Football and hurling pitches are big, but did you ever wonder exactly how long a GAA pitch is?
Well, there’s no exact answer as most pitches vary in size but generally – and officially – the field of play has to be between 130m-145m long and 80m-90m wide.
In comparison to other field sports, the pitch in Croke Park is nearly twice the size of a conventional soccer pitch at 15,000m2 – covering 145m by 88m wide.
However, not all pitches are that size with most fluctuating between the regulations, often on a game-by-game basis too.
We’ll explain further down.
How long is a GAA Pitch – the layout
The field of play, or pitch, should be rectangular and measure between 80 and 90 meters in width and 130 to 145 meters in length. For younger players, it can be lowered.
At 13 meters, 20 meters, and 45 meters from each end line, a set of lines are drawn across the pitch.
For hurling, a second marking is made at 65 meters.
On the sidelines, flags are used to denote these lines as well.
A 10 m long line that runs parallel to the end lines is also present in the centre of the pitch.
Each goal has two rectangles delineated in front of it.
The larger one is 19m by 13m, while the smaller one measures 14m by 4.5m.
The 20-meter line is marked with a semicircle in the middle, and the area where substitutions must be performed is designated 5 meters on either side of the center line.
The entire ball must cross the perimeter line before it is deemed out of play because all lines are a part of the region they define.
The goal is 6.5 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, and the posts should rise at least 7 meters to form an H.
Are all GAA Pitches the same size?
No they are not and getting definitive answers can be difficult.
Often a pitch is perceived as being a ‘smaller pitch’ when in fact the official size would suggest different.
How it looks on the eye, the size of the sideline and its surroundings such as stands often influence how big or tight the pitch is perceived.
Plus, we all know instances of crafty managements and groundsmen tightening the pitch size to try and influence the opposing team or shut them down!
In terms of well-known county grounds, the ones in which claim to use the full space are Cusack Park, Ennis; MacCumhail Park, Donegal; Pearse Stadium, Galway; O’Connor Park, Offaly; Semple Stadium in Tipp; and Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
The tightest inter-county grounds include St Conleth’s Park, Kildare with measures only 135m x 80m.
But again, the layout of the ground often makes a pitch look bigger or smaller.
If the stands and terraces are closer to the pitch and the crowds are big, the atmosphere will make the pitch seem even smaller and condensed.
While a large empty stadium make a pitch look huge on TV, which is often the case with Croke Park which looks gigantic due to the camera positioning.
Gaelic football and hurling are a religion in Ireland, but you’d be surprised with the amount of people that still ask what does the GAA stand for?
There is a lot of global interest in the organisation at the moment so many people outside of Ireland are beginning to become interested in our native sport and its governing body.
Here it is.
The GAA stands for the Gaelic Athletic Association of Ireland and it is Ireland’s largest sporting organisation. It remains and is widely celebrated as one of the great amateur sporting associations in the world.
It plays a huge and influential role in the Irish society and its impact extends way beyond the promotion of Gaelic games.
Below, we will explain more.
When was the GAA founded?
It was established on November 1, 1884, at a gathering in Thurles, County Tipperary, by a group of intrepid Irishmen who had the wisdom to recognise the significance of creating a national organisation to make sports more accessible to the general public and to revive and nurture traditional, indigenous sports and pastimes.
Only the wealthy and aristocracy were primarily permitted to engage in real athletic participation at that period.
Up until that point, emigration, extreme poverty, and foreign influences had progressively eaten away at everything that made Ireland unique.
After that illustrious first gathering, GAA clubs sprang up all throughout Ireland within six months, and people started playing hurling and Gaelic football before competing against each other in tournaments and with pride.
The Association GAA now collaborates with sister organisations, such as the LGFA and Camoige, to develop Ladies Football and Camogie in addition to Gaelic sports including Hurling, Football, Handball, and Rounders.
The Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives.
Mayo GAA Kit Launch 2022/23 – Press Release |Friday 30th September 9am.
INTERSPORT Elverys together with the Mayo GAA county boards and O’Neills officially unveiled the new home kit today at the home of Mayo GAA – Hastings Insurance MacHale Park. The new kit will be worn by Mayo GAA, Mayo LGFA, and Mayo Camogie teams from underage to senior level and for the first time each code is featured together in the launch campaign.
Intersport Elverys aims to help connect more people with sport. In GAA, our county teams represent pride and passion. It’s the dedication and commitment of players and supporters that is always inspiring others to grow our national games.
The new-look jersey returns to the bottle green that served Mayo football well between 2012 and 2018, while adding a silicone badge and three stripes to modernise the strip. It features a stripped-back, clean design that honours the traditional colours of green and red, while continuing to be one of the most recognisable jerseys for Irish people around the globe.
The jersey also includes the Portwest sponsor logo on the men’s and ladies football jerseys.
The home jersey is available to purchase from today at Intersport Elverys stores nationwide or online atElverys.ieThe jersey is also available for purchase atwww.oneills.com. The LGFA, Camogie and Goalkeeper kits will be available for pre-order from today.
Seamus Touhy, Mayo GAA Chairman, said,“We are grateful for the ongoing support of our title sponsor Intersport Elverys and look forward to the release of our new jersey which also features our commercial partners Portwest. Our partnership with Intersport Elverys has developed over many years and look forward to working with Intersport Elverys in the years to come. Their support has been a key pillar in highly competitive performances of our Mayo teams. Mayo’s loyal supporters have been instrumental over the years and Mayo GAA are sincerely indebted for this support as we look forward to the season ahead”
Philip Staunton, Head Teamsports Buyer Intersport Elverys, commented,“Intersport Elverys is delighted to be entering our 26thseason supporting Mayo GAA. The journeys and adventures we’ve had with players and supporters since 1998 has been the greatest pleasure and we look forward to the latest chapter of our partnership. We take great pride being based in the beating heart of Mayo with our expanding Head Office in Castlebar and four stores county-wide that intertwine us with the local community and understand what Gaelic Games mean in Mayo.The responsibility of being the chosen destination for young footballers, hurlers, and camogie players to try on the Mayo shirt they aspire to wear at senior level is an honour for Intersport Elverys. We wish all teams well this coming season.”
Mayo LGFA Chairperson Declan Kennedy, has said,“Once again Mayo LGFA are delighted to come together with Mayo GAA and Mayo Camoige to launch this jersey together with our title sponsor Intersport Elverys who have supported us over the past number of years. We are also boosted by the fact that Portwest are continuing their support of Mayo LGFA and will be featured on this new jersey. It is positive to have successful Mayo businesses backing Mayo LGFA both on and off the field while also working tirelessly to unite our supporters who are the foundation of our organisation. We’re thankful to all our supporters, including our generous sponsors, who are as passionate about the sport as we are. Here’s to 2023 in the Green and Red!”
Rosemary Smith, Mayo Camogie Chairperson, said“We are excited to enter 2023 our third year playing at adult level. We are extremely grateful for all the ongoing support from Mayo GAA along with Intersport Elverys and Portwest – both proud Mayo and global businesses. Camogie is a growing sport in Mayo, we have had great success this year and look forward to continuing to grow our sport and represent the red and green of Mayo with pride.”
From Portwest Rachel Davoren, Managing Director of Portwest Ireland, commented,‘We are delighted to see the launch of the second iteration of the Mayo jersey with Portwest across the back. The partnership has been really positively received by our customers and colleagues alike and we look forward to continuing to work with Mayo GAA and Intersport Elverys on this. It has led to some great initiatives, such as our current Play for a Day Campaign which allows primary school children to be in with a chance to win a training session with Mayo GAA senior players. Community projects such as this one are why we got involved in the first place, as the GAA brings so much to the community within Mayo and Portwest are proud to help develop this alongside them.’
Enda Doherty, Marketing Manager from O’Neills, has said,“We’re proud to produce the Mayo jersey for the 2023 season. There is always a great demand for the Mayo jersey, and everyone is aware of the huge passion for Gaelic Games in the county and the Mayo diaspora across the world. We’re proud to produce a jersey that is eye-catching, which we know will be worn with pride by players and supporters alike, in an exciting time for the county.”
30 September 2022; Tommy Conroy, Kathryn Sullivan, Keith Higgins, Padraig O’Hora pictured at McHale Park at the reveal of the new Mayo GAA 22/23 home kit. The jersey is available to purchase from Friday, September 30th from the official retail partner of Mayo GAA, Intersport Elverys. Purchase online at www.elverys.ie and in selected stores nationwide. The jersey is also available for purchase at www.oneills.com.
The Mayo GAA home jersey is now available at Intersport Elverys with the Mayo LGFA, Camogie & Goalkeeper jersey now available for Pre-Order.
The hurley may slip in your hands while playing if the grip wears off over time from use. Peel the covering entirely off the grip by pulling one end of it away from the handle.
If the hurley feels sticky or looks to be dirty, clean it before adding the new grip tape.
With a cotton ball coated in alcohol, clean the ash.
Alternately, rub the hurley with a dampened towel that has been lightly soaped; then, using a fresh, damp washcloth or rag, remove the soap off the handle.
Start by rolling out the tape or wrap and take ff the backing at the narrow end to reveal the sticky side of the grip.
Pull about half of the backing off first and make sure you start at the narrow/tapered end of the grip.
If you’re right handed, generally people will hold the tape in their right hand and the hurley in the opposite.
Some like to tuck the hurley underneath their left armpit for security or some will hold it vertically.
With the tapered end, stick the grip about half way up the butt of the hurley and start to wrap the grip around the back or the top of the hurley towards the back of the butt with a little stretch in the grip.
Keeping a good stretch on the grip, you then want to overlap the point where you stuck it the hurley, before bringing it back around just below the top of the hurley.
Next circle you want to just slightly overlap the part where you started, making sure you keep a good stretch on the grip at all time.
Overlap around ¾ of the first layer as you work your way down the hurley.
The second turn overlap a half and gradually phase it out.
Keeping a good stretch all the time on the grip, you want to barely overlap each layer of the grip as you circle it around the handle of the hurley.
The most important part here is to keep a good stretch on the grip and ensure you are barely meeting the grip already wrapped around.
Pull off the backing as you need to.
When you have finished unwrapping the full grip on the hurley, get a little bit of insulation tape to the secure the end of the grip onto the hurley.
For a full-length grip, you will get comfort right up at the butt of the hurley thanks to the overlapping method.
Wrap the grip over the hurley handle as smoothly as you can; bumps or separations can interfere with your grip on the paddle and may impair your performance during a game.
Practice makes perfect in gripping your hurley.
So take your time and make sure it’s correct, because there is nothing worse than finding out it’s not when you’re in the middle of a match.
Without doubt, one of the easiest decisions we had to make.
Cluxton will go down as the greatest GAA goalkeeper of all time, finishing up last year with eight All-Ireland medias to his name, captain for seven of those.
He was the great revolutionary of the goalkeeping position, transforming the requirements and expectations on modern-day goalkeepers to a more quarter-back role.
His kickouts and quick restarts, as well as his dead-ball accuracy, made his one of the most important cogs in the Dublin juggernaut.
Full Back line
2. Right Corner back: Keith Higgins (Mayo GAA)
The former Young Footballer of the Year retired with four All Stars but without that All-Ireland medal he came so close to achieving.
However, the Ballyhaunis GAA man was consistently excellent across two decades and on the biggest stage of them all.
Versatile enough to play anywhere on the pitch if required, Higgins really made his name as a man-marking corner back who could punish teams on the front foot with his electric pace.
3. Full Back: Seamus Moynihan (Kerry GAA)
The Kerry star was a colossus defender, finishing his career with four Celtic Crosses and three All Stars, being considered as one of the greats.
Comfortable at centre back or full back, Moynihan was a complete package – renowned for his marking, football ability, strength, and pace.
Although he retired from inter-county football in 2006 and played much of his football during the 1990s, Moynihan could not be omitted from the team.
4. Left Corner Back: Marc Ó Sé (Kerry GAA)
The youngest of the Ó Sé brothers had some competition here, with Mick Fitzsimons, Philly McMahon and Johnny Cooper all unlucky not to be picked.
But as a former Footballer of the Year and for his out-and-out defensive qualities, the Kerry man gets the nod.
Often underappreciated compared to his brothers, Tomás and Darragh, Marc was consistency personified during the past two decades.
He won his last All-Ireland with Kerry in 2014 before calling it a day two years later.
There never anything too swashbuckling about him, but he did all the basics at the highest of quality and that is crucial.
Half Back line
5. Left Wing Back: Lee Keegan (Mayo GAA)
Mayo’s greatest player of all time, Lee Keegan is also the highest scoring defender of all time with 6-40 in championship football.
The Westport GAA man made his name as an explosive and attack-minded wing back, before adapting to a man marking corner back later in his career.
In Mayo’s biggest days, Keegan has been able to negate the opposition’s best player while also hurting them at the other end.
Footballer of the Year in 2016, there ill never be another Lee Keegan.
6. James McCarthy (Dublin GAA)
A Rolls Royce football, McCarthy was a pivotal figure in Dublin’s six-in-a-row winning team.
Comfortable in midfield and in the half forward line, McCarthy’s best position is in the half back line where his physicality, presence, calmness on the ball and explosiveness make him a huge threat.
A four-time All Star, the Ballymun star is widely and rightly considered as one of the best footballers the game has ever seen.
Karl Lacey of Donegal GAA can feel hard done by, but the competition in the half back line was simply immense.
7. Jack McCaffrey (Dublin GAA)
Watching Jack McCaffrey in full flight is something special and his goal against Kerry in the 2019 All-Ireland Final was him at his best.
Making his championship debut in 2013, McCaffrey won the Footballer of the Year award in 2015 and received a second nomination in 2018.
His electrifying pace destroyed so many teams throughout his years, while his attacking threat and defensive skills improved year-on-year.
One of the greatest wing backs ever.
8. Midfield: Brian Fenton (Dublin GAA)
Fenton is midfield and Gaelic football royalty – arguably the greatest midfielder of all time, and we don’t say that lightly.
Genius when in possession and a trojan workrate when in not, Fenton was an inspirational figure for Dublin during their famous campaign playing in every minute of the six-in-a-row.
Amazingly, the Raheny GAA man didn’t lose his first game in a Dublin jersey until 2021 and to date has five All Stars to his name.
A Footballer of the Year award is coming down the road.
9. Midfield: Darragh Ó Sé (Kerry GAA)
No midfield could be complete without this towering Kerryman.
The second of the Ó Sé brothers to make this team, Darragh was the engine room and midfield dynamo of the great Kerry team during the noughties.
Powerful on the ground and dominant in the air, Ó Sé was also an excellent kickpasser and much of his great play involved supplying quality ball to a dangerous attack.
He retired in 2010 with four All Stars and six All-Ireland titles.
Half Forward Line
10. Right Half Forward: Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin GAA)
Much maligned at times during his career for various incidents not involving a football, there is no doubting the class of Diarmuid Connolly.
On his day there was few, if any, who could match the sheer level of skill and the effortlessness of how he executed those skills than Connolly.
Many say his return of only two All Stars is an indication of how he was perceived by the public and media due to his discipline issues.
However, you can’t deny his ability.
11. Centre Forward: Ciaran Killkenny (Dublin GAA)
A star touted from an early age, Kilkenny went on to surpass even those expectations.
Tempted to a career in the AFL during his late teens, the Castleknock GAA man opted to throw his hand in with his native county and how that worked out for all parties!
He has been a mainstay in the all-dominant Dubs’ team for his industry in the half forward line and his scoring ability.
Named Player of the Year in 2021, Kilkenny is still only 28 years-old and has many more years ahead of him.
12. Left Half Forward: Séan Cavanagh (Tyrone GAA)
Although not in his most natural position here, it was impossible to leave out Séan Cavanagh from this team.
A box-to-box midfielder in his early years, before adapting as a deadly full forward, Cavanagh inspired his native Tyrone to three All-Ireland titles.
He also captained Ireland at the International Rules Series, Cavanagh was a stylish attacker who won Player of the Year in 2008.
Full Forward Line
13. Right Corner Forward: Colm Cooper (Kerry GAA)
How ‘The Gooch’ never won a Footballer of the Year award is almost unfathomable.
Maybe he was a victim of his own consistent brilliance, of which is evident in winning a ridiculous eight All Star awards and kicking Kerry to five All-Irelands.
The Dr Crokes GAA clubman hit a massive 23-283 in his 85 senior appearances for Kerry.
14. Full Forward: Michael Murphy (Donegal GAA)
Although deployed all over the field throughout his career with Donegal, Murphy’s best position is on the edge of the square.
Without him, Donegal would not have won the All-Ireland title in 2012 and been as consistently competitive as they have been.
His goal against Mayo in the 2012 All-Ireland final was sensational and he has captained Donegal to five Ulster titles.
Donegal’s best ever.
15. Left Corner Forward: Conor McManus (Monaghan)
The last place on the team was the most difficult to pick.
Close runners include the championship’s all time leading scorer Cillian O’Connor, Bernard Brogan, Peter Canavan and Con O’Callaghan, however, it’s hard to look McManus.
Although he never competed in an All-Ireland Final, McManus was a mesmerising forward on his day and, at times, looked unmarkable.
A three-time All Star, shone bright on a team that has been fighting far above their weight during this era and we just couldn’t leave him out.
We know we’ve left some superstars out of our team and some can feel really hard done by.
But the standard was incredible and there’s certainly an alternative XV that could be picked!