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Indianapolis sporting and social club promotes Irish culture through Gaelic games

The Indianapolis GAA travels the country playing Gaelic football and hurling — two sports that have similar rules but slightly different equipment.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Gaelic Athletic Association brought traditional Irish sports, Gaelic football and hurling to the area in 2005. 

It started when a few people in the area who were familiar with the sports started a club where they would meet and play.

It has grown in popularity every year since.

"People see the sport and are kind of naturally curious because it doesn't really look like anything that you play," said Kyle Keesling with the Indy GAA. "Growing up, at least in the States, it doesn't really look like basketball, doesn't look like baseball."

The Indianapolis GAA travels around the country playing Gaelic football and hurling and they have taken home multiple national titles. The two sports have very similar rules but hurling uses a stick, called a hurley, and is played with a much smaller ball.

"You have a soccer-sized pitch, you have a goalie and you have a goal that's similar in size to a soccer goal, but you actually have two uprights," Keesling said. "You're allowed to score in two ways, if you get the ball into the net you get three points and if you strike the ball or hit the ball and it goes to the uprights, you get a point."

This year, the club has grown to over 150 people. It's rooted in the sports, but they say it's just as much a social club as an athletic club.

"Whether you're very athletic and you want to compete at the highest levels, or whether you're just looking to get out and run around and have a good time, we welcome everybody," Keesling said.

The GAA started practices on Wednesday and begins competition in April. The games and practices are co-ed and they can supply gear to beginners.

Anyone interested in joining can find more information online

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