North American Gaelic Games Finals
this coming Labor Day Weekend
Friday-Sunday, September 2-4
8 am-6 pm daily
at Seattle's Magnuson Park
This is the first time ever that the North American Finals in the Irish sports of men's and women's Gaelic Football, hurling and camogie are being are being held in Seattle. Almost 100 teams and over 1,500 players from all across the USA, Canada and the Caribbean will compete on five fields at Seattle's Magnuson Park this coming weekend from Friday-Sunday to determine the North American Champions in various Gaelic Football, Hurling and Camogie competitions.
EVENT TIMES & LOCATION
Friday-Sunday, September 2-4: 8 AM - 6 PM Daily
at Seattle's Magnuson Park,  7400 San Point Way NE

TICKETS
One-Day General Admission: $10.00. Children 16 and under free!
Games on two of the five fields are free to watch all three days.
Seattle area seniors can arrange for free all-day admission by contacting in advance  Seattle Irish Immigrant Support at tickets@irishclub.org

GAMES SCHEDULE
 * Plenty of free parking, food trucks and other amenities available at Magnuson
 * For the most up to date information on results, schedules, and more, follow the  USGAA Finals on Facebook at  facebook.com/usgaafinals
 * View the 2016 Finals Program at  NAGAA-Program.pdf 

CITIES COMPETING
Participating teams are traveling from Akron, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Calgary, Cayman Islands, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Concord NH, Dallas, Washington DC, Denver, Flagstaff, Fraser Valley, Hoboken, Indianapolis, Kansas, Los Angeles, Madison, Milwaukee, Missoula, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, Tacoma, Toronto, Vancouver BC, in addition to several Seattle teams. Please join us to give them a warm welcome to Seattle, while also taking the opportunity to enjoy these Irish field sports.

AFTER THE GAMES PARTY
On Sunday evening, September 4 from 6:30 pm, you're invited to join Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Irish Consul General Philip Grant, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, GAA dignitaries from Ireland, and Irish Network Seattle at the  2016 End of Summer Party on South Lake Union. Pre-Registration is required. Visit  2016-end-of-summer-party for all the details
THE RULES OF GAELIC FOOTBALL, HURLING AND CAMOGIE FOR BEGINNERS

The governing body for these Irish sports is the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Ireland, and in North America the governing body is the North American GAA. 

Gaelic football is played by both men and women while  hurling is a men's game and  camogie is a women's game. Gaelic football is played with a ball that is slightly smaller than that used in soccer, while in hurling and camogie, players use a stick - or hurley - to strike the ball which is similar in size to a baseball.
 
In North America, teams consist of 13 players - one goalkeeper, five defenders, two midfielders and five forwards.
 
Games are played on a field that is bigger than that used for soccer or rugby, one that can be up to 145 yards long and 90 yards wide. Games are one hour long with a halftime stoppage.
 
"H" style goalposts are used. A goal is scored (signaled by a green flag being raised) when the ball is played between the posts and under the crossbar, while a point is scored when the ball is played between the posts and over the crossbar (signaled by a white flag being raised). A goal is the equivalent of three points. Team scores are written in a goals-points format. For example, 1-10 is one goal and 10 points, or a total of 13 points.
 
In Gaelic football, players are allowed to carry the ball in their hands and it can be kicked or hand-passed. After every four steps the player must bounce or solo the ball. A solo involves dropping the ball onto your boot and kicking it back into your hand. You cannot bounce the ball twice in succession but you can solo as many times as you wish. In the men's game, the ball cannot be touched by hand while it's on the ground - a player must use his boot to lift it, but in the women's game it can be lifted off the ground by hand.
 
In hurling (the men's game) and camogie (the women's game), the ball can be struck on the ground or in the air - with the hurley or boot - but it cannot be touched by hand while on the ground and must be lifted with the hurley. The ball can be carried by hand for a maximum of four steps. After that you can bounce the ball on the hurley and back to your hand, but you cannot catch the ball more than twice. Players get around this by balancing or bouncing the ball on their hurley while running. Players can block an opponent's strike using their hurley. They can also hook a player's hurley with theirs as the player is attempting the strike the ball.
 
Deliberate shoulder-to-shoulder contact is permitted in the men's games, while a player may also slap the ball out of an opponent's hand. More than one player can tackle the player in possession of the ball but their tackle must be aimed at the ball. Deliberate body contact such as punching, tripping, jersey pulling or a rear or full frontal charge is forbidden, as is blocking an opponent's shot with the foot.
 
Yellow and red cards are issued for serious infractions in both codes but there is also a black card in football, which is issued for cynical behavior fouls such as deliberately pulling down an opponent. The offending player is ordered off but can be replaced, provided the team hasn't already used their full quota of substitutions.

For more information, visit www.SeattleGaels.com. 
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These games are supported by the Irish Heritage Club and its affiliated programs: Ceol Cascadia Irish Music Association; Friends of St. Patrick in Seattle; Irish Network Seattle; Irish Reels Film Festival; Seattle Gaels Gaelic Football, Hurling & Camogie; Seattle Galway Sister City Association; Seattle Irish Immigrant Support; and Tacoma Rangers Hurling & Gaelic Football.