Sports played in Ireland - "Speakers Corner" - Referat
My talk today will be about sports played in Ireland and their history.
This is a rugby ball. Rugby is a very popular sport in Ireland, which I guess you all have at least heard of. But there are other typical Irish sports, which you probably donít know yet. They all belong to the GAA, the Gaelic Athletic Association, that was founded in 1884, the time when Ireland belonged to the British. Nevertheless the Irish wanted to show their nationalism; therefore they decided to form a nationalist sports movement, instead of fighting with guns, and invented their own kinds of sports.
The first and most popular one is Gaelic Football. Iím actually wearing a Gaelic Jersey right now; itís from Wexford, a county in the south of Ireland.
Gaelic Football is played on a pitch by 2 teams of 15 players each with a round ball, similar to a football. There is a goal on each side of the pitch, but it doesnít have a net, only two goal posts with a crossbar (Hšnde). If the ball is kicked over the crossbar, the team gets 1 point, and for a goal under the crossbar 3 points. In contrast to football, youíre allowed to both kick the ball and carry it with your hands. You can run 3 steps with the ball, and then let it fall onto your foot and kick it back into your hands. A game lasts 2 periods of 35 minutes.
The next sport is hurling. The rules are basically the same as in Gaelic football, but itís played with sticks, which are over 1m long and with a small hard leather ball. You have to run with the ball on the end of your stick, whatís very difficult, as you can see.
Furthermore, there is Camogie. Itís the same as hurling, but for women. Only the rules concerning body contact are stricter and a team consists of 12 players instead of 15. Oh, and they wear skirts playing it.
The biggest GAA stadium is Croke Park in Dublin, which holds 83000 people. Maybe youíve heard of Bloody Sunday from the U2 song? On the 21.11.1920, in the time of the Irish war of independence, the British army came into the stadium during a Gaelic Football match and opened fire on the crowd which killed 31 people.
What I think is really amazing is, that all the Gaelic sports are amateur sports. The players donít get any money for playing and have normal jobs during the week. But when the all Ireland finals are on every September they still manage to get the stadium of 83000 people sold out. Thatís, what makes the Gaelic sports so special in my opinion.
Well, thatís the end of my presentation; I hope youíve learned something.
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