To the Pitch!

While we did go on a few scenic day trips, we also spent several days just doing everyday stuff, like going to a Gaelic football game.  Compared to an American sporting event, one might describe this experience as “all business.”

You arrive at the pitch, pay your way in (no tickets), and go to the stands (or stand anywhere on the sidelines).  The “stands” have no seats, but are short, deep steps.  I would have expected seats, or some way of huddling up in the cold, but everyone just stands.  There were only a handful of women and children.  The fans took every play very seriously, showing great emotion.  What I noticed most was there were no phones out.  It seems I can’t go anywhere without seeing people on their phones, no matter how expensive or important the event.  No one looked at his phone.  Also, there was no eating.  They didn’t sell food (or anything else), and no one brought food.  With America making every spectator sport into an occasion for a beer, I expected to see the same in Ireland, but these fans seriously only watched the match.  It was over in an hour and everyone walked out immediately.  I’m used to the lingering socializing of American events, coming from the land of tail-gating.  It felt like we had just arrived, watched an hour of intense play and it was over.  Oh, and did I mention it was a tie?  It ended as a tie!  Everyone was content walking away from a tie!  I have no idea what the rules are, besides you can kick the ball or throw it, and there is a small goal or a large goal you can aim for.  It kinda looked like anything goes.  I’ll let the hubby take it from here, as he figured it out.

Ummm…  she kinda already explained it.  There’s a soccer-type goal with a goalie (3pts).  There’s a field-goal-type goal above it (1pt).  You can score in either from anywhere at any time using your hands or feet.  You can carry the ball but you have to either dribble (bounce off the ground) or drop kick it to yourself in alternating order.  You can pass by either kicking it or hitting it with your fist.  Tackling is a grey area.  It seemed like rugby in a way, but there was a line… though I’m not sure what the line was.  It was kind of an anything-goes type of game.  Non-stop, and very exciting and engaging to watch!

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