Gaelic Football Phrase Book

Gaelic Football Phrase Book

Where to turn when you haven’t got a clue what the coach just said

The Irish people, or Gaeil’s, speak the Gaelic language. Unfortunately we can’t provide a translation service (although these people can).

More importantly, even when the Irish are talking a more familiar language, it can be just as confusing, especially to the new comer. So to try and help out, we’ve compiled a list of phrases that may come in handy when playing ‘peil ghaelach’ (Gaelic Football).

No. Phrase Explanation
1 Tackle Any attempt to dispossess, delay or divert an opponent within the Rules of Fair Play
2 Throw When the ball, held in the hand(s), is played away WITHOUT a definitive striking action
3 Block / Blocking the ball Use of the hand(s) to prevent the opponent from completing the pass or score
4 Solo / toe-tap To release the ball from the hand(s) to the foot and kick it back into the hand(s)
5 Hop / Bounce To play the ball against the ground with his hand(s) and back to his hand(s)
6 Pickup / Go down on the ball Bending down and lifting the ball either directly from the ground or by placing your foot under it first
7 Overcarry / Steps To take more than four steps while holding the ball in the hand(s)
8 Kick-out After a wide or score the goalkeeper resumes play with a kick-out
9 Fouling the ball Occurs when the player either 1) hops the ball twice or 2) throws the ball (handpass without a definite striking action) or 3) takes more than 4 steps with the ball without playing the ball or 4) passes the ball from one hand to another without one hand being in contact with the ball at all times. All cases result in a free kick for the opposition
10 Wide / wide ball When the ball goes over the endline without going between the posts (i.e. a score)
11 Sideline ball / line ball When the ball passes over the sideline, whichever team did NOT touch the ball last can restart play with a free kick from the point at which the ball crossed the side-line
12 Square/ small parallelogram The area directly in front of the goal (14m wide by 4.5m deep) within which the attacker cannot be present before the ball and the goalkeeper cannot be tackled
13 Square ball A free is awarded to the defending team when an attacking player enters the square (or small parallelogram) before the ball
14 My ball or “players name” ball A request from a team-mate to allow her take possession of the ball
15 50/50 ball When 2 players are competing to gain possession of the ball where no one player has a clear advantage
16 Subbing / Subs Replacing one player with another (substitution)
17 Mark up / pickup your man A request to quickly get as close as possible to the opposition player you have been assigned to or to the nearest opposition player that is most likely to receive a pass or score
18 Free yourself / Show for the ball To make yourself available for receiving a pass by putting as much distance as possible between yourself and the opponent who is defending you
19 Let the ball go / Let the ball do the work Instruction to pass the ball when the first opportunity arises and not to overplay the ball (see #19)
20 Overplay the ball Occurs when the player does not take the opportunity to pass the ball and normally results in the player being dispossessed or fouling the ball (see #9)
21 Man on A warning to a teammate that an opponent is very close and about to make a tackle. Used especially when your teammate cannot see the opponent approaching or when you have just made a pass to a team-mate that is being closely marked
22 Down the line A request to pass the ball parallel to the side-line
23 Take your score(s) A request not to overplay the ball (see #19) and to take a score at the first available opportunity