Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Is Irish Football?
A: Also known as Gaelic football, the sport has been around since 1887 and is a great mix of soccer, rugby (rugby light; there’s no tackling), basketball, volleyball, team handball and lots of other field sports. Like basketball or lacrosse, there's a great deal of scoring; players may use their hands, and there’s no off sides.
In fact, you can find clubs throughout the United States in more than 50 cities—from San Fransisco (where the U.S. national championships for men and women were played last year) to right here in Greater Washington, D.C. region.
Here's a GREAT VIDEO about the RULES of Irish football. (youth rules are modified—shorter fields, fewer players, to name a few.)
Q: When does the season begin?
A: FPYC begins its first season if this great sport in early September. We will wrap up the season in mid-November.
Q: What is the philosophy of the FPYC Irish Football house league?
A: First and foremost, we are about having FUN with a fast, very low-contact sport.
Healthy competition is promoted, rather than the high-pressure, “win-at-all-costs” mentality so prevalent in youth sports today. Being a community based recreational program with an EVERYONE PLAYS policy, children of all athletic abilities and experience are encouraged to participate.
Our program structure is very similar to FPYC's spring flag football: We'll meet ONLY in Sundays, have a 30-minute clinic followed by teams squaring off against each other in a friendly and competitive 50- to 60-minute match.
Everyone plays, and everyone touches the ball, and no one gets marginalized. Your child will be hooked after one match.
Q: So, only a 60- to 90-minute commitment per week?
A: That's it. It's a great cross-training sport, and we understand that kids have other sports and other commitments that they'd like to pursue. Our program's structure gives them this flexibility.
Q: Where are the practices and matches?
A: Providence Park in Fairfax City; it's an all-grass field.
Q: What AGE GROUPS can play in the new FPYC league?
A: Elementary, junior high and high-school kids. (Rougly ages 5-18.)
Q: What is the cost per child to play?
A: $85 for Registration
Q: My child has never played soccer or any of the other sports mentioned above—does it matter?
A: Not at all. He or she will pick up the game quickly — rules are fairly easy to understand for kids, certainly in comparison to other field sports and, say, baseball — and your child will learn the essential skills after just a couple clinics and matches.
Q: Is the program for girls and boys?
Q: Who are the coaches?
A: We have USGAA-certified coaches for the program, and all of the coaches have been playing Irish football for a minimum of four years, and some for most of their lives.
Q: What gear does my child need to play?
A: Since we're playing on grass, a pair of cleats is a good idea, but certainly not a requirement. The league will supply jerseys.
Q: Contact info! Who is the league's director if I have more questions?
A: The director is Mike McCarthy (FairfaxIrishFootball@gmail.com; 202.531.4337), who has been coaching youth sports in the area for nearly 20 years. He also has been the long-time leader and founder of the adult Irish football club in Fairfax City: FairfaxIrishFootball.com