carried in your hands for 4 steps and then you have to either get rid of the ball by striking it with your hand or kicking it or, to continue running with the ball, you can hop or solo the ball. A hop is bouncing the ball, and can only be used once in a row and the alternative is to solo the ball which is where you drop the ball to your foot and kick it back up to your self and this action can be repeated unlimited amounts of times in a row. There is a large physical presence as well in Gaelic Football. It has toned down the brutality of the sport since its original, but hard contact made shoulder to shoulder when challenging for the ball is still a legal part of the game (Orejan, 2006). The sport of Gaelic Football has changed so much in many ways, but in others, it has remained very much the same. The game has developed into a fantastic sport that requires a lot of coordination and skill. And at the same time, the culture and social aspects of the sport are so much the same. The lack of professional athletes in the sport really brings a different aspect to the sport. Everyone plays for pride and respect from the County or city they grew up in and do there best to represent their people. References Biege, B. (2007). Gaelic Football – Gaelic Games – Sporting Events in Ireland. Ireland Travel – Traveling to and in Ireland – Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland Vacations. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from Coughlan, C. (2001). History of Gaelic Football. About Gaelic Football. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from History of Gaelic Football. Boston GAA. Retrieved December 10, 2012, from Orejan, J. (2006). The History of Gaelic Football and the Gaelic Athletic Association. The Sport Management and Related Topics Journal, 2(2), 45-50. Retrieved December 6, 2012, from Temertzoglou, T., & Challen, P. (2003). History of Physical Education and Sport. Exercise Science An Introduction to Health and Physical Education, 1, 295

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.