North American GAA

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For Gaelic games in geographic region North American, see Gaelic games in North America.
North American GAA
Irish: Meiriceá Thuaidh
County colours: Red, white, blue
Ground(s): Gaelic Park - Chicago, IL
Irish Cultural Center - Boston, MA
Limerick Field Complex - Philadelphia, PA
Páirc na nGael - San Francisco, CA
Standard kit
Regular kit

The United States Gaelic Athletic Association (USGAA) administers Gaelic games in the United States. The board is also responsible for the American teams in the United States.

History[edit]

Hurling and Gaelic football have been played in North America ever since Irish immigrants began landing on North American shores. The earliest games of hurling in North America were played in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1788, and there are records of football being played in Hyde Park (now the site of the Civic Center) in San Francisco as early as the 1850s. There are established clubs in the cities that traditionally have a large Irish population, such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston.

When the North American county board was formed it included Canadian clubs in its area of control. However these clubs are now under the control of the Canadian county board [1]

In recent years, hurling has started to enjoy support in several other U.S. cities, as evidenced by the establishment of the Milwaukee Hurling Club in 1995 and later the Twin Cities Hurling Club (MN). Other clubs include the Indianapolis Hurling Club, the St. Louis Gaelic Athletic Club, the Denver Gaels, the Greenville Gaels, the Orlando Hurling Club and the Seattle Gaels. Hurling is also starting to gather support at the club level at some universities, such as at Purdue University and Stanford University since 2005, California State University, Monterey Bay since 2006, and UC Berkeley since 2008.

Interest in Gaelic Football has also developed amongst universities in America. Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia is the first school to have an officially recognized program after running independently since 2011. Boston College's program has been running since 2011, while two other Philadelphia-area institutions, Villanova University and Drexel University, hope to launch club programs soon.

As of 2017 more than 51% of registered players in the United States were born there. This number is a underestimation as many clubs do not register all players that select to play only local games.

Early 21st century[edit]

The GAA in North America became the victim of two major developments in the early 21st century. One was the security clampdown that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the other was the massive growth in the Irish 'Celtic Tiger' economy. These two factors led to a reduction in the number of people travelling from Ireland to the U.S., and it became difficult for many Irish people to stay in the country illegally. Additionally, many Irish emigrants returned to Ireland, where they enjoyed a high standard of living that wasn't available to earlier generations.[2] These factors reduced the number of people playing GAA in larger U.S. cities.The trend was partially offset by growth in smaller cities. With the onset of economic crisis of the late 2000s the flow of emigrants back to Ireland and into America has changed once again but current U.S. immigration policies have meant that the number of Irish that used to go to America is not now the same.

Grassroots development is taking on a life of its own. Youth programs are springing up across the country and in particular are experiencing huge growth thanks to the success of the Continental Youth Championship.

Competitions[edit]

USGAA Finals[edit]

Each year on Labor Day weekend, the USGAA holds a championship between the clubs in all U.S. cities where there are GAA-affiliated clubs (except for New York city). Playoffs are held between the Gaelic football, hurling and camogie champions of the different regions in the United States, to determine the USGAA champions. Play off locations:

  • 2017 San Francisco
  • 2016 Seattle
  • 2015 Chicago
  • 2014 Boston
  • 2013 Cleveland
  • 2012 Philadelphia
  • 2011 San Francisco
  • 2010 Chicago
  • 2009 Boston
  • 2008 Boston
  • 2007 Chicago
  • 2006 Philadelphia
  • 2005 Philadelphia
  • 2004 Denver
  • 2003 Boston
  • 2002 Chicago
  • 2001 San Francisco
  • 2000 Boston
  • 1999 Chicago
  • 1998 Rockville, MD (near Washington DC)
  • 1997 San Francisco
  • 1996 Boston

Grades[edit]

The championships are divided into different grades.

  • Men:
    • USGAA Senior Football Championship
    • USGAA Intermediate Football Championship
    • USGAA Junior A Football Championship
    • USGAA Junior B Football Championship
    • USGAA Junior C Football Championship
    • USGAA Junior D Football Championship
    • USGAA Senior Hurling Championship
    • USGAA Junior A Hurling Championship
    • USGAA Junior B Hurling Championship
    • USGAA Junior C Hurling Championship
  • Ladies:
    • USGAA Senior Ladies Football Championship
    • USGAA Intermediate Ladies Football Championship
    • USGAA Junior A Ladies Football Championship
    • USGAA Junior B Ladies Football Championship
    • USGAA Senior Camogie Championship
    • USGAA Junior Camogie Championship

The Continental Youth Championships[edit]

Further information: Continental Youth Championship

The Continental Youth Championship (CYC) began in 2004. This is an annual weekend tournament that takes place in various cities from year to year. Venues:

  • 2004 - New York
  • 2005 - San Francisco
  • 2006 - Boston
  • 2007 - Chicago
  • 2008 - Philadelphia
  • 2009 - San Francisco
  • 2010 - New York
  • 2011 - Boston
  • 2012 - Chicago
  • 2013 - Philadelphia
  • 2014 - New York

It involves under age teams from all three of the GAA jurisdictions in North America playing football, hurling, ladies' football, and camogie at all ages from Under 8 to Under 18.

Clubs[edit]

In 2015 in the USGAA area, there were 116 adult clubs and 14 Youth clubs playing Football, Hurling or Camogie in the US outside New York City. These clubs participated in Divisional Championship competitions to qualify for the USGAA Finals in their respective sport and grade of competition. As of 2015, Gaelic games were being organized and played in over 60 cities across the US, including:

  • Akron, Albany, Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin
  • Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Burlingame
  • Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia, Columbus
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dallas, Denver, Detroit
  • Greenville, South Carolina
  • Hartford, Huntington Beach, Houston
  • Kansas City, Kalamazoo
  • Indianapolis
  • Los Angeles, Louisville
  • Madison, Milwaukee
  • Nashville, Naperville, New Hampshire, New Orleans
  • Oakland, Orlando
  • Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Portland ME
  • Rochester, Raleigh NC
  • San Antonio, St. Louis, St. Paul MN, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, South Bend, Syracuse
  • Tacoma, Twin Cities
  • Waukesha, Washington DC, Worcester, MA, Winston-Salem NC

List of clubs[edit]

See List of GAA clubs in North America

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Motreal History". Archived from the original on September 25, 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  2. ^ "OB Sports - RTÉ television". Retrieved 2006-11-29. 

External links[edit]