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Gaelic Handball

Gaelic handball is a wall-based sport that is exclusively played in Ireland, where the gameplay is very similar to that of squash and racquetball, though players strike the ball with the palm of their hands instead of using a racket. The sport is very popular in Ireland and is one of the four Gaelic games (the others are Gaelic Football, Hurling, and Rounders).

The court used for the sport has two variations, Big alley - a 60 X 30ft court with a 30 ft high front wall, and Small Alley - a 40 X 20 ft court with a 20 ft high front wall. Courts are surrounded by walls on the front and the two sides. The big alley has another variation with just the front wall and no side walls.

All courts have two parallel lines in the middle of the court which forms the service area. Games are usually played with a soft ball, but both softballs and hardballs are used to play on the big alley.

Play starts with a serve from within the service area, followed by a subsequent rally, where balls have to be returned after at the most one bounce. Players receive points if their opponents are not able to fairly return the ball. The player with the most points wins the match.

Several county and province level tournaments are conducted for all codes of Gaelic handball. The annual All-Ireland Championships is the highest level tournament for the sport.

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