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International Rules

An exhilarating mix of Gaelic and Australian Rules football, the compromise rules series of games between the two nations has provided action-packed contests over the years.

A showcase event for both codes, it has raised the profile of both disciplines and gives both sets of players, the opportunity to represent their countries and disciplines internationally.

A brief introduction to International Rules

International Rules is a hybrid between the two sports and the rules borrow from both, with Gaelic football players benefiting from the use of a regulation Gaelic football and traditional rectangular pitch (the Australian code uses an oval ball more akin to a rugby or American football and is played on an oval field). One of the key tackling components carried over from the Australian Rules code, allows players to tackle between the shoulders and thighs. This is something which the Irish players need to familiarise themselves with in the lead up to the series, as this type of tackling is not permitted in Gaelic football.

The game also carries over the mark from Australian Rules football, which gives the receiving player the opportunity to pause if they wish and take a free kick, if he catches/controls a ball kicked a distance of at least 15 metres by another player.


The 72 minutes game is comprised of 4 quarters plus added time for any undue delays in play. There is a 6 minute interval after quarters 1 and 3 with a 15 minute half time break


Each panel has up to 23 named players with only 15 taking part at any one time. The remaining 8 are Interchange Players with each team allowed a maximum of 15 interchanges allowed per quarter


The scoring area is between two goal posts with cross bar and goal net with the addition of two ‘goal-behind’ posts, positioned 6.5 metres out from each goal post on the end line.

A netted Goal is worth 6 points, an Over is worth 3 points and a single point is awarded when the ball crosses the end line between the goal and outer behind points.