Rounders: the fourth Gaelic game…

Right, hands up. Who knew that Rounders was one of the four original sports included in the GAA of 1884? Well I didn’t. It was only the sport’s inclusion as a warm up for one of the recent big games at Croke Park that alerted me to it. It even has its own rules (PDF). It’s a popular but mostly informal game in England, although there are over thirty adults teams playing on a regular basis. But is it the same game? And are we likely to see an Ireland vs England international?

  • Bored

    Can’t say I knew either Mick, though the enthusiasm with which Rounders was promoted at my very, very gaelic-oriented primary school now makes sense. Thanks for the info.

  • maca

    *hand is raised*
    We used to play rounders as kids but I have never once seen it played by adults or as a spectator sport. God knows why it’s one of the four.

  • martin

    Wow. I had no idea. It is such a popular game at English Primary Schools that I think most people here think it is an English game – I have often heard it referred to (by us ignorant Brits) as the English version of Baseball. Which is ironic because (as there is some evidence that Baseball actually originated in England) Baseball is in fact the English version of Rounders….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origins_of_baseball

  • slug

    I have played it as an adult, there was an enthusiast who got the guys to play it in the park every tuesday after work for a while. Good fun – a baby version of cricket.

  • maca

    Martin
    It might just be English. Just because it is a GAA sport doen’t mean it is Irish.

  • maca

    slug
    “a baby version of cricket.”

    It’s nothing like cricket though, closer to baseball.

  • slug

    Its not “nothing like” cricket. Someone bowls at you and you hit the ball. You may be caught out. If you hit it hard you run and that gives you points.

  • Gonzo

    We played rounders at our school, and it was mainly Prod. Preferred the mindless violence of rugby though.

  • slug

    Gonzo

    Rugby is a winter game so it doesn’t really compete as an alterantive.

    Rounders – I hope that was at your primary not your secondary school. Cricket at that age. Rounders is for

  • Gonzo

    You’re right – rugby was the winter game. There was actually cricket and rounders in first year. Both were equally tedious, so I went for football or athletics. I was the school 1500m champ (one year) y’know…!

    I was OK at the high jump, but then I stopped growing and simultaneously discovered the joys of smoking and skiving off.

  • maca

    Slug
    “Its not “nothing like” cricket. Someone bowls at you and you hit the ball. You may be caught out. If you hit it hard you run and that gives you points.”

    It’s all relative. you can even make comparisons to football or hurling if you wanted.
    My point is the differences are big enough that it can’t be called “baby cricket”.

  • El Matador

    I knew it was a GAA sport, but have never really heard it referred to. It’s good craic. I would be interested in setting up a rounders team, if anybody’s up for it. Perhaps we could have an international rules Ireland v USA rounders baseball game eventually 😉

  • Mark

    I won an All-Ireland minor medal in Croke Park playing rounders many years ago.

    The previous year our team was runners-up but the winners were disqualified after a mid-game brawl.

    It’s very like baseball except that the pitcher throws underhand (like Softball) and a sliothar (a la hurling) is used. I wonder what sort of ball is used in the British version?

  • slug

    Maca – I realise that it may have sounded like I was dismissing a GAA sport and I apologise for that. It was not my intention to be dismissive.

  • maca

    Slug
    “I realise that it may have sounded like I was dismissing a GAA sport and I apologise for that. It was not my intention to be dismissive.”

    Actually I didn’t think that at all. You can dismiss it all you like, and no need to apologise to me for it 🙂

  • Keith M

    Is this the international game of rounders or some weird Gaelic version? I ask because the GAA’s version of handball bears no resemblence to the international version.

  • maca

    Keith
    “I ask because the GAA’s version of handball bears no resemblence to the international version.”

    In Irish rounders I *think* they use a sliotar [at least according to one website I saw].

    And the GAA doesn’t have a “version” of handball. Handball (as we play it) and Olympic Handball are two totally different & [probably] unrelated sports.

  • maca

    p.s. Handball is a lot older than Olympic handball (just thought i’d throw that in there).

  • bootman

    are women’s football and camogie still considered “associated sports” or something like that?

  • Niall

    * Is this the international game of rounders or some weird Gaelic version? I ask because the GAA’s version of handball bears no resemblence (sic) to the international version.
    Posted by: Keith M at August 31, 2005 01:15 PM *

    As you wantonly posted this without any links as support I thought I’d submit the following to show that altho “your opinion” of handball in Irel is different to the int’l format, Irish players seem to be doing quite well at the game. Champions no less.

    http://www.ushandball.org/03.worlds.html

    Note: Paul Brady mentioned is not the famous singer from Tyrone but the almost-famous footballer from Cavan ; )

  • Niall

    * Is this the international game of rounders or some weird Gaelic version? I ask because the GAA’s version of handball bears no resemblence (sic) to the international version.
    Posted by: Keith M at August 31, 2005 01:15 PM *

    As you wantonly posted this without any links as support I thought I’d submit the following to show that altho “your opinion” of handball in Irel is different to the int’l format, Irish players seem to be doing quite well at the game. Champions no less.

    http://www.ushandball.org/03.worlds.html

    Note: Paul Brady mentioned is not the famous singer from Tyrone but the almost-famous footballer from Cavan ; )

  • Seán

    The games of Rounders as played in England and Ireland are very different. Irish Rounders is quite similar to baseball and softball. English Rounders is a very different game and doesn’t really compare with any game I know of.

    There have been international games between the two codes, but the games aren’t really similar enough to come up with a compromise set of rules.

    The GAA was founded to preserve the Irish identity, by encompassing Irish sporting and cultural activities, at a time when there was an increasing English influence coming into Irish Life. So at this time the version of Rounders played in Ireland must have been seen as an Irish game or pastime.

  • Pat

    Yeah was instilled into us at school that it was an Irish Game, sure we have all the best stuff. Guinness, Whisk(e)y, MAGNERS (with ice)or Bulmers in the liberated south. Hurling and Peil. We even gave birth to the biggest soccer team in the world the mighty Glasgow Celtic.

  • Pat

    Yeah was instilled into us at school that it was an Irish Game, sure we have all the best stuff. Guinness, Whisk(e)y, MAGNERS (with ice)or Bulmers in the liberated south. Hurling and Peil. We even gave birth to the biggest soccer team in the world the mighty Glasgow Celtic.

  • ronan

    There have been internationals played in rounders, in fact there was one played this year in tyrone. There is a difference in the two games though. The irish is closer to a mix of baseball and softball and the english is played on a smaller field with smaller bats and balls. If you want more information e mail me and I will forward it on to my father as he is on the irish rounders council.