In Ireland many sports, such as rugby union, Gaelic football and hurling, are organized in an all-island basis, with a single team representing the island of Ireland in international competitions. Other sports, such as soccer, have separate organising bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. At the Olympics, a person from Northern Ireland can choose to represent either the Great Britain team or the Ireland team. Also as Northern Ireland is a Home Nation of the United Kingdom it also sends a Northern Ireland Team to the Commonwealth Games every four years.
Gaelic football (Irish: Peil Ghaelach; short name Peil or Caid), commonly referred to as football or Gaelic, is an Irish team sport. It is a form of football derived from traditional Irish ball games. It is played between two teams of 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. The objective of the sport is to score points by passing the ball through the other team's goals (3 points) or a set of two upright posts separated by a crossbar 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) above the ground (1 point).
Hurling (Irish: Iománaíocht/Iomáint) is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic and Irish origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for over 3,000 years, and is considered to be the world's fastest gameplay sport. One of Ireland's native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, number of players, and much terminology. There is a similar game for women called camogie (camógaíocht). It shares a common Gaelic root with the sport of shinty (camanachd) which is played predominantly in Scotland.
Camogie (Irish: camógaíocht; formerly called camoguidheacht) is an Irish stick-and-ball team sport played by women; it is almost identical to the game of hurling played by men. Camogie is played by 100,000 women in Ireland and worldwide, largely among Irish communities. It is organised by the Dublin-based Camogie Association or An Cumann Camógaíochta.
Gaelic football is one of four sports (collectively referred to as the "Gaelic games") controlled by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the largest sporting organisation in Ireland. Along with hurling and camogie, Gaelic football is one of the few remaining strictly amateur sports in the world, with players, coaches, and managers prohibited from receiving any form of payment. Gaelic football is mainly played on the island of Ireland, although units of the Association exist in other areas such as Great Britain and North America.
Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of attendance, with the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, held at Croke Park, Dublin, drawing an attendance of 82,300 people. Outside of Ireland, football is mainly played amongst members of the Irish diaspora. Gaelic Park in New York City is the largest purpose-built Gaelic sports venue outside of Ireland. Three major football competitions operate throughout the year: the National Football League and the All-Ireland Senior Championship are operated on a county basis, while the All-Ireland Club Championship is contested by individual clubs. The All-Ireland Senior Championship is run as a knock-out competition, with the top two counties meeting in the All-Ireland Football Final, considered the most prestigious event in Gaelic football.
Under the auspices of the GAA, Gaelic football is a male-only sport; however, the related sport of ladies' Gaelic football is governed by the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association. Similarities between Gaelic football and Australian rules football have allowed the development of international rules football, a hybrid sport, and a series of Test matches has been held regularly since 1998.