Ladies Gaelic Football is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the last decade in Ireland and is now expanding at a rapid pace overseas.
In the United States, Ladies Gaelic Football is played by teams of 13 on a rectangular grass field with H-shaped goals at each end. Most adult games in the United States are played over 60 minutes divided into two 30 minute halves. Teams are allowed a maximum of five substitutes in a game. The goal posts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch except there is a net similar to soccer goals beneath the crossbar. The goal is guarded by a goal keeper similar to soccer or hockey.
The ball used in Ladies Gaelic Football is round and slightly smaller than that used in men’s Gaelic Football. It can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or “hand-passed”, a striking motion with the hand or fist. After every four steps the ball must be either bounced or “solo-ed”, an action of dropping the ball onto the foot and kicking it back into the hand. You may not bounce the ball twice in a row. Players advance the ball up the field with a combination of carrying, soloing, kicking and hand-passing to their team-mates.
To score, you must put the ball over the crossbar by foot or hand/fist for one “point” or under the crossbar and into the net by foot or the hand/fist in certain circumstances for a “goal”, the latter being the equivalent of three points. The team with the highest score at the end of the game wins.
Although most of the rules of the game are parallel to those for men’s Gaelic football, there are some notable differences. The most important of which is that all deliberate bodily contact is forbidden except when “shadowing” an opponent, competing to catch the ball, or blocking the delivery of the ball.
Please refer to the video below for a quick introduction or a more detailed explanation of the game here.