Backdoor: Adjective describing a "knockout" championship in which defeated teams are not immediately eliminated from the competition, and remain eligible to win (e.g. Offaly in the 1998 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship). Such teams are said to re-enter the championship through the back door.
Barracks games: (derogatory) nickname for "foreign sports" (see below) from their supposed connection with the British military. Also "the barracks" as in "go to the barracks" (i.e. watch one of the foreign sports)
Bas: The flattened, curved end head of a hurley, or camán.
Big Alley: the 60x30 foot court, the indigenous handball alley.
Black card: Card shown to a player who has committed a "cynical" foul. The player is sent off. Each team is allowed to replace the first three players to receive black cards.
Block: where one player attempts to smother an opposing player's strike by trapping the ball between his hurley and the opponent's swinging hurley;
Book: See tick. Also called black card or black book is a name for a ticking due the referee showing the player their note book as they would a red or yellow card
Camóg: Hurley or stick as used in camogie. Shorter than male hurley.
Camogie (camógaíocht): Women's hurling. A GAA coinage, from the Irish.
Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC): Committee which organises fixtures for competitions above provincial level.
Cic Fada: A competition for Gaelic footballers based on accuracy of long kicking.
Club: the basic organisational unit of the GAA, at least one of which exists in most parishes throughout Ireland. Clubs are commonly named after either the home district, or a saint or national hero associated with that district. If the club fields teams only in Gaelic football, that name is followed by GFC (Gaelic Football Club); for hurling-only clubs it is HC (Hurling Club), but for clubs involved in two or more Gaelic sports the usual term is GAC (Gaelic Athletic Club). All clubs are controlled by locally-elected volunteer committees.
Cluiche corr: rounders, the one Gaelic game widely adopted outside Ireland.
An Coiste Náisiunta: The National Executive.
Comhairle Cluiche Corr na hÉireann: Rounders Council of Ireland
Corner back: Players who stand on either side of the full back, and who are defenders.
County: a geographic region within the GAA, controlled by a County Board (sometimes called County Committee). In Ireland, there are 32 GAA counties, corresponding closely to the boundaries of counties currently or formerly used for administrative purposes (but not the newer administrative counties in the Republic). However GAA counties sometimes admit into their competitions clubs from neighbouring administrative counties, so that the GAA county boundaries are more fluid than those used for government purposes. Most GAA county names in Ireland are shared with current or former administrative counties, the sole exception at present being County Derry (the largely coterminous administrative county, abolished in 1973, was County Londonderry). Outside Ireland, for GAA purposes "county" often refers to places which are not otherwise termed counties, e.g. entire countries such as Scotland or American states such as New York. Many county boards have subsidiary boards or committees for different regions within the GAA county.
County colours: the colours of the kit worn by that county's representative team in the inter-county competitions of the GAA.
County championship: A championship in football or hurling in a specific grade contested by clubs within a county.
Féile na nGael: literally "Festival of the Gaels", an annual tournament comprising the sports of hurling, camogie and handball.
Féile Peile na nÓg: literally Festival of Youth Football, national festival of football for boys and girls under 14 years of age and is based on the GAA club unit.
Fetch: To catch the ball above ones head.
Football: Always Gaelic football. Association football is referred to as "soccer" - see foreign sports.
Foreign sports: Non-Gaelic games such as rugby union, rugby league, soccer and cricket, particularly in the sense that they rivalled Gaelic games in Ireland for popularity during the formative years of the GAA.
Forty-five: Kick awarded in football to the attacking side 45 metres from the defending side's goal when a player for the defending side last touches the ball before it goes over that side's end line. Formerly known as a fifty (45 metres is roughly equivalent to 50 yards).
40x20: The international code of handball, introduced from the USA.
Four Codes: the four types of handball administered by the GAA, aka 40x20, 60x30, One Wall and Hardball.
Free or Free-in: normal means of restarting play by the non-offending team after a foul.
Gaelic games: The sports of Gaelic handball, Gaelic football, hurling/camogie and rounders.
Goal: A score in football and hurling worth three points, awarded when the ball legally crosses the goal line under the bar and between the posts.
Goalkeeper: No. 1, player in football and hurling whose job it is to prevent goals being scored.
Grade: A level at which a game or competition is played, based on age (e.g., Senior, Minor), ability (e.g. Senior, Junior), gender, etc. See Senior, Under-21 and Minor. A grade can also be split further, e.g. Senior A, Senior B.
Hand-pass: In hurling, football and camogie, when a ball is slapped with the palm of the hand, rather than throwing (which is illegal). Hand-passing may not be used to score goals, but may be used to score points.
Hardball: the most ancient form of handball. It is also the fastest of the Four Codes.
Headquarters/HQ: Colloquial term for Croke Park also known as "Croker".
Home final: In competitions in which an overseas team gets a bye to the final, a final played between two teams from the island of Ireland. The winning team then plays the overseas team in the final proper. For example, the 1908 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship saw Dublin beat Kerry in the home final, before becoming All-Ireland champions by beating London in the actual final, which was London's only game in that year's championship.
Hook: where a player approaches another player from a rear angle and attempts to catch the opponent's hurley with his own at the top of the swing.
Intermediate: A grade, higher than junior, of competition for players not quite good enough to play at senior level. Some championships have senior and junior, but no intermediate, equivalents, for example the All-Ireland Football Championships.
Official Guide (Treoraí Oifigiúil): The playing and organisational rules of the GAA. Part 1 contains the Association's constitution and rules, while Part 2 contains the playing rules of hurling and football.
Shot anticipation: in handball, this is where you work out where the ball will bounce back to.
Sidearm stroke: A stroke in handball, where the ball is hit from around waist level.
Sideline: The two longer sides of a football or hurling pitch.
Sideline ball: A kick (football) or puck (hurling) awarded when the ball passes over the sideline. It is awarded to the opposite team to that of the player who last touched the ball.
Sidepull/Side-pull: where two players running together for the sliotar will collide at the shoulders and swing together to win the tackle and "pull" (name given to swing the hurley) with extreme force.
Sixty-five: Puck awarded in hurling to the attacking side 65 metres from the defending side's goal when a player for the defending side last touches the ball before it goes over that side's end line. Formerly known as a seventy (65 metres is roughly equivalent to 70 yards).
Sliotar: the hard leather ball used in hurling; slightly larger than a tennis ball, it has a cork core and a stitched rib. A football or handball is known as liathróid.
60x30: the "Big Alley" court form of handball indigenous to Ireland.
Square: usually "the square", the small rectangle surrounding the goal in hurling, camogie and football.
Square ball: A type of foul in hurling and football which occurs when a player on the attacking team enters the opposing team's small square inside the penalty area before the ball does.
Stroke: a method of hitting the ball with the hand in handball.
The Sunday Game: RTÉ's main Gaelic games television programme, on air since 1979.
Tailteann Games: Ancient multisport competition killed off by Norman invasion. The GAA attempted a revival in the 1920s.
Throw-in: the starting of a game, or restarting after half-time, by the referee throwing the ball between two players from each team.
Tick: a mark made by the referee in his notebook against a player who has committed a certain type of foul, but not so serious as to warrant a yellow card (see below). The referee indicates when a player is ticked by holding his notebook above his head. A player who is ticked twice in a match is cautioned and shown the yellow card.
Umpire: One of four officials in a game of football or hurling, identifiable by his/her white coat, and whose responsibilities include to signal a point by waving a white flag, to signal a goal by waving a green flag, to indicate which side last touched the ball before it crossed the end-line, and to alert the referee to certain foul play.
Underhand stroke: A stroke in handball, where the hand hits the ball from below the waist.
Under-21: A grade of competition for players under 21 years of age.
Up for the Match: RTÉ One programme shown broadcast twice a year on the eve of the All-Ireland hurling and All-Ireland football finals respectively.
Yellow card: Card shown to a player who has been cautioned ("booked") for committing certain types of fouls, or who has been ticked twice (see Tick above). A played who is cautioned twice in a match is shown the red card and sent off.