A Little Bit About Us
The Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association, better and more easily known as the Indy GAA, is a sporting and social club that exists to promote Irish culture through the traditional Gaelic games of hurling, camogie, and Gaelic Football.
More than your typical intramural athletics league the Indy GAA is a year round club that feels more like a family.
Our club boasts over 150 active members and offers leagues in both Hurling and Gaelic Football throughout most of the year open to adults of all ages and skills.
In addition we have a growing youth program for children as young as 5.
Ready to join? Click the button below to get started, otherwise continue reading below to learn more about what we’re all about.
The Sports We Play
The club consists of two main sports: Hurling, with a female variant called Camogie, and Gaelic Football. Let’s take a moment to run you through them.
Hurling & Camogie
Known by some as “the fastest game on grass” hurling is an Irish sport with a long, storied tradition associated with it. Hurling is Ireland’s national sport and has been played for thousands of years.
It’s played with a helmet, a stick called a hurley, and a baseball-like ball called a sliotar.
As mentioned above Camogie is just a fancy Gaelic word for women’s hurling. When the club travels for tournaments and competitions we field a full Camogie all-female roster, otherwise all other games and events are co-ed.
There are a few minor rule differences when playing Camogie, but ultimately the skills and effort required to play are the same as hurling.
Gaelic Football shares nearly all of its rules with hurling, and just trades out the helmets and sticks for a soccerball/volleyball hybrid called, well, a Gaelic Football.
When We Practice and Play
Our club is very active with games, practices, and tournaments so there’s never really a shortage of something to do. Next, let’s next look at the main leagues and events we typically participate in over the course of a year.
The club’s main set of games are played early spring through summer in what we call the Pub League.
This league gets its name because our first sponsor was Connor’s Pub. Shortly thereafter, many of our additional sponsors were other local bars and watering holes. In addition the league is open to the public… get it?
That said, we’ve had a number of unique sponsors over the years, including a butcher shop, a gelato company, an auto-body repair shop, multiple groceries, breweries, chiropractors, roofers, lawyers, and so much more, but rather than try and find a word that encapsulates all of those business we stuck with our roots and call it simply Pub League.
Pub League is meant for players of all abilities and is really at the heart of what makes our club great. The season consists of 10 matches plus playoffs, which are all concluded in time for the club to turn its focus to competing in the USGAA Finals.
Every year in February we hold draft parties for each league, hurling and football, where our appointed captains choose their teams for the coming year. All other members are encouraged to join us, typically at one of our fantastic sponsor establishments, to await the results of the draft and to meet your teammates for the upcoming year.
During the pub league season we hold weekly practices for both hurling and Gaelic Football. Practices are co-ed and open to both members and newcomers. If you don’t have equipment, don’t worry, just bring yourself and a comfortable pair of shoes. More info on practices can be found on our practice page.
Indoor League is our way of staying active during the off-season. The rules are slightly modified to help account for playing on smaller fields, but the spirit of the game is the same.
Indoor League is great way for newcomers to be introduced to Gaelic sports and for our existing members to hone their skills in the off-season.
We hold one Hurling session from November to January and a Gaelic Football session from January through mid-March.
Tournaments & Competitions
Throughout the year our club is invited to a number of tournaments all over the country. Nashville, Chicago, Akron, St. Louis, among others cities hold annual events that we are invited to.
In addition to travel tournaments, our club hosts the annual Indy Invitational. Played every year in mid-June at World Sports Park, our invitational is one of the largest Gaelic sporting events outside of the USGAA Finals. Teams come from all over the country, and sometimes even Canada, to play our great sports in our great city.
Every year in late August/early September the USGAA Finals are held. This tournament brings teams together from all over North America to crown a champion.
The competitions at this level are split up by sport as well as by skill. Over the years our club has been fortunate enough to win multiple titles, including:
- 2008 Junior C Hurling Champions
- 2012 Junior B Hurling Champions
- 2013 Junior B Premiere Hurling Champions
- 2013 Junior Camogie Champions
- 2013 Aer Lingus International Hurling Festival Tournament Champions
- 2015 Junior C Gaelic Football Champions
- 2015 Junior A Hurling Champions
Social & Cultural Events
While we have plenty of fun on the field we also have a lot of fun social and cultural events we participate in every year.
The unofficial kick-off of the club season starts with marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Being in the parade is a fun way to show your Irish spirit and we welcome all club members along with their families and friends to join us.
In June we hold our annual golf outing, but don’t worry if you’re not a golfer, most of us aren’t either, which is why we sell cheat bags and make sure that the drink cart is fully gassed up and stocked. This outing is a lot of fun and is also our largest fundraising event of the year.
Throughout the year we hold both a spring and fall pub crawl, where we rent a bus and visit some of our favorite drinking establishments and sponsors.
Held every September, Indy Irish Fest is a wonderful celebration of Irish music, dance, and culture. We are proud supporters of this event where we host an informational booth to introduce our club to festival goers.
Typically held in mid January, our club holds an annual awards banquet we call “The Sliotar.” This event is a great way to recognize our members’ accomplishments on and off the field, and catch-up with each other after the holidays.
Our club uses a number of ways to communicate both internally and externally. The best way to keep up with major happenings is to subscribe to our newsletter and events calendar. Once you become a member you’ll also gain access to our Slack community.
During Pub League you’ll be in direct contact with your team captains who will also keep you up to date on important information.
If you are ready to join the club, then welcome! We are happy to have you. Please reach out to our board secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, otherwise you can follow the link below to get started!