Gaelic Football is a field game which has developed as a distinct game similar to the progression of Australian Rules. It is thought that Australian Rules evolved from Gaelic Football through the many thousands who were either deported or emigrated to Australia from the middle of the nineteenth century. Gaelic Football is played on a pitch approximately 137m long and 82m wide. The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch, with the crossbar lower than a rugby one and slightly higher than a soccer one.
The ball used in Gaelic Football is round, slightly smaller than a soccer ball. It can be carried in the hand for a distance of four steps and can be kicked or hand passed (not thrown). 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. To score, you 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.
Each team consists of fifteen players, lining out as follows: One goalkeeper, three fullbacks, three halfbacks, two midfielders, three half-forwards and three full-forwards.
Goalkeepers may not be physically challenged whilst inside the goal square, but players may harass them into playing a bad pass, or block an attempted pass.
Officials for a game comprise of a referee, two linesmen (to indicate when the ball leaves the field of play at the side and to mark '45'' free kicks and 4 umpires (to signal scores, assist the referee in controlling the games, and to assist linesmen in positioning '45' frees).
A goal is signalled by raising a green flag, placed to the left of the goal. A point is signalled by raising a white flag, placed to the right of goal. A '45' is signalled by the umpire raising his/her outside arm. A 'square ball', when a player scores having arrived in the 'square' prior to receiving the ball, is signalled by pointing at the small parallelogram.
In Melbourne there are five football teams which train in and around the city. All welcome new players of all abilities. So contact a club today to find out more.