The popularity of Gaelic football continues to increase in Ireland and around the world. The sport is the most attended in Ireland, accounting for over 30% of all match attendances. According to a survey by Initiative’s viewer track in which 2,005 sports audiences were measured, Gaelic football had the highest profile. The survey showed the All-Ireland Football Final to be the most watched event in the sporting calendar of the country.
Gaelic football is played at three levels: minor (under 18), under 21, and adult. The sport is played by amateurs. However, high-level players can receive an income through sponsorship deals or grants. Players are picked from different teams around the country to play at the county or national level. The most popular competitions are the inter-county Senior Football Championship and the National Football League.
Gaelic football is an all-male team sport. Two teams of 15 players each compete on a rectangular grass pitch. A player scores by kicking or punching the ball into the other team’s goal. Each goal accounts for three points. A player may also score by kicking or punching the ball between two upright posts above the ground. Scoring through this way earns the team one point. To advance the ball towards the other team’s goal, players can carry, kick, bounce or passing the ball by hand. A team fields players in ways similar to football codes: a goalkeeper, six backs, two midfielders and six forwards. Additionally, teams are allowed a varied number of substitutes.
In Ireland, Gaelic football is controlled by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The association strictly forbids the receiving of any payment for services offered by coaches, managers, players and referees. However, the association does not ban players from receiving income from sponsors. While it has its headquarters in Ireland, GAA has other units operating in other countries where Gaelic football is played. Such countries include Great Britain, some nations in North America, and Australia. According to the rules of GAA, only male players are allowed to participate in the sport. However, female players are allowed to compete in the sport under the governance of the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association.
Gaelic football attracts an increasing number of fans around the world. The Croke Park in Dublin, which is the largest Gaelic Sports field in Ireland, draws more than 80,000 people to watch the final of All-Ireland Senior Championship. Moreover, the event attracts more television viewership than all other sporting matches throughout the year. The sport also continues to attract more people around the world. In the United States, Gaelic football is mainly hosted in Gaelic Park. The park, which is in New York, is the largest facility dedicated to Gaelic sports outside Ireland. The game is also popular in countries with Irish diaspora.
Gaelic football has experienced certain changes in the course of the last century. As its codes are broadly similar with those of Australian football, the game has evolved to accommodate international rules of football, hence becoming a hybrid sport.
The ever-rising popularity of Gaelic football makes it popular with sports betters. Gamblers have many options to wager on the game, with the most popular avenues being online casinos such as Captain Cooks Casino and Zodiac Casino.