2006 Asian Gaelic Games in Shanghai

Autumn arrives in Shanghai. When Wendy and I passed the garden before my apartment in Pudong, yellow leafs were falling to grassland with wind. There is an old Chinese saying: You see autumn just from a leaf. It is very true.

It is the nice weather for us to go to Biyun International District. I love that area very much, especially on sunny weekend. That is an international district, and there are many good restaurants, coffee shop, and nice greenlands. I bought a copy of Lonelyplanet Travel Writing from the foreign language store there.

Strange Football

At the football field, many teams are playing an interesting game. It is something between football and volleyball. The playground is a football ground, the ball is a football, but the players just use hands to take the ball and run, and sometimes use foot to kick the ball to pass it to other player. The other player get the ball with hands, run with it, and use foot sometimes. The wear just like football players.

Image credit: Shanghaistreets. Note: I didn’t take this photo. Also, it is the photo of 2005, not this year.

On the other field, I saw the logo: 2006 Asia Gaelic Games. I have no idea about what Gaelic, until I did some research back home.

Gaelic football (Irish: peil ghaelach), commonly referred to as “football”, “Gaelic” or “gah”, is a form of football played mainly in Ireland. Teams of 15 players kick or punch a round ball toward goals at either end of a grass pitch. Gaelic football is one of four Gaelic sports run by the Gaelic Athletic Association also called the ‘GAA’.

While not widely known, those who do know it recognise this sport as a strong, skillful, fast paced game. As one commentator put it, “It’s like ballet, but more poetic”.

Source: Wikipedia

Many Countries Participated

On site, I saw country flag of Korea. How interesting that a not-so-widely-known game like Gaelic has an Asia competition in Shanghai. Weired.

Many local people stood near the game field and watched this “strange” game.

More Gaelic Football photos in Shanghai by Shanghaistreets.

It Continues Tomorrow

What to see this “rare” game? It is still there tomorrow.


Image credit: asiagaelicgames

Location: Dulwich International School (just near the Carrefour in Jinqiao.

Transportation: Taxi (the nearest metro station is Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, or bus 777

18 thoughts on “2006 Asian Gaelic Games in Shanghai

  1. the use of the ‘hands’ and passing the ball with the hand sounds more like American football.

  2. It is very much American football, but there are some difference

    1. They are not protected.

    2. It seems not allowed to push others, so it is very calm and gentle game

    3. The ball is exactly like football

  3. Not wired. You meant weird, or werde [Middle English], or wyrd [Old English].


  4. You mean Soccer or foot ball? I see the ball in the above adv. similar to soccer (round) not American foot (not round).

  5. The word “past” should be corrected for “passed”. In the third sentence,”a old” shoule be “an old”.

  6. It is really a pity that i read your this blog too late. Otherweise toddy i would go there to watch it.

    By the way i am just seeking a english teacher who should be native english speaker for oral english in weekende.

    could someone help me reccomend a english teacher?

  7. i discovered your blog recently. its been a fantastic resource for me for many reasons, primarily as an australian chinese girl with alot to learn about china. i am also preparing to travel to several chinese cities in the winter. keep up with the blogging and the photography, m

  8. Gaelic football has more in common with Aussie Rules (mostly played in the southern states) than most other football codes, and vice versa.

  9. hi Jian Shuo Wang,

    again its not Biyun district but Jinqiao district even the poster/banner that you copied on this post say it, Jinqiao District either in Chiense and in English, but its seem that for you it is always BiYun No Poblem mate ;-)… i find it nice et carismatic as anytime you call Jin Qiao District Bi Yun International district… :-)

  10. Gaelic Football is one of the national sports of Ireland, it is the biggest sporting organisation in Ireland. The sport is played all over the world but not as popular as it is in Ireland. However it is growing in popularity due to its all round nature.

    For more information see http://www.gaa.ie which is the website of the national association in Ireland.

    Other associations:

    http://www.nagaa.org North America (except New York)

    http://europe.gaa.ie/ Continental Europe

    http://britain.gaa.ie/ Britain (except London)

    http://www.londongaa.org London

    http://www.gaelicfootball.com.au Australasia

    There have been several attempts to revive the game in Argetina and to start the game in Africa but without much success so far.

  11. its called gaelic football…its the national sport of Ireland….cross between rugby,soccer and basketball,very hard to explain,its full contact but u must tackle the ball and not the man i.e. no rugby tackle…go to http://www.gaa.ie if your really interested….

  12. Gaelic Football is like most original games of football were in the early 19th century. In fact most football played in England was similar until the Cambridge university football team that preferred minimal hand contact turned up on mass to a Football Association of England meeting and voted to change the rules to the modern form of Football played by FIFA.

    The Irish were never going to follow the English. Gaelic Football (Gaelic is the original language of Ireland) is actually a better game than the football that is played all over the world. You can catch the ball and run up to 5 steps with it but then must tap or punch it to a team mate with your hand or kick it to a team mate. If you kick a goal into the net it is worth 3 points, if you kick it over a rugby or american football like cross bar above the goal it is worth 1 point. The only off-side area is the goal keeper’s small box.

    It is a faster more exciting form of football and you don’t have to head the ball – which is a bit of a weird thing if you think about it. In fact from a pure anatomic point of view using hands as well as feet makes sense for the human species and Gaelic football is a lot less weird than so called “normal” football/soccer.

    The game is now played more and more outside Ireland. If you are in Asia contact http://www.asiangaelicgames.com In Australia or NZ http://www.gaelicfootball.com.au

    There is also a similar but rougher game played between Ireland and Australia that is a mix of Irish Gaelic Football and Australian Rules Football (see http://www.afl.com.au for Australian Rules Football). This Sunday a crowd of 83,000 will pack Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium to watch Australia play Ireland in this form of Gaelic/Aussie Football called “International Rules Football” – wikipedia search that for more details.

  13. If football is so ‘weird’ and Gaelic football is better, why is it that football is the most popular team game on our planet? Surely football should be played with the feet, the word ‘foot’ in ‘football’ being the clue here. Gaelic football, American football and Aussie Rules are predominently hand sports and should be part of the handball family of games like handball and volleyball.

    Although we English like to think we invented football, by creating the Football Association (the word soccer come from the words Association Football) in the late 19th Century when we created the first official, rule-based form of the game, the Chinese were playing a form of football as early as the 16th Century. There are ancient drawings showing this to be the case.

    Rugby, Gaelic football, Aussie Rules and American football all use a points scoring system where you can get points for various actions. In Gaelic football you get the 3 points for a ‘true’ goal but if you miss the real goal you are still awarded a point for a ‘near miss’. In rugby you score the maximum number of points for a try but I have seen games won where no try has been scored, only goals from penalties. In football, a goal is a goal. You don’t get diluted points for hitting the bar or the posts or if the keeper saves it. It is purely a goal when the whole ball crosses the goal-line between the sticks. Surely this is a more pure and accurate way of scoring a game?

    83000? Great for a one-off, but football in Engalnd is watched by crowds in excess of 70000 every week at Old Trafford (Manchester United), 50000 at St James’ Park (Newcastle United), 46000 at Anfield (Liverpool) and over 35000 by numerous other clubs. A total of 96 league clubs and thousands more non-league and amateur clubs throughout England alone accumulate over a million supporters every weekend for 3/4 of the calenday year. Not bad for a ‘weird’ game…

  14. hello sar/mar

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  15. i think that Gaelic football is awesome! I am learning to play it and it is an fantastic sport. I suggest it to anyone who likes running and gets along with teamwork!

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