Learn how to play the beautiful game!
Gaelic Football commonly referred to as football or Gaelic, is a form of football derived from traditional Irish ball games. It is played between two teams of 15 players on a rectangular grass pitch. A 7s version is reasonably common and it is our main format in Tasmania.
Players advance the football up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing (dropping the ball and then toe-kicking the ball upward into the hands). In the game, two types of scores are possible: points and goals. A point is awarded for kicking or hand-passing the ball over the crossbar, signalled by the umpire raising a white flag. A goal (3 points) is awarded for kicking the ball under the crossbar into the net, signalled by the umpire raising a green flag. 
Skills in Gaelic are somewhat similar to other football codes with speed, balance, agility, kicking accuracy, hand-eye coordination, determination, 'touch' and field awareness all being useful attributes of a great player.
Similarities between Gaelic Football and Australian Rules Football (AFL) have allowed the development of International Rules Football, a hybrid sport, and a series of Test matches has been held regularly since 1998.
The female version of the game is known as Ladies' Gaelic Football and is very similar to the men's game with some minor rule changes.

When I was a kid, if you didn't speak Irish, you really wanted to. And you played Gaelic games and you didn't pay any attention to what was happening in the outside world, because really, Ireland was the center of the universe. And I don't think that's the case anymore. Although, admittedly, it is the center of the universe.
- Roddy Doyle

Summary of general rules of Gaelic Football.

Scoring - The object of the game is to outscore your opponents. A goal, 3 points, is when you kick or tap the ball into their goal. An over, 1 point, is when you kick, tap or handpass the ball over the crossbar and between the posts. In either case a score is made when the whole of the ball crosses the whole of the line.

Start - Each half of play starts with a throw-in at the centre of the ground, contested by 2 players from each team.

Moving the ball - In open play you may kick the ball from your hands, handpass it (during open play, not from frees), fist-punch or slap a loose ball, or kick the ball off the ground.

Pick up - You may not pick up or touch the ball with your hands while it is on the ground (men). You must use your foot to lift the ball into your hands.

Carrying - You may only run 4 steps at a time when carrying the ball. To continue you must toetap (solo) or bounce the ball. You may solo as many times as you want but can only bounce once at a time.

Holding - You may only hold the ball for as long as it takes to run 4 steps. After than you must toetap, bounce or dispose. Possession starts from the time you have 2 hands on the ball. Until then you may 'basketball bounce' as much as you want.

Tackling - You may only 'tackle' a player by attempting to strip the ball from his/her hands with an open palm. You may tackle across their body but not around it nor over the shoulder.

Contesting - You may shoulder charge an opponent when both of you are moving towards the ball.

Fouls - A free kick is awarded for the following fouls. Aggressive fouls in the penalty area are punished with a penalty kick. More serious offences can incur a yellow card (warning) or red card (expulsion from field and cannot be replaced).
kicking while a player is attempting pick up
pushing an opponent
holding the ball too long
shouldering, charging opponent
throwing the ball
running more than 4 steps with the ball
2 consecutive bounces
blocking/shepherding/holding/shirt-pulling opponent
tripping, pulling down opponent
rough and dangerous play, striking, spitting
abusive language, gesture or behaviour toward players, officials and spectators

Free kick taking - A player awarded a free kick may kick from hands or off the ground. Play-on or handpass is not permitted. All players including opponents must be back 13m from the kick location. The kick must travel at least 13m before it can be touched by another player.

13m penalty - If the defending team offends at a free kick, e.g. dissent to referee, delaying tactics, etc, the free kick position is moved 13m upfield for the attacking team.

Penalty kick taking - The kicker takes an unimpeded shot from 11m. The goalkeeper must remain on the goal line, and all other players outside the penalty area, until the ball has been kicked.

Advantage - Referee may choose to play advantage when a foul has occurred. If within 5 seconds there is no advantage, a free kick is awarded from the location of the original foul.

Hit the post - If the ball rebounds into the playing area from the goalposts it is 'live' and play continues.

Over the end line - When the ball leaves the field over the end line, play is restarted as follows:
after a score - kick-in by defending team off the ground from in front of the goals
last touch by attacking team - kick-in by defending team off the ground (men) from in front of the goals
last touch by defending team - free kick to attacking team from 45m line. Must be kicked off the ground. They may take a shot a goal or pass (minimum 13m).

Over the side line - When the ball leaves the field over the side line, play is restarted by the team other than that which last touched the ball. The kicker must be off the field and all players including opponents must be back 13m from the kick location. The kick must travel at least 13m before it can be touched by another player.

Attire - Correct attire is jersey, shorts, socks, boots/shoes suitable for the playing surface and a mouthguard. Players may not wear caps, jewellery, ear rings, hair slides or any item capable of causing injury.

Please note that this summary is for information purposes only. The official playing rules of Gaelic Football in Australia are those adopted by the Gaelic Athletic Association of Australasia. A full copy of the rules is available on their website www.australasiangaelicgames.com
Referees use their judgement and experience when applying and interpreting rules and all players are expected to abide by their decisions.

Useful skills

pick up - it's essential (for men) to learn to pick up the ball by lifting with the foot
short kicking - flat, straight kicks for passing to team mates
long kicking - switching play or relieving pressure
shooting for overs - from the hands and off the ground
shooting for unders - from the hands
handpass - accurate short and long pass for moving the ball out of tight situations
solo - run and toe tap while keeping field awareness
tackle - using flat palm to strip ball from opponent
movement off the ball - making space for the next pass(es) from your team; anticipating opposition attack and moving to counter
fend - when in possession, using a free hand to fend off tackles
smother - block an opponent's kick with your hand

I believe hurling is the best of us, one of the greatest and most beautiful expressions of what we can be. For me that is the perspective that death and loss cast on the game. If you could live again you would hurl more, because that is living. You'd pay less attention to the rows and the mortgage and the car and all the daily drudge. Hurling is our song and our verse...
― Dónal Óg Cusack, Come What May: The Autobiography