Campus Celebrity: BC Gaelic Football Team

First things first, what is Gaelic football?

Gaelic football is one of the national sports of Ireland whose governing organization, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), was established in 1884, though the sport had been played for many centuries prior.  The game itself, as the BC captains told me, is a mixture of soccer, rugby, and handball, using volleyball and basketball moves as well.  The point of the game is to score either in the goal, like a soccer goal, for three points or through the uprights, like a field goal in football, for one point.  You can move down the field by soloing the ball to yourself, sort of like soccer juggling, and can pass to a teammate by kicking the ball or hand passing, similar to an underhanded volleyball serve. It sounds like a lot, but it is very easy to pick up! I’ve even set foot on the pitch a few times myself.

We have this at BC?

Yes! Gaelic football was started at Boston College in the spring of 2011, and a year later they had their first match against a football club from Connecticut.  Last fall they played in their first intercollegiate match against St. Joseph’s of Philadelphia, and since then have participated in numerous other matches and tournaments.  As an extension of the Irish Society, the Gaelic football team, which is co-ed, practices weekly on the Brighton rugby pitch and is always looking for new players.  Absolutely no experience is necessary, captains Eoghan McCarthy and Kellan Etter, both A&S seniors, tell me, and everyone is welcome to come to any of the practices to see what Gaelic football is all about and to give it a shot.  The best way to find out practice times and other info is to like “Eagles GAA” on Facebook.

What is next for the team?

With their new membership in the National Collegiate GAA, the team hopes to become a club sport in the near future.  This would help out with getting field time and monetary aid for equipment and transportation to matches and would hopefully increase participation and support across campus.  This coming Saturday, the team will participate in the Northeast Collegiate GAA tournament in Glastonbury, Connecticut.  They will play teams from Iona, Fordham, Stony Brook, and St. Joe’s. Later this year, they plan to participate in the NCGAA tournament in New York City over Memorial Day weekend.  This is very exciting because they will get to play college teams from around the country, and hopefully win the national championship!

HC BC wishes them the best of luck this weekend and beyond! Go Eagles!

Members of this year’s team at a tournament earlier this semester.


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