Video From Recent Fall Sevens at Stanford

Video from the recent fall sevens hurling tournament at Stanford on October 19th.

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Cal and Stanford Get Underway

The California Collegiate GAA opened its season on Sunday October 19th with a the traditional informal sevens tournament at Stanford. Cal and Stanford were both well able to field teams, and they were joined by the local San Francisco club Naomh Padraig and some members of the local Silicon Valley St Joseph’s club.

Five games were played throughout the day in glorious conditions on the pristine surface of one of the intra-mural fields. Cal played against Stanford three times, and two games consisted of Naomh Padraig being taken on by the college all-stars, augmented by a few St Joseph’s players.

Stanford had the upper hand in the collegiate games but Cal made steady progress as the day wore on, improving their results as the rookies gradually got the hang of the game. In the club-versus-college games, the combined efforts of Cal and Stanford were enough to present a respectable challenge to Naomh Padraig.

“Mixing college and club players in the same game is a great way to raise the standard,” said Eamonn Gormley, CCGAA Chairman. “There is a risk that games can be one-sided, but it does no harm to expose at least the more seasoned collegiate players to hurling at a higher level. They can see at first hand what they can aspire to and it gives them an idea of how much work they will need to put in if they are to be a credible force at national level.”

There were no cups or medals for the games, the purpose of this event has always been to give newcomers a bit of playing experience.

Two more tournaments are scheduled for fall, with the collegiate championship beginning in spring.


Game 1 – Stanford 3-9 (18) Cal 0-3 (3)

Game 2 – Naomh Padraig 2-12 (18) Colleges 3-8 (17)

Game 3 – Stanford 3-8 (17) Cal 2-4 (10)

Game 4 – Naomh Padraig 6-11 (29) Colleges 3-10 (19)

Game 5 – Stanford 5-7 (22) Cal 3-6 (15)

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2015 US College Hurling National Championships to be Held in Montana

The National Collegiate Gaelic Athletic Association (NCGAA) has announced that the 2015 national collegiate hurling championship tournament will be hosted at the University of Montana.

The announcement comes three months after the hugely successful 2014 tournament that was hosted by the New York GAA at Woodlawn and Gaelic Park in May, an event that was contested by seven hurling teams and five football teams in the first appearance of Gaelic football at the now four year-old competition. Iona College made history by becoming the first national collegiate Gaelic football champions. Since all of the collegiate football clubs are still concentrated in the Northeast region, the NCGAA has opted to split the 2015 national tournament between hurling and football and host them in two separate locations on different weekends. The format of the football competition which will be hosted in the Northeast will be determined by the regional committee.

Brian Barry, spokesman for the Montana Grizzlies Hurling Club, the current NCGAA national hurling champions, welcomed the decision. “This is going to help us build even more on what we’ve started here,” he said. “About six hundred people showed up to watch the first ever hurling match played in state history in Grizzlies Stadium earlier this year. Our story has been all over the local news and on television. We’re confident that we can get thousands of people into this 25,000 capacity facility next year to witness our defense of our national championship title.”

Eamonn Gormley, NCGAA Chairman, said that while other locations have their strengths, Montana is the right place to host the even in 2015. “This is new territory for the GAA in America,” he said. “While it’s important that we maintain our presence in existing locations, it’s just as important that we break new ground. Kids in Montana have been inspired by what they have seen on the local TV news, and there are reports of children spontaneously playing hurling on the street with improvised hurleys fashioned from tennis racquets and hockey sticks. We have got to jump all over that and help the Grizzlies to get the sport established in the local area while the opportunity exists.”

The Grizzlies have been getting calls from local schools asking how they can get hurling going. The local club has begun an outreach effort aimed at starting a youth program and getting startup spinoff clubs established in the region. There is no top flight professional sports franchise in the state of Montana, therefore the fortunes of the collegiate NCAA teams commands huge attention in the community.

Top level collegiate sports are a massive industry in the United States, their popularity on a par with that of professional leagues with attendances of 100,000 not unheard of and live television broadcasting rights sold for millions of dollars. The NCGAA, founded in 2009, aims to tap into the brand recognition of collegiate teams and to aid the process of getting hurling and Gaelic football further into the mainstream.

The 2015 NCGAA national hurling tournament will be hosted over the Memorial Day weekend, May 23 and 24.

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