The Gaelic Games
Gaelic games are the core of the Washington DC Gaels. We field teams in both hurling and football in both men's and women's codes, playing within the Mid-Atlantic division against teams in Baltimore, Richmond, and Coastal Virginia.
For those that have neither seen nor heard of hurling, it can perhaps best be explained as a blend of lacrosse and field hockey. Played by teams of 15 on a pitch nearly twice the size of a football field, players use a stick with a flat end for striking to hit a small leather ball called a sliotar. Players must use the stick to lift the ball off the ground, then can carry it for a few steps before they have to pass it. You can pass with either the stick or by smacking the ball with the palm, called hand passing. Players score by firing the ball into the net past a keeper for three points, or over the uprights above the goal for one point.
Still doesn't make much sense? Watch a video of it here.
Gaelic football can be described as a blend of rugby, soccer, and volleyball. It's played on the same size field as hurling, but with a hard round ball similar to a volleyball. You can move the ball by carrying it for up to four steps, kicking it, or striking it with your hand. Players may not pick up the ball with their hands. The ball must be lifted off the ground with the feet. Just like in hurling, players score by striking the ball into the goal for three points or hitting it over the goal for one point. Players can shoulder check their opponent but hits from the front or behind are not allowed.
Still baffled by the idea? Watch a video of it here.
Camogie is very similar to hurling, but is played by women. Using a stick with a flat end, players strike the ball through the posts for one point or into a net past the keeper for three points. Camogie players must use the stick to rise the ball off the ground, and then can pass it with the stick or strike it with their palm. There are a few minor differences from the men's game, including that women can drop their hurls when they hand pass and are able to handpass to score.
Camogie still a confusing concept? Watch a video of it here.
By now you've probably guessed that ladies football is probably about the same as Gaelic football and you would be correct about that. Players use a ball a bit like a hard volleyball to score points (above the crossbar) and goals (in the net). Just like in men's football, players can carry the football for a few steps but then must bounce it off the ground or their instep to carry the ball further down the pitch.
Need more clarity on the subject? Watch a video of it here.