Cluiche Corr (GAA Rounders) is one of the four official GAA sports. Rounders was incorporated in the original GAA charter back in 1884 along with Gaelic Football, Hurling and Handball.
Rounders is played by two teams from primary aged school children all the way up to and including senior level. There can be mixed teams, where boys and girls, men and women can play on the same team. Rounders is enjoying a revival at present with GAA plans to increase current player numbers in Ireland from 600 to 2000, clubs from 21 at present to 35 and schools from 100 to 250 by 2016. An exhibition game played in Croke Park in August 2013 has helped to raise an interest in this game around Ireland, and indeed here in the Middle East.
As Rounders is a restricted contact, fast paced sport it is ideal for all sports enthusiasts, for both recreational and competitive play. It utilises skills from more conventional GAA games like Gaelic football and hurling and is an excellent way to develop hand eye coordination skills. Teams are composed of 9 players and 3 substitutes. Official GAA rules are available from GAA.ie or the Rounders Council of Ireland, which helps to organise the game.
It is usually played on a grassy 70 meters square pitch, which has base points or mats for ‘Batters’ 25 metres apart from which the ball is thrown. The ball is called a ‘Slíotar’ and the ‘Bat’ is an ash cylindrical stick. Rounders was a popular game in Ireland because the kit needed to play it was easy to improvise.
The pitcher stands facing home base and delivers the ball underarm to the batter. The batter must strike the sliotar in a forward direction and into the field of play. Once the batter hits the ball he/she may run to first base. The fielding team attempt to gain possession of the ball and throw it to the base minder at first base or another base if there is a runner proceeding.
A batter is out if he/she fails to strike a third good ball, he/she strikes the last good ball into foul ground, he/she strikes a good ball but is caught by a fielder, or his or her base is tagged before he/she arrives at the base. The aim of the game is for the batting side to score as many runs (a run is when a batter has proceeded through all 3 bases before touching home base) before the fielding team put three players out.
Rounders & Middle East GAA
There is great anticipation in the prospect of a revival of Rounders, which will be of immense historical and nostalgic value especially to expats. The Middle East County Board will be appointing a member of the coaching and games development committee to engage with the GAA / Rounders Council of Ireland with a view to running a Rounders Middle East competition either on a regional basis on within each of the clubs. One such event is planned as the Arabian Celts GAA club, based in Bahrain intend to have an expat engagement day over St. Patrick’s weekend where GAA, hurling, rounders and international rules will feature.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS