Gaelic football alive and kicking in Taipei

The Taiwan Celts hosted St. Patrick's Day Gaelic football tournament at Banqiao Stadium

(By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, the Songshan Crokes croaked against the Guting Wolftones in the men's division, and the Da'an Kickems kicked around the Xindian Gaels in the women's division of Saturday's Gaelic Football Tournament at the Banqiao Stadium in New Taipei. 

The tournament, hosted by the Taiwan Celts Gaelic Athletic Association, consisted of 8 teams, 4 women's and 4 men's, who hailed from different parts of the greater Taipei area. 

Gaelic football is a sport that originated in Ireland and has an interesting set of rules that resembles a combination of soccer, rugby, basketball, and volleyball. Players run while carrying a ball in their hands (like rugby) for four steps before they must bounce the ball (like basketball), kick the ball (like soccer) to shoot or keep moving, or pass the ball by punching it with their hand (like volleyball). 

The main way of scoring is to either kick the ball into the goal, which generates three points, or to kick the ball over the crossbar, to gain one point. 

Teams competing at St. Patrick's Day Gaelic football tournament on Saturday. (Photo by Sean Carless)

The Taiwan Celts Gaelic Athletic Association has actually been organizing competitive Gaelic football events since 1995, and an Asia tournament was created in 1996 to include teams from other Asian countries with significant Irish expat populations such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. 

Player punting the ball like soccer or American football. 

Player runs with the ball like rugby. 

Player bounces the ball like basketball. 

Player kicks ball like soccer. 


Male player scoring a goal


Men's team player scores a point by kicking the ball over the crossbar.


Female athlete scores a goal.


Female player scores a point.