Indianapolis club promotes Irish culture with Gaelic sports

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The Indianapolis GAA travels the country playing Gaelic football and hurling – two sports that have similar rules but slightly different equipment.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association brought traditional Irish sports, Gaelic football and hurling to the area in 2005.

It all started when a few local people who knew the sport started a club where they met and played.

It has grown in popularity every year since.

“People see this sport and are understandably curious because it’s really unlike anything you play,” said Indy GAA’s Kyle Keesling. “Growing up, at least in the United States, it didn’t really look like basketball, it didn’t look like baseball.”

The Indianapolis GAA travels the country playing Gaelic football and hurling and they have won several national titles. Both sports have very similar rules, but hurling uses a stick, called a hurley, and is played with a much smaller ball.

“You have a football pitch, you have a goalkeeper and you have a goal similar in size to a football goal, but you actually have two uprights,” Keesling said. “You are allowed to score in two ways, if you put the ball in the net you get three points and if you kick the ball or kick the ball and it goes up the uprights you get one point.”

This year, the club has more than 150 people. It’s rooted in sports, but it’s said to be as much a social club as it is a sports club.

“Whether you’re super athletic and want to compete at the highest level, or you’re just looking to get out there and run and have a good time, we welcome everyone,” Keesling said.

The GAA began training on Wednesday and begins competition in April. The games and practices are mixed and they can provide material for beginners.

Anyone interested in joining can find more information in line.

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