Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
by Vincent Beach
Sláinte chugainn ar fad! Health to us all. Despite the unknown future, Cleveland GAA met the April 30 registration deadline with 44 male and 24 female footballers. The club is able to register new players throughout the summer – it’s not too late to join – including our newly organized hurling team.
With some state restrictions being lifted, stay tuned to our social media outlets for updates. The USGAA is advising all clubs to follow local guidelines and orders. Cleveland is developing plans for an intercity league – should be fun days ahead!
In other news, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association held their annual congress on March 7th. An interesting rule change is that a 45m free kick will now be worth 2 points starting this year (May 1st).
In Ireland, counties have been asked by Croke Park (aka HQ aka GAA Headquarters) to suspend all activity until July 20th, and have ruled out inter-county matches before October. Much like here, celebs of the game are weighing in on both sides of the ban – some saying to open the clubs, pitches, and training sessions; while others argue for no return until there is a vaccine; and still others advocating for intercounty senior matches in empty stadiums.
A Club Plyers Association (CPA) poll this week shows that 57% of club players are willing to return to play before a COVID-19 vaccine is administered. It is important to remember that there is no North-South border in the GAA and never has been. For intercounty play, the organization will have to navigate the orders of the Republic and the UK for equity amongst all counties in training and game regulations.
Whilst the county waits, the Croke Park social media team, GAANOW, has been pumping out archival footage. It is worth a watch – visit gaa.ie/gaa-now to get your fix of some classic football, hurling and camogie matches.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement, but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. Consider getting involved at any level. Fáilte (welcome) to all.
The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A. Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club for all ages.
Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2020 activities for Men, Women, and Youth. Or, visit ClevelandGAA.com.
*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan. He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA. His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua. With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (10), Bernadette (9), and Cedric (5), grow. His other hustles are teaching Irish at PJs, coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, and slangin’ some engineering skills on local concrete and pipe projects.